Sleep Expert: How to Manage the Springtime Clock Change with Little Ones

Sleep Expert: How to Manage the Springtime Clock Change with Little Ones

4 min read

The change in seasons as Spring approaches is often a welcome respite from those dark wintery days. However, the prospect of the clocks going forward for daylight saving can be a tricky one for those with babies and youngsters who still take a nap during the day. 

Never fear. Those lovely folk over at Little Dreams Consulting have put together some wonderful advice so that we can all breathe a sigh of relief and look forward to longer days.  Read on for Jenna’s guide. 

Sweet dreams. 

Dream a little dream

Twice a year when the clocks change, we are inundated with questions from parents asking what they can do to prevent sleep disruption. Here’s a quick guide to managing  the Spring clock change,  depending on the age of your little-one(s).

The good news is that If your child is naturally an early riser, then you probably don’t have to change anything, as the clocks will do everything for you.

However, if you feel the clock change could interfere with your little dreamer's sleep routine, in that you might have to wake them an hour earlier for nursery, school etc, then here are some handy tips that you may want to follow. 


For babies over 4 months old you can make a simple, gradual adjustment to their internal clock. For example, if their bedtime is usually 7pm, simply move bedtime 15 minutes earlier each night until you reach their normal time. So, on Sunday night (when the clocks go forward) you would put them down at 7.45pm, the next night at 7.30pm and so on. By the fourth night you should be back to their ‘normal’ time of 7pm. 


If your little one’s bedtime is a tad unpredictable (which is totally normal for those aged 0 to 4 months) simply jump to the new time on Sunday night as the clocks alter, as if you were travelling to a new time zone. It may take them a little longer to fall asleep, which is expected, as they might not be as tired to start off with. But, eventually they will get used to this new routine as their bodies adjust.

Toddlers (over 1 and older)

On Sunday (when the clocks go forward) put little sleepyheads down for their first nap 30 minutes later than normal. For example, if they usually nap at 9.30am you would put them down at 10am instead. Do the same for the afternoon nap too, if they have one. Remember, they might become a little grumpy and require a little more entertaining than usual during this transition period whilst they are ‘pushed’ to their new nap time. Then, at bedtime, if you usually put them down at 7pm, move this forward by half an hour and put them down at 7.30pm instead. Do this for the next 3 nights after the time changes.  Then, on the 4th night put them to bed at the ‘normal’ time of 7pm and on the 5th day move nap times back to ‘normal’ time as well. 

Older children

Our best advice here is to ‘split the difference’ between the old time and the new time. Start on Sunday night (first night of the time change) for children who no longer nap. So, if their normal bedtime is 7pm then you would put them to bed at 7.30pm instead. Do this for 3 nights and then on the 4th night put them to bed at the normal time of 7pm. 

General advice for all children

No matter what age, one thing that will make a difference at bedtime is how light it is outside. With this in mind, we recommend that you make your child’s bedroom as dark as possible to limit any sunlight coming into their room which could make it difficult for them to fall/stay asleep. 

Using something like a blackout blind or even blackout card/material over the window can be really helpful to block out any residual light. 

Overall, it can take about a week for children and babies to completely adjust to a new time and for some children it may take up to a month. Be patient and remain consistent and it will happen.

A final thought

Daylight is one of the best regulators of our body clock (‘circadian rhythms’) so going outside really helps little ones’ burn off energy and can also help set a little body clock that is suffering from jet lag too. So, get ready to embrace this glorious new season and head outside with your little adventurers. 

If you are having trouble with any aspect of your child’s sleep, you can book a free 15-minute consultation (or an appointment), by calling her on  07572 309404 or email

Don’t forget to  shop our stunning sleep time collection for little dreamers. Explore Scandinavian inspired nursery furniture, beautiful bedding sets,  the softest organic baby sleeping bags, cot mobiles,  accessories and much more.

About Jenna and  Little Dreams Consulting

Jenna Wilson set up the multi award winning Little Dreams Consulting 5 years ago, following ten years working in Childcare Law. She has trained with Sleep Sense and The Sleep Charity (UK) and has attended a multitude of courses with the NSPCC and The Lullaby Trust.

The little Dreams Consulting family is growing and is looking for franchisees across the UK to join their successful team of sleep experts. To find out more, pop them an email at for a (no obligation) chat.
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