Falling Back: Saving Your Child’s Sleep at the End of Daylight Savings Time
Ahhh — we’re falling back! The end of daylight savings time is almost here—this year it’s on Sunday, November 6. And for some little ones, the shift can cause them to be overtired because their sleep time is pushed later than they’re used to. For the most part, everything will fall into place if you stay consistent. Here are a few ways to approach the time change for falling back:
3 Ways to Adjust to Falling Back
Make the change all at once
Change your clocks before you go to bed on Saturday, November 5th and then wake up with the new clock on Sunday. Start your day at your regular time in the morning on the new clock. If your baby wakes at 7:00 am then get her up at 7:00 am. You might be tempted to let her get up at 6:00 am on Sunday because the clocks moved back one hour, but wait until your regular wake up time of 7:00 am and then continue with your regular schedule. Your baby might take a little longer to fall asleep or wake up earlier than usual because we are technically shifting her schedule forward by a full hour. Be consistent, and she will adjust within a few days.
Shift your clock gradually
On Monday, October 31st, start shifting your kids’ sleep schedule later by 15 minutes every 2 days. By Saturday, you will shift the whole schedule one hour and wake up with the new clock on Sunday morning. The goal is to get closer to the time it will be when you “fall back”. When you turn your clocks back, everything is one hour later, but by adjusting slowly for a few days, your little one will ease into the new schedule.
On Monday, start by pushing your baby or toddler’s schedule later by 15 minutes. Start your day 15 minutes later than your regular wake up time and offer her naps 15 minutes later. Bedtime will be 15 minutes later as well. On the Tuesday before the time change, you will increase that to 30 minutes later than the usual wake up, nap and bedtime and on the Thursday before the time change, 45 minutes later. On Sunday, go with your regular schedule times on the new clock.
Make the change after the time change
You can wait until the clocks have been set back and see how your little one does. If the “all in” method doesn’t seem to be working, you can adjust your baby’s schedule by 30 minutes each day until she settles into the new schedule. With this method, you will be doing everything 30 minutes earlier than your usual schedule because you will be running on the new clock.
Remember to adjust your schedule too! Your little one might be a little fussier during the first few days of the time change, but be consistent with your schedule. Keep the room dark and cool during sleep times and your little one will adjust. These tips work great for dealing with baby jet lag as well.