Dealing with the Fall Daylight Savings Time Change

Remember before you had kids and the end of daylight savings rolled around? You would be excited to get an extra hour of sleep! Or you would stay up an extra hour doing something fun. Ahhh those were the days. But now that you have kids, daylight savings looks a little different. Babies, toddlers and kids don’t look at the clock when they wake up and think “Yay, I can sleep another hour!”. They wake up at their normal wake up time and are up for the day.

 

The end of Daylight Savings time is almost upon us again, this year the change will happen on November 3, 2019.

 

Here are two options for dealing with the change.

 

Slow and Steady Proactive Method

If your baby or toddler is sleeping consistently on a good schedule you may want to ease them into time change. Starting on Monday, October 28 you will begin to shift all naps, meals and bedtime later by 15 minutes and continue with this pattern every two days until Saturday night. On Sunday the clock will have shifted back an hour and you will return to the normal schedule of naps and bedtime that was working for your baby or toddler.

 

Example Schedule:

 

Time

Sun Oct 27

 

Mon+Tues

Wed+Thurs

Fri+Sat

Sun Nov 3 (new clock times)

Wake up

7:00 am

7:15 am

7:30 am

7:45 am

7:00 am

Nap #1

9:00 am

9:15 am

9:30 am

9:45 am

9:00 am

Nap #2

2:00 pm

2:15 pm

2:30 pm

2:45 pm

2:00 pm

Bedtime

7:00 pm

7:15 pm

7:30 pm

7:45 pm

7:00 pm

 

The most difficult part of this will be in the mornings. If you can handle a bit of upset baby, try not to get them out of bed until the shifted forward times. They may be a bit extra cranky for that first nap because you are asking them to push their awake time 15 minutes longer. Be prepared to give them more attention in the mornings this week.

 

All at Once Method

After the time change you will wake up whenever you naturally wake up for the day. If you and baby normally wake up at 7:00 am, this will now say 6:00 am on the clock. Don’t rush in right away to get baby out of bed on the first day but try to wait at least 10 minutes. Go about your morning as usual but then split the difference for the first three days. This means move all naps, meals and bedtime ahead by 30 minutes. If your baby normally naps at 9:00 am, put them down at 8:30 am on the first day. This will feel like 9:30 am to their internal clock so they may get a bit cranky and over-tired but try to stick with it. On the fourth day after the change (Wednesday) go back to your previous schedule times on the new clock.

 

Example Schedule:

 

Time

Sat

Nov 2

Sun (new clock times)

Mon

Tues

Wed

Thurs

Fri

Wake up

7:00 am

6:10 am

6:20 am

6:30 am

6:40 am

6:50 am

7:00 am

Nap #1

9:00 am

8:30 am

8:30 am

8:30 am

9:00 am

9:00 am

9:00 am

Nap #2

2:00 pm

1:30 pm

1:30 pm

1:30 pm

2:00 pm

2:00 pm

2:00 pm

Bedtime

7:00 pm

6:30 pm

6:30 pm

6:30 pm

7:00 pm

7:00 pm

7:00 pm

 

Again the mornings will be the most difficult part to adjust because babies and toddlers have such strong circadian rhythms and once they are awake they don’t like to lie around in bed like we do. Try to wait an extra 10 minutes each day of the first week until hopefully they are waking up around the same time on the new clock as they were previously. This does not mean you need to wake them up at these times if they want to sleep longer! Always let those babies sleep in as long as they will when possible with your schedule.

 

Good luck to you whichever method you choose. Or if you are just going to wing it, I also wish you well.

 

If your baby or toddler is not on a schedule and is not getting the sleep you think they require (or if YOU aren’t getting the sleep you require), feel free to message me any time. I would love to help your family to wake up REFRESHED in the mornings!

 

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