On Sunday, Nov 1st, we fall back an hour. It’s my favorite night of the year, NOT! Just when sleep is perfect, you feel like it’s all about to fall apart. Fear not – I promise it feels scarier than it is. It may be a few early mornings, but your child will quickly adjust. Here are my tips for success:
There are two routes you can take with Daylight Saving Time, and which way you choose is dependent on how flexible a sleeper your child is.
- You can decide to start preparing your child now for the time change by pushing your child’s bedtime 15 min later every couple of days. This also means pushing the morning wake-up time 15 min later and nap(s). For example, If your child has a 7:30 pm bedtime and typically wakes up around 6:30 am, put him or her to bed at 7:45 pm and do not start the next day until at least 6:45 am. Slowly push to an 8:00 pm bedtime for a couple of days, then 8:15 pm, until you reach 8:30 pm by next Saturday, Nov 2nd, when that 8:30 pm becomes 7:30 pm. Remember, as you are pushing bedtime, you are pushing the morning wake-up and nap schedule.
- If the plan above sounds like too much work, I recommend putting your child to bed at his or her regular bedtime next Saturday and expecting an early wake-up. You can get your child whenever they wake up. Then, push the first nap of the day to match the new time and do bedtime on Sunday night at the regular time. Starting Monday morning, delay your response to your child by 15 minutes each day for four days until you hit their regular wake up time (before the time change). Also, sync up mealtimes with the new time, as that will help their body quickly adjust to the new time. Be sure to spend a lot of time outside, as sunlight will also help their body adjust.
Personally, I prefer the second route. It requires less thinking. And it’s almost like pretending nothing ever happened, which makes it all feel like less of a big deal! I also typically find that older children do better with the second route as well.
If your child has a toddler clock, start adjusting it on Monday morning by 15 minutes each morning until you have hit their regular wake up time (before the time change). I promise they will adjust quicker than you think!