Falling back: Daylight Savings time change tips

Time ChangeDo you remember the days when the end of Daylight Savings meant that you got a bonus hour of sleep?  Those were the days when you could stay out another hour on Saturday night and still get the same amount of sleep.  Fast forward to now, when you are a parent, and that extra hour in the day means your children will now be up an hour earlier and you have extra hour in the day to contend with.

Here are some tips on how to handle the time change coming up early morning this Sunday, November 5th:

  • Put your child to bed at the regular time on Saturday night.
  • Wake up at your normal waking time on Sunday morning (forgetting that the time actually changed at 2am).
  • Now set your clocks back one hour.
  • Put your child down at the regular time for their nap according to the new time.  Since your child will have been awake a full hour longer before their nap, they may need some help getting through to what feels like a later nap time.  This is a great time to get outside, get some fresh air and some natural sunlight.
  • Follow the clock for naps and bedtime from here on out.  Keep in mind that you need to keep meals at their regular times too.  Your child may need a snack to help with hunger at the old meal time.  It will take a few days for your child to adjust so be patient and consistent.

For children younger who are still taking more then one nap, they may have a hard time stretching a full hour without becoming too overtired.  In this situation, it may be easier to stretch them 30 minutes before the morning nap and 30 minutes before the afternoon nap.  You can also spread this out over several days to help them adjust.

For children under 6 months, it may be that you can only move them by 15 minutes, in which case I would recommend spending 4 days moving their schedule later until they are back to napping at their normal times.  Children who are very sensitive to change or have sensory issues may need a more gradual adjustment as well.

Keep in mind that it can take some children up to a week to adjust to this time change.  Be patient but keep working on adjusting them to the new time rather then thinking about what time it would have been before the time changed.  Good luck!

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