Daylight Savings Time: Top 10 Tips for Falling Back

It's that time again... the dreaded day for most parents: Daylight Savings Time!

Remember the days before kids when this was the best weekend because you got an extra hour to sleep (or party)!?  Well that ended when our little ones, who are normally up around 6:30 or 7:00 AM, will now be up around 5:30 or 6:00 AM new time!  Take a deep breath and don't panic.  Here are my top ten tips to get you through this time change as smoothly as possible: 

10 Tips for Surviving Daylight Savings

  1. Leave the clocks alone on Saturday evening so it’s not a psychologically upsetting event to see your little one up an hour earlier on Sunday morning.
  2. Get up at your usual time and start the day. After your cup of coffee and a bit of breakfast, then you can go around changing the clocks. It will feel much better this way, trust me!
  3. If, for example, your little one usually takes a morning nap around 9:30 AM, you will adjust this to 9:00 AM for the three days after the time change. It will be a bit of a push for your child, but not so much that it will cause much damage to her schedule. Do the same for the afternoon nap.
  4. Let’s say your child usually goes to bed at 7 PM, I recommend putting her to bed at 6:30 PM for the first three days following the time change. (This will FEEL like 7:30 PM to your child.)
  5. It will take about a week for your child’s body to get used to this new nap and bedtime schedule. It takes everybody’s body roughly one week to adjust to any kind of change in sleeping habits.
  6. If you have children over the age of two, you can put a digital clock in their room. Put a piece of tape over the minutes, so that they can see if it is 6 o’clock or 7 o’clock, but they cannot see the minutes (which often confuses toddlers).  Just set the clock forward half an hour so that at 6:30 AM it says 7:00 AM and let them get up a little earlier than normal.  Know that, by the end of the week, they will be back on track and sleep until their normal wake up time.
  7. If you are dealing with a baby, you cannot do that. Do not rush in as soon as you hear your baby waking up because you do not want to send a message that getting up at 6 AM is okay now. So, if she normally wakes at 7:00 AM, but is now up at 6:00 AM, you will wait till ten minutes after the first day, then twenty after the next, then 6:30 AM the next day. By the end of the week, your baby’s schedule should be adjusted to the new time and waking up at her usual hour.
  8. On the fourth night get in line with the new time so your baby is back to going to bed when the clock says 7:00 PM.
  9. Adjust naps to the correct time on day four as well.
  10. Give it time and know that your baby will get back on schedule within a week (or possibly two).

And – as always – I’m here for you if you get stuck or need help with the transition!

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