Daylight Savings Blues - Fall Back
Updated: Mar 11
Guess what? Time change is just around the corner! I bet we're all saying YAY we get an extra hour of sleep! Right??
Who are we kidding? We are parents to little munchkins that are bound to wake up an hour earlier instead of sleeping that extra hour!
I wanted to let you all know there is a way to prevent them from waking up early on that day, but first I'd like to go over a few things. If you have a little one that is already waking at a ridiculous hour in the early morning, these tips won't solve your problems. They might help a little bit with the adjustment but it won't be a permanent fix. Check out my blog post on "The Dreaded Early AM Wakening" to see what might be causing your little one to wake early.
The other thing I want to mention is that these steps may not work for those that have a little one under the age of 6 months or isn't on a set schedule yet. But don't worry because I find most babies 6 months and under aren't as affected by the time change as older babies and toddlers.
Ok, so let's get into those Fall Back tips... #1 - Don't do anything. Just wait it out. It'll take a few days for their body's to adjust and then you'll be back to normal.
#2 - Gradually shift your child's schedule (bedtime, and naps) ahead by 15 minutes every second day, starting the Sunday before time changes. This gives you one week to gradually get them used to it.
By the end of the week your child will be going to bed at their usual time, even with the adjusted time. You will have to do this with your child's naps as well. And you may even have to keep them in bed in the morning for 15 minutes extra until it's time for them to get up.
Let's look at an example to help you understand what I'm meaning. Say your child's schedule right now is as follows: 7:30am - Wakeup
12:00pm - Nap
7:30pm - Bedtime
The Sunday before time change, you will start by putting your child down for bed at 7:45pm. On Monday, your child will sleep right until 7:45am. However, if for some off chance they don't, keep them in their bed until 7:45. Then when you get them up, make sure to make a big deal that it's now morning time. You will then put them down for the nap at 12:15pm. You will follow this plan for Tuesday as well. Tuesday night you will put them down for bed at 8pm. Wednesday wake-up at 8am, and nap at 12:30pm.
Thursday night their bedtime will be 8:15pm. Friday wake-up time at 8:15am, and nap at 12:45pm.
Saturday night their bedtime will be at 8:30pm. Sunday wake-up at 7:30am. (Note: They don't wake up an hour earlier)
Now this can be really hard to do if you have a busy schedule and are working outside of the home. So this brings me to the last tip.
#3 - Adjust your child's schedule (bedtime, and naps) ahead by 30 minutes starting the Friday night on the weekend time changes. Then Saturday adjust their bedtime again by 30 minutes.
This is a bigger adjustment but can still help a little bit.
If you're struggling getting your little one's schedule on track before the time changes, you can book a call with me and get a 20 minute FREE consultation where we will discuss your little one's current schedule and what you can do to help them before the time change.