Daylight Saving Ends Soon: Tips to Manage the Upcoming Time Change
with guest author Marie-Eve Gagnon of Slumbertime Solutions
This year, daylight saving time ends on Sunday, November 6th (for US and Canada). When we “Fall Back”, we move the clock back by 1 hour, which means that on that morning, we’ll wake up 1 hour earlier. If your kiddo(s) already wake up on the earlier side, and the prospect of waking up even earlier does not sound good, keep reading! We are sharing strategies you can use to transition to the new time as smoothly as possible and keep your current wake-up time!
There are a couple of ways to navigate the time change, depending on your child and your situation. You can take a gradual approach or go cold turkey on the day of the time change. And if you pick a gradual approach, you can get started before/after the time change.
Choose the approach that will work best for your child based on their temperament, age and flexibility in their schedule.
“The day of” approach
With this approach, our goal is to shift the 60 min in 1 day. On Sunday 11/6, let your child wake up at their usual time as per the “old” time -meaning it’s going to be 1 hour earlier if you look at the clock. For example, if your kiddo usually wakes up at 6 am, let them start the day at 5 am (which is their usual 6 am).
During the day, follow your child’s regular schedule for sleep, meals, naps, bedtime, etc. according to the new time. For example, if your child’s first nap is usually at 9:30 am, then keep them up until the clock shows 9:30 am. Same for meals and bedtime.
That means that your child will be awake for an extra hour that day. Having said that, watch your child carefully and don’t let them get overtired. If they’re totally exhausted, it’s okay to let them nap/eat 10-30 minutes earlier than their time, but as close to their usual schedule is best.
This approach works best for: older children and/or for children that tend to adjust to changes in schedules fairly easily. If this does not fit your child, then follow one of our more gradual baby sleep strategies described below.
"The gradual" approach
Another option is to ease into the change by making small adjustments to your child’s sleep and wake times in the days before Daylight Saving ends. Adjust your child’s bedtime, naptime and wake up time later by 15 minutes every day, so that by Sunday, it’ll be less of a shock.
The first step is to push the first nap of the day 15 min later. Another way of saying this is to stretch the first window by an extra 15 min. If the first nap starts later, it should end later, which will then shift the subsequent naps (if your kiddo takes multiple naps) and then we can shift bedtime 15 min as well. We temporarily increase the first window by 15 min, but then keep the windows the same for the rest of the day.
Then the next day, shift the first nap by another 15 min, and so on, until you have shifted by 1 hour. If you do the first shift on the Wednesday (11/3), your child should be back to their regular schedule (what the clock shows) by Sunday morning.
You can start on Wednesday as above, but your could start later in the week as well, or even after the time change. And if your child does not nap, push bedtime 15 min later.
This approach works best for: younger children and/or for children who are more sensitive to schedule changes and are already waking up too early. You also need to have the flexibility to make these changes in their schedule.
- Regardless of the approach you choose, having an already established routine and schedule will make it easier to adjust.
- Don’t be surprised if your child wakes up earlier than usual initially. However, try to not let them start the day until the wake-up time we are looking for. But if you pick an approach and stay consistent, your kiddo’s schedule will be back on track quickly!
- If your child is 18 months or older, consider introducing a “wake-up clock”. A wake-up clock doesn’t make sound. Instead, a light changes color when it’s time to start the day. A wake-up clock helps children understand what they are expected to do (sleep more or ok to start the day!) by looking at the light, and it can be especially effective to help manage this time change.
About Slumber Time Solutions
At Slumber Time Solutions, we help tired families get the sleep they need.
We believe that sleep can look different for different families, and no single solution fits everyone. We help families with children 0-10 years old achieve their specific sleep goals, using tools and strategies that fit their unique situation, their child and their parenting style. Our approach is gentle, breastfeeding-friendly, attachment-friendly and developmentally appropriate.
Owner Marie-Eve Gagnon is a certified pediatric Gentle Sleep Coach who has been serving tired families worldwide since 2014.
We support families in many ways:
- 1-on-1 sleep consultations
- Baby Sleep Basics classes
- Raising Healthy Sleepers group membership
- Online courses
- Free weekly online sleep support group