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  • Beth Mattson

How To Navigate the End of Daylight Saving and Your Baby’s Sleep

Falling back on the clock doesn’t mean falling away from your kiddo’s sleep schedule. Follow these simple steps to keep your baby sleeping soundly through the time change.


Ahh… Daylight Saving Time. The one time of the year we get the freedom to stay out an extra hour without losing that hour of sleep! Well…


At least that’s what it meant before you had kids. Now, it means adjusting the baby’s sleep cycle and waking up earlier on Sunday because the kiddos will up and moving as if nothing changed.


Before shedding a tear to that lost hour of sleep, try these top tips for managing the fall time change like a super parent!


3 Ways You Can Handle The End of Daylight Saving

Option 1 - Do Nothing


Yes, nothing. Saturday night at bedtime, leave the clocks as they are and wake up as normal on Sunday. Once you've had breakfast, eased into your morning, and everyone is officially awake, you can then set the clocks back.


At bedtime, they will be going to sleep at their “normal” time but it’s actually an hour ahead.


If bedtime was normally at 8 pm, it will now be 7 pm. With this option, nothing has to be adjusted.


Option 2 - Split the Difference


Over 4 days, slowly adjust naps and bedtime by 15 minutes earlier each day.


If your baby normally goes down at 8 pm:

7:45 pm is bedtime the first night

7:30 pm is bedtime the second night

7:15 pm is bedtime the third night

7:00 pm is bedtime the fourth night


You will sequentially move naptime(s), up as well.


If you want to be ready for work on Monday, start setting bedtime and naps earlier on Thursday.


Option 3 - Push Back Wake-Ups


This is the most drawn-out option, and my least favorite but it does work for some families.


Depending on the age of your child, you will push the morning wake-up times back.


If you have a baby, each day wait an extra 10 minutes before you retrieve them. You will add 10 minutes each morning until you have reached the “new” wake time.


If you have a toddler, add 30 minutes to morning wake-up time the first day. After 3 days move the time back by another 30 minutes and then you will be at the correct time. This option works best with an Okay to Wake Clock {{hyperlink to product page}}. Trust me, it is definitely worth the investment.


Tips to Consider With Each Option

No matter which of these plans you choose, there are a few things to keep in mind when adjusting to the time change:


Maintain a Consistent Bedtime Routine


A nighttime routine can be as simple as bath, jammies, feeding, book, then off to the crib. Or, if you have an older child, dinner, jammies, and tuck-ins.


Whatever you decide for your routine, a simple pattern prepares your kiddo for sleep no matter what time is on the clock.


Use Light and Darkness


During wake time, expose your baby to light.


This can be as simple as opening the blinds between nap times or even getting out of the house for some fresh Vitamin D. When you are inside, keep the lights on as this will help signal to your baby’s brain that it is time to be awake.


But, when it comes time for naps and bed, limit the light. As it gets closer to the time they need to go down, dim the house lights, close the curtains, and begin to get comfortable in the dark.


As you lay your baby down for sleep, turn the lights off completely. Make sure to keep it pitch dark until it’s time to get up again. Even a small amount of light creeping in through the window can cause those tiny eyes to open.


Have Grace


It takes time to adjust to a clock change, and sometimes we need that reminder that your baby isn’t a clock!


Just as it does for you, it will take time to adjust to the new normal for your baby - possibly even up to 2 weeks. Try to go with the flow and give your little one some grace when adjusting to this time change. And while you’re at it, go ahead and give yourself some, too. You’ve got this!


Know Help is Available If You Need It!


Fall back may cause some early morning wakings, and that’s normal!

But if you end up struggling for more than 2 weeks, please know I’m here help. I’ll provide step-by-step guidance to help set your days and nights up for success!


Follow along with these tips, and let me know which option you chose to do! If you have any questions or concerns feel free to reach out at any time.


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