Baby & Toddler Daylight Savings Time Adjustment: Fall Back Edition

Ahhhh Fall.  The holidays beginning, the leaves changing colors, football every Sunday, and......Fall Back Daylight Savings.  {Cue the simultaneous groan from parents everywhere} This time change bumps the clock BACK by an hour, meaning if your sweet baby was waking at 5am for the day, that will now turn into 4am.....and ain't nobody got time for that.  Here's two easy ways that you can transition your baby or toddler BEFORE the time change this weekend (and keep your sanity):


METHOD #1; "THE GRADUAL APPROACH": Here's what I do in my household a week before the time change: both my children are on one nap, and fairly consistent in their nap lengths. *This is the BEST method to avoid overtired children while shifting internal clocks*.  I move nap time back 30 minutes on Mon/Tues/Wed, & move bedtime back 30 minutes those days also.  On Thurs/Fri/Sat, I move naps & bedtime back AGAIN by another 30 minutes.  Sunday morning= I don't have to do a THANG except drink my coffee in bed because my children are up at their "normal" time.

Examples Using Method #1: 

One Nap Example: Nap is normally at 1pm and bedtime is at 8pm.  On Mon/Tues/Wed, naptime is moved back to 1:30, then 2pm on Thurs/Fri/Sat.  On Mon/Tues/Wed, bedtime is moved to 8:30pm, then 9pm on Thurs/Fri/Sat.  Resume "normal" schedule on Sunday (nap at 1pm, bedtime at 8pm).

Two Naps Example: Nap is normally at 10am, 2pm, and bedtime at 7:30pm.  On Mon/Tues/Wed, move both naps back to 10:30 & 2:30; bedtime back to 8pm.  On Thurs/Fri/Sat, move naps to 11am & 3pm, bedtime back to 8:30pm.  Resume "normal" schedule on Sunday following the time change (naps at 10 & 2, bedtime at 7:30pm). 

No Nap Example: Bedtime usually at 8pm.  On Mon/Tues/Wed, bedtime will be 8:30pm.  On Thurs/Fri/Sat, bedtime will be 9pm.  Resume "normal" bedtime on Sunday following the time change (bedtime at 8pm).

METHOD #2; THE QUICK & DIRTY: You don't want to put a week's worth of work into it, I get it.  So let's talk about the Saturday prior to the time change.  You'll move that one toddler nap back 30 minutes, and then bedtime back by ONE FULL HOUR.  If you have a baby on 2+ naps/day, move each back by 15 minutes, and bedtime back by 30 minutes.  If your older toddler no longer naps, try your best to give him/her some good quiet time in the afternoon, and push bedtime back by a FULL HOUR.  While this approach requires less work on your part, your child will continue waking "an hour earlier" for at least a week until his/her body adjusts.  Stay consistent and it will even out!

Examples Using Method #2: 

One Nap Example: Normally, nap is at 1pm, and bedtime is at 8pm.  With Method #2 above, Nap will be at 1:30pm & bedtime will be at 9pm on Saturday night. 

Two Naps Example: Nap is normally at 10am, 2pm, and bedtime at 7:30pm.  On Saturday prior to daylight savings, nap will be at 10:15, 2:15, & 8pm.  

No Nap Example: Bedtime usually at 8pm, push back to 9pm.

Here are the items you absolutely need to be successful:

  • GOOD BLACKOUTS: I've had tin foil, I've had designer curtains....and nothing I've ever found is nearly as good as these blackouts that easily come on & off your window.  Now I can have the cutest curtains that I want without worrying about the $100 upcharge to add a blackout lining (hashtag eye roll).
  • A COLOR-CHANGING CLOCK: (Toddlers 18+ Months)  How is your toddler supposed to know if it's time to party or time to close their eyes?  I love this clock because not only is it cute, but it ships for FREE.  Catch a few more Zzz's knowing your toddler won't be running into your room at 4am asking to watch Princess Alena or Mickey. 
  • A SCHEDULE.  Visit our post here on some sample schedules by age.  Without a schedule, it might be pretty tricky to move naps & bedtime, right? :)
  • A SOUND MACHINE: I'm currently in love with this humidifier from Crane, because it's serves a duel purpose: keeps our children's nose from being stuffy at night, and quietly hums to block out unwanted noise.  Oh, and this ships for free too ;)  

 I want to note that beginning the day before the time change may result in an overtired child, and he/she may continue to wake up "an hour early" for a 3-7 days until their bodies have adjusted and their schedules "Fall Back" into place.  If you still find yourself having some trouble adjusting your baby or child to the new schedule, shoot us an email here and let's fix it quick- consider it an early Christmas present ;) xo