Sleep Tips For Surviving The "Fall Back" Time Change

Updated: Oct 26, 2021


Time change is always a hot topic with parents.   Many are afraid that the time change is going to completely destroy their child's sleeping patterns and this will lead to having a VERY early morning wake up time.   

So what is the big deal with having the time go an hour back?  It's an extra hour of sleep right?  Who wouldn't want an extra hour of sleep?  The answer.....your child's internal clock does not change with the clock on the wall in your house.  Your child does not know that it is not the "usual" time to wake up. Their circadian rhythms (physical, mental and behavioural changes that generally follow a 24-hour cycle) are in charge.

The main reasons this time change causing so much havoc with everyone is that is causes everything to be thrown off! Nap time, bedtime, playtime and meals shift and can in turn be a little challenging to navigate through for the first few days after the time change. This may lead to your little one being overtired and cranky which can make it even more difficult for them to settle at nap time and bedtime.


Some children can easily adapt to the time change and you do not have to do anything. But for others, they may need to have a little help adjusting if they are already sleep/schedule sensitive.


Here are a few tips to make it a smooth transition:


SLEEP SCHEDULE CHANGE: Gradually adjust your child's schedule later by 15 minutes over a few days in anticipation of the time change. Continue to do this until you get to the new time change. This will allow your child to slowly get used to the time change and help prevent them from being overtired during the day.  


Example for adjusting a bedtime of 6:30pm

Wednesday : Bedtime is 6:45pm

Thursday : Bedtime is 7:00pm

Friday : Bedtime is 7:15pm

Saturday : Bedtime is "new " 6:30pm


DAILY ACTIVITIES:  Keeping up with the same daily routine is important to help ease the transition.


SET THE CLOCKS: This is especially important to remember if your child is using a "Toddler Clock" / "Ok To Wake" clock of any type!  On Saturday before you head to bed, set all of your clocks around your house back an hour, so when everyone wakes up in the morning, ALL of the clocks will be set to the correct time.


ROUTINE: Consistency is the key! Keep your child's bedtime routine the same so they know that is is time to sleep.


KEEP IN MIND: A well-rested child will best adapt to the time change. Try to go out of the house during the day to keep your child active, get some sunshine (hopefully!) and offer some relaxing activities in the evening to help wind down.


Happy Sleeping!


We are always here to help with those bumps in the road so if you are finding that you may need a little extra help, contact Babes & Beyond (www.babesandbeyond.com) for a free Discovery Call". We are helping families all over the world get the sleep they need!

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