Falling Back: Helping Your Child Through The Time Change


Originally posted October 31, 2017
Updated October 25th, 2020

Yup, as parents we dread the time change. Right when we seem to figure out our kid’s sleep schedule, it all gets turned upside down! Who wouldn’t dread this?! Fall is tough because while we “get another hour of sleep,” our kids who usually sleep till 7am are waking at 6am on that day. If you have an early riser, the time that they wake on that day can be almost unmentionable. Yikes! Their internal biological sleepy clock doesn’t know that our iPhones automatically changed at 2am.

So, I am passing along some tips to help you and your child get through Daylight Savings Time. I have provided options for each type of sleeper:

Use option 1 if:

  • You have a well-rested child getting the amount of sleep that they need.
  • Your child is not sensitive to changes in their sleep schedule.
  • You think that option 2 is a bit too complicated (this is me).

Use option 2 if:

Use option 3 if:

Use option 4 if:

  • You are late to the game, but have a sensitive sleeper or an early riser

Option 1 – Jump Into the Time Change:

This one is simple, just jump right into it.  When the clock changes at 2am, go get them from bed when you normally do.  If they wake a bit early, they will at least have some down time in bed and the opportunity to go back to sleep.

Option 2- Take It Slow: 

Make the change slowly.  Move everything, and I mean everything (food, sleep, feedings) in their schedule forward by 15 min a day.  Start this 3 days in advance.  By the time the time change comes around your little one will be at the right time.

Option 3 – Take It Really Slow:

Move their schedule really slow, like a turtle. Take a day or two in between moving the schedule by 10 to 15 min. Or start 5 days in advance and move by 10 min a day.

Option 4- Do It After:

If you are just seeing this and the time change is tomorrow, but you really want to take it slowly. You can pretend that Daylight Savings happens on Wednesday or Friday and then move slowly, using option 2 or 3 to get there at a slower pace.

You’ve Got This!

I hope your child does well with the time change and well rested kids tend to do really well with it. If you feel like your child’s sleep was negatively affected by the change, just do an early bedtime or two to help out.  Just 30 min earlier can do wonders.

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Jennie is a mom of two boys, wife to a supportive husband, a Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and allergy friendly food enthusiast, living in central Florida. She spends her days navigating the wonderful highs and lows of parenthood and strives to guide her children to live a purposeful life. Jennie became certified as a Sleep Consultant through the Family Sleep Institute after having worked with one herself, for her first child. After seeing great results, Jennie decided to share her new found passion about sleep with other families to help others see the same successes that she did. When she’s not chasing the boys around, she is helping families to get the sleep that they need through a personalized sleep plan. Jennie provides the support that families need to see success in reaching their sleep goals! You can follow Jennie on her website, Facebook and Instagram for up to date information on baby, child and toddler sleep resources and tips.


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