Time Change This Weekend Are You Worried about Fall Back?

| November 1, 2013 | 3 Comments


Parents have been asking us about how to manage the time change for months now. Well it is finally here. Sunday, November 3 marks the end of Daylight Savings Time for most of North America. For parents of young children, this time change is dreaded as it can result in early waking or a disrupted schedule. Here are some tips to smooth the transition. Use one or a combination of these methods and your child’s sleep schedule should be back on track in a few days to a week.

Tip 1 – Cold Turkey: When the time changes, switch to the new time right away. Also switch meals, activities, and naps to the new time. Wake up times may be a bit off for a few days but they will adjust. If your child is fairly easy going, adjustment should be quick and painless with this method. Exposing your child to bright lights or daylight in the morning after the ‘new’ 6am will help naturally set your child’s body clock.

Tip 2 – Work Up To It: This is helpful for children that may be more sensitive to being overtired, to changes in schedules, or who tend to wake up early. Start 4 days before the time change by moving bedtime and wake up time 15 minutes later each day. You can take an even slower approach if you want to. At the new wake up time, make a big deal about morning, turning the lights on and exposing your child to the out-door light as much as possible. If your child is already waking up before 6am, this method can help avoid extremely early bedtimes. You can also try holding off on the morning feed and exposure to the light for an additional 15 minutes each day in the morning.

Tip 3 – Fix It After: Wait until the day of the time change and adjust the child’s schedule over the following days. This method is good for children that tend to get over-tired, however it can make for some early mornings and can take longer. Most children will naturally adjust to the new time within a week.

Photo credit: H is for Home / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

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Category: Family

About the Author ()

Andrea is a Certified Gentle Sleep Coach, Child Sleep Consultant and Postpartum Doula. She has extensive training and in her 8 years of practice has helped over 2000 children and their families get better sleep. Andrea and her team work with families throughout Canada and the US providing individual consultations, workshops and in-home support for families with children infant to 6 years old.

Comments (3)

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  1. Victoria Ess says:

    Thanks for the reminder! I wasn’t worried about it, as I completely forgot!

  2. Andrea Strang says:

    Victoria, Thanks for the comment. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  3. kathy downey says:

    It seems the older i get the faster time is going some clocks I dont ever change lol

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