It's time to fall back: How to prepare your baby's schedule for the end of daylight saving
It’s that time of the year again – it’s getting darker and colder outside in the mornings AND our clocks will be falling back one hour soon (TIP: Remember Fall = FALL clocks back an hour, Spring = SPRING clocks forward an hour).
Does your baby normally wake up at 6:30 a.m., and you are dreading that 5:30 a.m. wakeup call on Sunday morning? Here’s what you can do now to help prepare the time change.
Starting tomorrow, you can do one of two things:
OPTION 1 - THE PROACTIVE APPROACH
If your baby normally wakes at 6:30 a.m., do your best to leave them in their crib to 6:45 a.m. Why? Crib time is still down time, and the moment you take your baby out of their crib and room it sends strong signals to the brain that it’s time to start the day.
Push your baby’s first nap (or if they are taking one nap then just that nap) out by 15 minutes. So, if your baby normally goes down for their nap at 9am, push their nap as close to 9:15 a.m. as possible. Adjust the day accordingly by shifting everything out by 15 minutes including bedtime. Will they be overtired? Possibly…but in this situation the benefit outweighs the risk.
Stick with this “newly” 15-minute adjusted schedule for 2 – 3 days, then shift your babe out another 15 minutes. You will continue to shift baby’s schedule by 15 minutes every few days until you get to the wake-up time that you desire.
OPTION 2 - THE LAID BACK APPROACH
Don’t do anything until Sunday and split the difference. For example, if your baby typically wakes at 6:30 a.m. you would get up on Sunday and wait to get your baby until 6:00 a.m. (previously 7:00 a.m.).
From there you will go about your day like normal, but you will be 30 min behind your schedule which is ok. Bedtime will be 30 minutes earlier than normal. So, if your baby usually goes to bed at 7:00 p.m., they will go to bed at 6:30 p.m. the day of the time change which will feel like 7:30 p.m. to them
The next day do your best to not go to them until their normal 6:30 a.m. wake up and get their nap as close to their normal time as possible and you will be back on track.
What option do I typically follow? I follow option 2 – I just go with the flow and shift schedule beginning the day of the time change. What’s the worst thing that can happen? Your baby may be a little grumpy for a few days, take shorter naps than usual, but they will adjust. Happy sleeping!
Do you need more help with your baby's sleep? If so, email me to schedule a FREE 30 minute discovery call so we can discuss how to work together and get everyone better sleep.