It’s that time of year again. Our email accounts are swamped with questions about the time change. Parents are tagging us in sleep posts about the time change. It’s the dreaded “fall-back” which means your child(ren) MAY wake up one hour earlier this Sunday morning. If you are reading this blog it’s a little too late to begin a SLOW transition of time shifting prior to Sunday morning (which isn’t always effective for many children anyways!) so here is our recommendation: drink wine (or your fav beverage), turn the monitor off, and hope they don’t wake you first! Haha, just kidding. In all seriousness, here is our REAL recommendation. If your child is NOT sensitive to the time change, do nothing. If your child is waking around 7 a.m. and going to bed at 7 p.m., this mean your child is now waking at 6 a.m. The day the clock changes, it will read “6 a.m.,” but it is no different than the day before. You will stick to your usual schedule and put your child(ren) to bed when the clock says 7 p.m. that night. If they are a little cranky then bump up bedtime.
If your child(ren) are time sensitive, then you may want to go with this option: stick to the regular schedule leading up to the time change and – once the day of the time change has passed – alter the schedule by 15 – 30 mins every few days as much as your child can handle. Sunday morning you can push the first wake window out (morning wake-up to first nap will have the most amount of sleep pressure) but I wouldn’t suggest more than 30 minutes. The first night, you may only get to a 6:00 p.m. bedtime, but over the next week they will get back on track to their regular schedule of “7pm – 7am”← if that’s your schedule.
Unfortunately, for those early wakers (before 6am) this is a crappy time change but typically within a week most children get back to their regular schedule. With proper sleep science and strategic shifting, you too can have a child who sleeps until 6am or later!