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3 Ways to Adjust Toddler Sleep to Daylight Saving Time in Fall

Updated: Oct 17, 2022


Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, Baby Sleep Coach, Baby Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Parent Coach, Sleep, Overnight Waking, Toddler Sleep, Preschooler Sleep, Baby Sleep, Daylight Saving Time

It's just about time to Fall Back in 2022.


So how do you actually adjust your toddler's sleep to Daylight Saving Time?


Falling back actually presents a good opportunity to fix some common toddler sleep challenges.

Check out my suggestions for fixing toddler sleep challenges when adjusting your toddler's sleep to Daylight Saving Time.






1. Daylight Saving Time FAQ


Because Daylight Saving Time confuses the heck out of me, let's cover the basics.

When does the time change in 2022?

Fall Back 2022 - Sunday, November 6, 2022

Spring Forward 2023 - Sunday, March 12, 2023

Do we lose or gain an hour when Falling Back?

Do we lose or gain an hour when Springing Forward?

Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, Baby Sleep Coach, Baby Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Parent Coach, Sleep, Overnight Waking, Toddler Sleep, Preschooler Sleep, Baby Sleep, Daylight Saving Time

2. Gradual Changes to Daylight Saving Time


Making gradual changes is the most common way to adjust your toddler's sleep for Daylight Saving Time.


This is good way to adjust your child to daylight saving time in the fall if your child is:

  • a good sleeper

  • sensitive to time change


Making gradual changes works best for most children, even those who are sensitive to any changes with their sleep.


How To Gradually Adjust Your Toddler's Sleep for Daylight Saving Time

  1. Move your child's bedtime (and nap times) 15 minutes later

    1. every 1-3 days

    2. for the next 4-12 days

    3. If your child typically goes to bed at 8PM, when we fall back, it will feel like 8PM when it is really 7PM, therefore bedtime will initially be at 715PM, just 15 minutes later than usual. Confusing enough?

  2. Adjust more gradually if...

    1. most gradual adjustment = move bedtime 15 minutes later every 3 days, over a 12-day period

    2. medium gradual adjustment = move bedtime 15 minutes later every 2 days over an 8-day period

    3. this generally works well for toddlers or children who are more sensitive to the timing of sleep

    4. gradual adjustment to daylight saving time will prevent your toddler from being overtired the first few nights, which could lead to a restless night and early morning waking (no one wants that!).

  3. Adjust less gradually if...

    1. least gradual adjustment = move bedtime 15 minutes later every day, over a 4-day period

    2. this generally works well if your child is not as affected by the exact time he or she goes to sleep



Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, Baby Sleep Coach, Baby Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Parent Coach, Sleep, Overnight Waking, Toddler Sleep, Preschooler Sleep, Baby Sleep, Daylight Saving Time


3. Make No Adjustments for Daylight Savings Time


This is a good way to adjust to daylight savings in the fall if your child

  • has a late bedtime

  • needs more sleep

  • wakes too late in the morning


My favorite part of Daylight Saving Time in the Fall is fixing sleep problems with the time change!


There are three types of sleepers who DST actually benefits!


If you have a kiddo who meets one of these 3 criteria, you are in luck!


Check it out.


Child With a Late Bedtime


If your child has a bedtime that is later than you would like it to be, this is a great opportunity to change that.


Situation: your child goes to bed at 830PM, and you want him to go to bed at 730PM

Solution: put him to bed when he normally feels tired (730PM, which will feel like 830PM), the only adjustments you need to make are to your evening schedule so you can ensure an earlier bedtime. If you need help with this, check out my 5-day Bedtime Troubleshooting Guide.



Child Needs More Sleep


This will also work for the kiddo who needs a bit more sleep overnight.


Situation: Your child needs an hour more sleep at night, but they always wake at a specific time in the morning despite still being a bit tired

Solution: Research shows the best way to get a child to sleep longer is to get them to bed earlier. If your child goes to bed at 8PM, this is a great time to shift bedtime to 7PM. It won't feel like a time adjustment (when we fall back, 7PM will feel like 8PM to your child). The only adjustment you have will be to your evening schedule. Again, if you need help with this, check out my 5-day Bedtime Troubleshooting Guide.


Child Wakes Too Late in the Morning


Situation: You have to drag your child out of bed in the morning to get to school on time Solution: Shifting his sleep an hour earlier will give him the same amount of sleep, but also an earlier wake up time in the morning. Again, this requires an adjustment to your evening schedule, but will not require your child to adjust to the actual time change.



Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, Baby Sleep Coach, Baby Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Parent Coach, Sleep, Overnight Waking, Toddler Sleep, Preschooler Sleep, Baby Sleep, Daylight Saving Time

4. Transition to a Later Bedtime


Transition to a later bedtime is a good way to adjust your toddler to daylight savings time in the fall if your child is an

  • early morning waker


For those kiddos who already wake up super early, Daylight Saving can be a real challenge.


Before you accept 430AM (what used to be 530AM) as your new wake up time, consider these few things.


You may try transitioning to a later bedtime for your little one (feel free to ask me first!).

  • Lights off should be no later than 8pm for babies, toddlers, and preschool-aged kiddos.

  • Once you make the 1-hour gradual adjustment for the time change, go ahead and continue making your child's bedtime 15 minutes later until you find that sweet spot.


Situation: If your child goes to bed at 7PM, but wakes at 530AM, consider this.

Solution: Make the gradual change back to 7PM bedtime. Will be 615PM, then 630PM, then 645PM, then 7PM. Once you are back on track at 7PM, continue to make bedtime 15 minutes later. Move bedtime 15 minutes later every 3-4 days.


You want to do this gradually so you can give your kiddo's body time to adjust, and so you can see how it affects his sleep. It may take a few days to adjust to each new time change so give it time before calling it quits.


Keep in mind that whether you are adjusting just 1-hour for the time change or 2-hours with the goal of a later AM wake-up, it can take some time for him or her to get adjust.


Give it a few weeks for him to get settled into his new arrangements.



Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, Baby Sleep Coach, Baby Sleep Consultant, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Parent Coach, Sleep, Overnight Waking, Toddler Sleep, Preschooler Sleep, Baby Sleep, Daylight Saving Time

4. Tired Parents


As frustrating as those early morning calls are the first week or so, it's not your little one's fault that the time is changing. Its not yours either. It just is what it is.


It's okay to be frustrated about the challenges you may have for the next few weeks but remember that your kiddo didn't ask for this change. So be patient with him or her.


For example, if you were planning to make bedtime 15 min later, but your sweet little babe is struggling to keep his eyes open, then go ahead and put him to bed at what would have been his normal time and try again tomorrow.


If your kids are up at 5AM instead of their normal 6AM because of the time change, consider slowly changing your internal clock as well.


Sticking to the adjustment schedule you put your kids on will help you get the rest you need to combat those early mornings.


For example, if you are moving your kiddos bedtime up by 15 min every other day, do the same for yourself.



 

Katie Ramirez, RN, BSN, CLC

Born Happy, Owner and Coach


Born Happy, Nashville, TN, Tennessee, US, United States, Baby Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Coach, Toddler Sleep Consultant, Baby Sleep Consultant
Katie Ramirez RN, CLC

Katie Ramirez is a Registered Nurse, Certified Lactation Counselor, and Coach for parents of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. She has spent more than a decade serving patients at major university hospitals such as Vanderbilt University and Penn State University Medical Centers. Katie now spends her time supporting and empowering parents of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers as owner and coach for Born Happy.

Katie is the proud mother of two beautiful children, Roberto (age 9), and Veronica (age 7). She has a passion for health, wellness, and happy children, and believes that, with the necessary knowledge and support, all parents can live happy.

 

Empowering and Supporting Parents of Babies and Toddlers


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I specialize in baby and toddler/preschooler

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