Daylight Savings – Falling Back

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November 3rd is the day we set our clocks back.  

For parents, that means mornings will get even earlier, nap schedules will get out of whack, and more.  For kids whose schedules are not yet consistent, it’s even tougher. 

Here my recommendations to successfully
move back the body clock

Don’t touch the clocks until Sunday morning

You don’t want to go into the first morning of the new time already worried about the difference and when your child is going to wake up.  Set yourself up for success! Sunday morning have your coffee, enjoy a nice breakfast, then make your way around the house and switch the times.  If you can, try waiting to turn on your phones until you’ve done this step.  Don’t commit to any big plans that might interfere with this delay in the change.

Keep it business as usual

For your child with special needs, they might be a bit more sensitive to the clock change.  In that case, make sure that you’re keeping to your usual daytime routines.  They need that predictability when their body is going through time change.

Next, for the schedule itself you’re going to split the difference between the hour change

For non-nappers

On Sunday night, move your child’s usual bedtime up by 30 minutes.  So, if your child goes to bed at 7:00pm usually, adjust it to 6:30pm for 3 nights (it will feel like 7:30 for your child). Then, go back to usual bedtime on Night 4 (Wednesday).

For nappers, 1 year and older

Move naps and bedtime up by 30 minutes (see above).  On the 4th night, move bedtime back to the usual clock time.  On the 5th day (Thursday), move naps back to their usual time.

For babies, 1 year and younger

This is a bit trickier because some babies at this point don’t have a very set schedule quite yet, and that’s okay! Starting Sunday night, put baby down one hour earlier than the usual clock time (remember, it will still be their usual time).  Then, each night after that put them down 15 minutes later until they are back to their usual bedtime.  So, if your baby has a 7:30pm bedtime (more or less), you will put them to bed at 6:30pm Sunday, 6:45 Monday, 7:00 Tuesday, etc. until they are back to 7:30pm by Night 4.  This process can be followed for naps as well, but don’t ignore baby’s sleepy signs either.

Now, keep in mind: this still might take your child up to a week to adjust.  And, that is okay!  Be patient, be consistent, and rock it!

Melissa Doman is a sleep consultant for kids with special needs. If your child struggles to sleep well, book a discovery call to learn how Melissa can help your family.