Five Sleep Tips to Help Your Child Adjust to the Fall Time Change


What could you do with an extra hour? Before kids it meant you could stay out an hour later on Saturday night or snuggle in your bed for an extra hour on Sunday morning.

 If you are a tired and exhausted parent, you love the thought of an extra hour of sleep.  But, what is your little darling going to do with their extra hour? You can’t change the time on your child’s body clock. I am sad to tell you that your little one will probably wake up an hour earlier on November 5!

Is there a way to prevent your child waking too early  with the time change ?



It may help to prepare in advance for that fall time change of turning the clock back an hour.

Five Tips to Prepare for the time change :

1.) Try moving your child’s schedule later by about 15 minutes every couple of days. You can help your child’s body clock adjust slowly over a week.
2.) Use black out blinds or shades in their bedroom to help adjust the bedtimes. Open the blinds and turn on the lights at the designated wake up time.
3.) Move their day activities 15 minutes later every three days.
4.) Keep the lights bright in your house 15 minutes later in the evening to help delay that bedtime. You can start dimming those lights about 30 minutes before bedtime.
5.) Every three days move the entire schedule back another 15 minutes.

For a bedtime of 7 PM and wake time of 7 AM the schedule would look like this:

October 27, 28, 29 : wake time is 7:15 AM and bedtime is 7:15 PM
October 30, 31, November 1 : wake time is 7:30 AM and bedtime is 7:30 PM
November 2, 3, 4 : wake time is 7:45 AM and bedtime is 7:45 PM

The reward of your hard work all week is that your child is in bed at that new time change on the night of November 4 and you have your extra hour to celebrate or sleep – your choice!

November 5: wake time is 7 AM (due to time change) and bedtime is 7 PM

If you prefer, you could follow this same type of adjustment schedule after the time change instead of prior. You would still make 15 minute adjustments to your child’s schedule every three days.

If your child does not have a daily schedule of wake time and bed time, the fall time change can be extra difficult. If a child is sleep-deprived their body clock is already confused and navigating a time change can make sleep even more difficult. Contact me for help to get your child on a good sleep schedule.

Use the time-change to make a new start with an early and consistent bedtime for your child each night.

If your baby wakes before 6 AM, try to  delay getting your baby up until 6 AM. This will prevent making an early morning wake up habit.

Using a toddler wake up clock can be beneficial for your toddler to know when it is OK to get out of bed. You will be able to set your own “OK to Wake” time.

Enjoy your extra hour and the activities of fall time with your child.

Helping Babies Sleep



Arlene Fryling

Arlene is a registered nurse and certified sleep consultant for children 0-5 years. She has cared for premature, sick, and many healthy babies. For over 15 years she has taught expectant parents how to care for their newborns through classes teaching basic baby care, infant massage classes, and moderating support groups for new moms as they deal with parenting issues.

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