Surviving Daylight Savings: Two Tactics to “Fall Back” with Ease


daylight savings with childrenWho doesn’t love an extra hour of sleep over the weekend? “Falling back” at the end of Daylight Savings Time is a gift… for those without small children. Daylight Savings with children is a different story: you may be dreading Sunday, November 1st, 2020.

Fear not! I’ve got you covered. Read on for surviving Daylight Savings with children!

Is your child a great sleeper and fairly adaptable to schedule changes? 

Congratulations! You’re lucky. You may even have a unicorn baby! The end of Daylight Savings Time should be a fairly simple transition for you. On Sunday, November 1st, follow the clock (new time) and put your child down for naps according to the clock. While you may have some minor hiccups during the first couple of days of the time change, your child should adapt quickly and you won’t be so resentful toward those who luxuriated in that extra hour of sleep.

Is your child sensitive to small changes in her schedule or is she less adaptable?

If so, you may need to do some prep work. With the end of Daylight Savings Time, your child will be going to bed one hour “later” than her body is used to. One way to ease your child into the transition is to adjust her schedule by pushing nap time and bedtime 15 minutes every other night starting one week before the actual time change. Here is how it will look, assuming a bedtime of 7 p.m.:

  • Sunday and Monday: bedtime at 7:15 p.m.
  • Tuesday and Wednesday: bedtime at 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday and Friday: bedtime at 7:45 p.m.
  • Saturday: bedtime at 8 p.m.
  • Sunday: NEW TIME: bedtime at 7 p.m., according to the clock

Similarly, you will move wake-up time and nap times by 15 minutes each day. So if your child is waking at 7 a.m., don’t begin the day until 7:15 on days one and two. If your child takes two naps and naps at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., move the nap times to begin at 9:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. on days one and two, and continue pushing them back 15 minutes each for the rest of the week.

Be sure to get your kiddo out in the sunshine during the day, as this will help her circadian rhythms adjust more quickly to the “new” time. Also, remember that the sun will be rising earlier, which means it’s important to double check that your child’s room is DARK to avoid an early wake-up. 

Daylight Savings with children can be a little rough. Someday, when your children are older, you’ll enjoy that extra hour of sleep again. For now, enjoy an extra cup of coffee!