Last updated on March 4th, 2024

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Kim West, MSW, Mom of 2, creator of The Sleep Lady Shuffle

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Daylight Saving Tips— Two Ways to Fall Back

Daylight Saving Time will end on Sunday, November 7th, 2021 in the U.S. I remember when “falling back” just meant an extra hour of sleep! When you become a parent it can mean schedules that are thrown off, your kids waking super early, and everyone feeling grumpy for several days or longer. Every child is different and the time change will affect some much more than others. It is important to know your child and what she can handle and to have a plan for how you want to deal with the time change, so here are some quick daylight saving tips to consider:

daylight saving tips

Method One: Cold Turkey

Basically, on Sunday, you will use your regular schedule but do everything according to the new clock time. I really only recommend this approach if your child is older than two and seems to have an easier time with changes/transitions.

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Admittedly, this is usually the approach I take and my children adjust relatively quickly. Maybe it’s because they are well-rested or because I stay consistent. Whatever the reason, I’m not complaining!

daylight saving tips
For a child over two who is comfortable with transitions, the “cold turkey method” is an option for falling back

Method Two: Gradual Approach

For children younger than two, or children who have a harder time with changes/transitions it’s better to make the switch gradually. On the day before the switch (Saturday) move nap times and bedtime just slightly later. Naps might be about 15 minutes later than usual and bedtime might be a half hour later than usual. Use your intuition about what your child can handle and of course, don’t let your child get too overtired and miss her sleep window.
If you think she will have a really hard time with the transition you could even start moving the times later by 10-15 minutes a night several days or a week before the change.

Need help getting ready for Daylight Saving Time?
Read:: Let’s Get Ready to Fall Back! 8 Steps to that Extra Hour of Sleep

Daylight Saving Tips for All Methods:

  • On Sunday morning, and sometimes for several days or even weeks after the change, children may wake up earlier according to the new clock time. It is very important that you are consistent about not letting your child get up and start their day before 6 am. I highly recommend blackout curtains if you don’t have them!
  • Getting fresh air and exposure to bright light first thing in the morning will help reset her internal body clock.
  • Try to do everything according to the new clock time starting Sunday. This means all meals and sleep times. If your child is exhausted, it’s okay to let her go to bed 15 minutes or so earlier than usual. Just try to make it as close as possible to the regular schedule according to the new clock.
  • Just like adults, kids may not feel like themselves for a few days or so after the change. Stay consistent according to the new clock times, keep naps a priority, and things should “Fall” into place!


Author: Kim West, MSW, Mom of 2, creator of The Sleep Lady Shuffle

My name is Kim West, and I’m the mother of two beautiful girls, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been a practicing child and family therapist for more than 21 years, and the creator of the original gentle, proven method to get a good night’s sleep for you and your child. My sleep journey began when I started experimenting with gently shaping my daughter’s sleep by not following the conventional wisdom at the time. After having success (and then more success with my second daughter!), I began helping family and friends and my step-by-step method spread like wildfire, exactly like an excellent night of sleep for a tired parent should!