How to Survive the Fall Back Time Change

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It is the SPOOKIEST time of the year! No, I don’t mean Halloween. It is the fall back time change! I don’t know a single parent that enjoys daylight savings time ending but it’s happening and I’m here to help you through it!

You have a few options for how to handle it. Either plan ahead or do nothing until the time change occurs. And both options are good options! It is all about what works best for you and your family.

Option 1: Do nothing until fall back occurs and jump right into the new time, just as you would if you were traveling to a new time zone. This is the best option if you have a younger baby and are still on awake windows with 2 or more naps a day.

You will simply jump right into the new time. Keep those awake windows that you were already utilizing. You may need to wake them up earlier in the morning (painful, I know!) or wake them up earlier from a nap (or let them sleep longer than usually depending on how your schedule falls). Try to keep their bedtime in the same range that it was before the time change.

Option 2: Do nothing until the time change occurs and “split the difference.” This is best for toddlers and older children who are on one nap a day or no naps at all. This is the method that I will be personally using with my children.

You are going to shift their schedule by a half hour (aka splitting the difference of the time change). If your child typically naps at 1pm, you will have them nap at 12:30pm. This will feel like 1:30pm to their body. If they typically go to bed at 7:30pm, you will move bedtime to 7pm. Again, this will feel like 8pm to their body. Keep this shifted schedule for 3-5 days and then adjust back to their typical schedule.

This can also be a great strategy for teens and adults!

Option 3: Plan ahead and make incremental changes before the time change occurs. If you are extra anxious about the time change and have the time to plan ahead, you can start making small, incremental changes the week before OR you can do this method after the time change as well.

Start by adjusting your little one’s schedule by 15 minutes later. If your child typically takes a nap at 12pm, move it to 12:15pm. Make a 15 minute change every 2-3 days until you are shifted an hour ahead. Then, when the time change occurs, you are back to your original schedule.

BONUS TIP: Make sure your child’s room is dark! The sun is going to be coming up earlier and we don’t want that to cause any early wakings. If you need room darkening shades, these are my favorite:

Last, but not least, have patience. It takes ALL of us about 2 weeks to adjust to the new time change. It probably won’t be perfectly smooth but everyone will adjust and get back to their schedules. But, if the time change is the least of your troubles with your child’s sleep, we are here to help! You can schedule a free 15 minute discovery call to learn more about how we can support you at or you can email me at

Sleep Philosophy
My sleep philosophy is that all children (and mommas!) need restful sleep, and so my goal is to help children learn independent sleep skills so that they can fall asleep on their own and stay asleep through the night. I will help develop a customized sleep plan that aligns with the family’s wishes.