- Put your child to sleep at his normal bedtime on Saturday night. (If you are doing any dream or wean feeds, keep them exactly at the same time as you normally do them.)
- Before you go to bed, turn clocks back 1 hour (Your electronics will do this automatically at 2 am).
- Your child will likely wake up a bit earlier by the new clock than he normally does, say at 5:30 AM (which still feels to him like 6:30 AM). Psychologically, it can be painful to see 5:30 AM on your clock and deal with a child who's bright, perky and probably hungry. Go ahead and get him up if he is awake and offer a feed. You can try giving him some quiet activities to play with if you're not quite ready to start the day yourself, but unfortunately, there's not a lot you can do about his energy level on this first morning after the time change.
- For naps, stretch him as far as you can toward his normal first nap time (according to the current clock). In other words, if your child wakes an hour earlier than usual, his body will want to nap an hour earlier, too. Don't let him! Instead, do whatever it takes to keep him awake. Give him a bath or do the Hokey Pokey around the house to keep him up as close to his normal first nap time as possible, then stretch as far as you can toward the next usual nap time according to the current clock, then do the same for a third nap if you have one, then bedtime. Don't let him nap longer than usual for any of his naps, as doing so may continue to cause early morning wakings. (If you need to offer some extra feeds due to the schedule shift and hunger coming potentially during a nap, feel free to “top off” feed prior to the nap).
"Falling back" is the time change you loved before becoming a parent because you got an extra hour of sleep, but that you now dread because your little one may wake even earlier than usual! Here are our tips to ensure that the transition goes as smoothly as possible.
Guest blog post written by Jill and Jen. With over 40 years of combined experience, they’ve guided over 500,000 children to a full night’s sleep.