It’s Time to “Fall Back”: How to Prepare Your Baby for the End of Daylight Saving Time


The crisp fall weather is here to stay and so that only means one thing…Daylight Saving Time is coming to an end. It’s as if the universe knows that we have just gotten into a good routine and finally adjusting to daylight savings time, that it decides to mix it up on us again. The ending of daylight savings time means dark nights and bright mornings. For those with babies and toddlers, it might be even more of a dread. Many ask, “How do I keep my baby up an hour later?” or “How do I get by babe to not wake up now at 5am?”

I have created a few tips, a chart, and a printable to hopefully make this years’ time change a little easier.

1. Starting the Wednesday before Daylight Saving Time ends, you will gradually push your babe’s wake time, nap time, and bedtime up 10-15 minutes depending on the day.

Wednesday: Add 10 min
Thursday: Add 15 min
Friday: Add 10 min
Saturday: Add 15 min

These changes will push babe to be ready when (their normal) 7pm bedtime comes around (even if it’s really 8 p.m. adjusted). Their bodies naturally need a few days to get their internal clock adjusted to being up a little later, which is why we push the times out.

2. STAY CONSISTENT! This will pay off in big ways. If they are up at an earlier time than desired and appropriate, allow them to be if they’re safe. If your 8-month-old wakes at 5:30am, allow them to stay awake until 6am, and then keep gradually pushing that wake time each day. Just because they’re up in their cribs, doesn’t mean they have to be out of their cribs.

3. Start a few days earlier and adjust each day by 5-10 min. You can take it at a slower pace. No worries at all.

4. Keep their normal wake times. If you have a 4-month-old that is doing 1.5 hours of wake time, that won’t change. They will keep the 1.5hr wake time window. Base their first nap time on their new start of the daytime. If you waited to start the day until 6:40am (when normally you do at 6:30am), then nap time would be at 8:10am (keeping the same 1.5hr wake time) vs. their normal 8am nap time.

5. GRACE and more grace and more grace! Remember each day is a new day. Sometimes it takes 1-2 full weeks to fully get them to stay up until their “normal” bedtime. Or you have to push them a little later each morning for wake time. They will prob be exhausted come bedtime and then up too early the next day. Remember number 2. It will get better. Give yourself and your sweet babe grace during this big time of transition. 

Here is a link to print your own copy and track the time changes and transitions for your sweet babe!

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Jenna is a Pediatric ICU Registered Nurse and the owner of the infant sleep consulting company, 4 The Love of Sleep. Born and raised in Wichita, Jenna is married to her workout lovin’ husband, Dominic of 10 years and the Mama to two girls, Aynslee (6) and Arbor (4). Jenna is an advocate for early childhood literacy and enjoys a good book herself. You can find her pool side in the summertime with a yummy drink in hand.