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  • Writer's pictureJulia Lagman

Adjusting Baby's Sleep after Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings Time in Canada ends on Nov 6, 2022 at 2:00am. During the fall time change, clocks will fall back by one hour, making bedtimes and mornings wake times earlier. How should you approach the time change? Here are several options:

1. Adjust gradually: For about a week leading up to the time change, you could make bedtime approximately 10 minutes later. If your child, for example, goes to bed at 8pm, you would move bedtime later in small increments until you reach a 9pm bedtime. When the clocks fall back, you’re back to your regular 8pm bedtime on the new time. You could also adjust partially before the time change (for example, 30 minutes) and continue the rest of the adjustment afterward. This option works well if your schedule doesn't allow you to move this a full hour later prior to the time change. If you don’t want to, or aren’t able to, make any adjustments in advance, you can take this gradual approach after the time change occurs.

In the mornings, you want to encourage your child to stay in bed a little longer as well. You can do this by keeping the lights low and engaging in something restful for a few extra minutes each day, until they begin sleeping in a little later.

2. Adjust quickly: If your child adapts to a sudden change in bedtime fairly well, treat the time change like a fun, late night and stay up an hour later. See if your child will sleep in a little the next day. Adjust the feeding and nap times during the following day as well, until you get to bedtime on the new time. You may need to make adjustments over the following days as well.

3. Do nothing: This is a totally feasible option, particularly if you find that your child is going to bed or sleeping in later than you’d like. The time change will automatically bring their bedtime and morning wake times an hour earlier.

If you’re changing to the new time, remember that your whole day is shifting, not just bedtime and wake times. You’ll want to adjust your meal/snack times and nap times as well, moving them closer to the new time.

As a parent, the time change will be easier on you if you can do a few things for yourself:

  1. Head to be early: Do this the night of the time change in case your child wakes up early the next morning. You may want to head to bed early for a week or so to help you feel more rested during the adjustment.

  2. Plan for a low-key, restful day after the time change, since your child might wake up early. Keep lights low and do some quiet cuddling or a restful activity in the morning when everyone first wakes up.

  3. Plan for a daytime nap for yourself if you can during the day following the time change (and any day that you need it, really!)

  4. Try to eat energizing whole foods and avoid refined sugars if you can. Smoothies are a great way to pack in nutrients on the go!

  5. If you’re going to have coffee to wake you up in the morning (go ahead!), make sure that you avoid caffeine in the evening so you can sleep.

  6. Turn off screens an hour before bedtime and have some relaxing time before bed to help you fall asleep (reading, meditating, journaling, bath, audio sleep story etc.)

It may take 1-2 weeks to feel fully adjusted to the new time after the time change occurs, so be patient. You’ve got this! 🙌🏼

Photo: William Fortunato

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