How do I handle "Fall Back"?
Let's jump straight to the point! If you're a parent of a baby or young child, you probably despise Daylight Savings Time as much as I do, especially "Fall Back."
"I'm fine with my baby waking an hour earlier in the morning," said no parent ever!!!!
Follow these 4 steps to move through the time change as easily as possible and get your kiddo back on track!
Do NOTHING until Sunday: Many families like to prepare ahead of time, but the uncertainty that surrounds shifting schedules prematurely can be anxiety provoking. For this reason, I don't recommend changing anything until Sunday morning when the time changes.
Split the difference for 3 days: If your little one usually takes a nap at 10:00am, lay them down at 9:30am on Sunday. This will feel like 10:30am on their body, so it may be a bit of a stretch, but will be infinitely easier than if you tried to keep them awake until 10:00 (which would feel like 11:00am on their body). Do the same for their afternoon nap(s). If your little one usually naps at 3:00pm, but them down at 2:30pm for a few days (which will feel like 3:30), to allow their bodies to adjust. And again, we'll follow the same rules at bedtime. If bedtime is usually 8:00pm, you'll put your child down at 7:30 (which will feel like 8:30) on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. *If you are on a schedule that follow wake windows instead of by the clock, you should be able to follow your wake windows for the day, after you make the morning adjustment.
On Wednesday go back to normal. To get back on track, you'll start with the first nap of the day on Wednesday and push it back to whatever time it was pre-time change. Naps and bedtime will go back to whatever they were prior to Sunday, and you won't have to worry about messing with it again until Spring 2022!
Be patient and stay consistent. It takes the body about a week to adjust to changes in sleep schedules, so so be patient with your little one (and yourself!) as their body regulates. If you're dealing with an early riser as a result of the time change and you're not about that 5am life, make sure to hold firm to expectations and keep things are dark as possible until your desired wake time. If you get stuck, reach out! You are not alone!