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Fall Time Change and Your Early Riser

Written by Jen Gellis. Posted in Blog

Tot walking in leaves

On the first Sunday in November, clocks go back an hour. Before you head to bed on Saturday November 6th, turn your
clocks back one hour. So on Sunday November 2nd (at 2am precisely), your clocks will read the correct time.
This next sentence is important for those of you that have early risers. 
On Sunday November 2nd, when your early riser wakes at 5am or 5:30am, this will now be 4am or 4:30am. Yikes!
To have a smoother transition, here are some tips. 
Think about your schedule for the day including wake up times, snack and meal times, nap times and to bed times. On a
regular basis this schedule shouldn’t vary much for kids, particularly the waking up time and bed time, even on
weekends.
Remember to keep routines and sleep environments consistent - keep pre-sleep routines consistent and predictable. All
your previous efforts to create consistent sleep cues for your baby will pay off and help your little one adjust to
the time change.
Unless you have been gradually shifting your child’s sleep schedule this past week, you will be jumping ahead to the
new time on Sunday. To do this, put your child to bed at their usual bedtime according to the clock on Sunday night.
They will most likely be very tired. Wake your child at their usual time on Monday morning, according to the new time.
It will likely take your child 1-2 days to make this transition and they may a bit tired for a few days.
To help your baby wake a little later, try to hold off on “morning” time by soothing them and keeping them in their
“night” environment until you want to wake them. When it’s time to wake up at the new time, welcome them to the new
day with light and cuddles and offer them a feeding (or breakfast for older kiddos) a few minutes after they wake (if
that is your typical pattern of eating with them).
Don’t be tempted to stay up an extra hour, remember the morning will come earlier on Sunday. Get your rest!
If you prefer to shift your child’s sleep schedule more gradually, it’s not too late. Little ones who easily become
over tired may do better with this approach. You can still shift your child's sleep schedule beginning tonight and
after the time change into next week:
Beginning tonight and into next week, shift everything 10-15 minutes later each night. This includes wake up time,
eating, naps and bedtime.  After 3-6 days your child is ideally shifted an hour forward. So if they normally woke up
at 7, you’ve transitioned them to 8. This one is the most difficult shift.
        
No matter which approach you choose, your little one will be adjusted to the new time within a few days to a week and
be back to sleeping to their usual wake time. Be consistent and it will all work out.