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Fixing Your Schedule After the Time Change

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Cara Dumaplin

Mom holding baby after daylight savings fall back

Oh no! Daylight savings has ended, and now, your baby is waking early. Don't worry; you aren’t doomed to early mornings for the entire winter. Let’s talk about how to adjust your schedule after the time change! 

Here’s what you're going to do:  

For the next two days, we want to slowly expand each wake window by 5-15 minutes. Help your baby go just a few extra minutes before you put him down for a nap. Now, we’re not trying to push your baby past his limit. We know that overtired babies can actually have a harder time with both napping and sleeping at night, so let’s just focus on trying to add an extra 5-15 minutes to each wake window as your baby tolerates.

Let’s look at an example:

This baby normally has 3-3.5 hour wake windows. For the next two days, we’re going to aim for wake windows between 3 hours 10 minutes and 3 hours 40 minutes. That’s just an extra 10 minutes of awake time before each nap. For most babies on two naps that extra 10 minutes won’t result in an overtired baby.

"Typical" Schedule Monday (after the time change) Tuesday Wednesday (resume normal schedule)
Wake 6:30 am 5:30 am 6:00 am 6:30 am
Wake Window 3 hours 3 hours 10 minutes 3 hours 10 minutes 3 hours
Nap 1 9:30–11:00 am 8:40–10:10 am 9:10–10:40 am 9:30–11:00 am
Wake Window 3 hours 3 hours 10 minutes 3 hours 10 minutes 3 hours
Nap 2 2:00–3:30 pm 1:20–2:50 pm 1:50–3:20 pm 2:00–3:30 pm
Wake Window 3.5 hours 3 hours 40 minutes 3 hours 40 minutes 3.5 hours
Bedtime 7:00 pm 6:30 pm 7:00 pm 7:00 pm

 

Do you see how each wake window is just slightly longer than normal? This helps us to gradually work towards a later bedtime.

Expert tip: If the second day, your baby is exhausted and ready for bed at 6:30pm (when bedtime is typically 7:00pm), that’s okay! Go ahead and put your baby to bed. She will likely sleep later than if you push her to be overtired. Continue to add just a few minutes to each wake window until you get back to your normal schedule.

You can do this! Even after the time change, we CAN get your schedule back on track.

Are you looking for more specifics? Check out my four best tips for adjusting to the time change on this blog. I know that they will be so helpful.

Has it been weeks since the time change and you are still experiencing early mornings? This option can help, but I also want you to read my blog on Culprits for Early Morning Wakings. Let’s make sure that you’re set up for success in those early mornings.

If sleep is always hard, you don’t have to struggle alone. I’ve got classes that can help. If you’ve taken one of my classes, you can purchase a phone consult and one of the certified sleep consultants on my team would be happy to help you.

 

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