The time change with an older child is a lot easier than it is with a baby. Your baby's first time change will be the hardest, and the Fall time change is much harder than the Spring time change. If you are approaching your first time change or a time change with a baby younger than 12 months, be aware that it will be harder now than it is in the future.
For my kids this fall, our transition has been really easy. This is what I have done:
- In the morning, they naturally were waking up at their normal time. I slowly pushed back the time I got them up. They are old enough that they will sit and entertain themselves in their beds until I get them (Brayden is close to 3.5 and Kaitlyn is 18 months). 1.5 weeks before the time change, we are 45 minutes past our normal waketime.
- After that, I pretty much keep the schedule the same. There have been a couple of days this week Kaitlyn has gotten down for her morning nap 15 minutes later than normal simply because we have to get our normal things in the morning. Bedtime stays the same, afternoon naps stay the same, etc. Once the time change actually happens (or perhaps as it gets closer), I will change the other items all at once.
Older children are much more flexible than babies, so you can change things more at your convenience. I want them sleeping until the right time at the time change, but I don't mind working with lunch, dinner, naps, and bedtime after the time change.
Take note that while Kaitlyn is this flexible at 18 months, Brayden wasn't. He was more flexible than he was as a baby, but not this flexible. Do what works for your individual child and family.