How To Manage The Time Change Your Way

Just as there are many different ways to potty train a child, there are many ways to approach the time change. The way I do it works well for me, but it is by no means the only way to do it. In order to give you many ideas to choose from and jump-start your own ideas, I turned to Facebook readers to see how they manage the time change.


Go Cold Turkey

Katie said: Cold turkey. We’ve tried adjustments in the past but for mine it always ends up getting more messed up. It helps that it’s always right after Halloween when they’re messed up anyway. It helps even more when they’re old enough to tell time. And it helps most when you have kids that always have to be woken at DWT. 


Afton said: Cold turkey. Three kids four and under. Ive tried many different options. But it’s been a little easier just to have some grumpy kids for a day or two than to bother with doing the smaller adjustments.


Cole said: We just wing it. It’s never really been that big of a deal. It helps that my kids are early risers and are used to waiting in bed for long periods of time before I come get them in the morning. In the fall I just make them wait the extra hour I think. The spring is trickier… I think I usually just do naptime a little earlier that day.


Krysten said: Sundays are always a crazy off-schedule day because of church and family lunch. I typically find that naps and bedtimes already being off help my kids adjust.


Alena said: We just do it all at once the day it happens and we always have. I’m the only one who seems to have a problem adjusting!


Slowly–But All In One Day

Carly said: Omg I HATE the time changes! Daylight savings are literally my Friday the 13th lol. We never did it weeks in advance. We wait til the actual day and we start in the morning and adjust more and more throughout the day, catching up or falling back an hour by the first days end. (Ie allowing a nap to go half hour later, or waking up 15 minutes earlier, a little at a time until redeeming the full hour by the end of the first day) Never needed more than a day, kids always did fine.


Slow and Steady

Gloryanna said: We’ve started moving his schedule ahead by 15mins every two weeks so by the time change, we’ll be comfortably an hour ahead. It’s been great! And 15mins is nice and gradual so you’re slowly moving everything forward (desired wake time, snack time, lunch, nap, dinner, independent time, etc!) I thought it would be stressful but it hasn’t been bad at all!


Nikki said: When she was really little, we slowly shifted her bedtime over the course of a week by 15 minute increments to prep her for the time change. She was 100% adjusted 2 days prior to the time change so we got to sleep in! Now that she is 18 months, she is really tuned in to the sunrise, so she starts to stir when the sun starts to rise, so until the time change, we get to sleep in until 7:30 or 8am! Daylight savings time or not, if she does wake early, she just has crib time and calmly plays with her stuffed animals until we come up to get her.


Jess said:  We do the 15 minutes adjustment but since my son is a little more flexible, we do it every couple of days instead of a week at a time. Also limits the time with a wacky schedule which is better for this Mama!


Katie said: We do the 15 min movements every week leading up to the change, too 👆🏼


Get More Active

Ruth said: We serve Benadryl cocktails at midnight… KIDDING!  We just go with it and let them get up a little early the next morning, then keep them really active all day so that they’re worn out by bedtime and have no problem going down a little early. We put them to bed a half hour earlier than their previous time, but the clock says they’re staying up a half hour late, which they think is a big treat. Within a few days they’ve adjusted to the time change and everything is back to normal. The babies never even seem to notice the change – I just get them up and put them down by the clock and have never had a problem.



Natalie said: Move to Arizona! No DST here. 😬 Just kidding!! It does make my life easier though. 



No matter how you choose to do it, just find a way that works for you and for your family. There is no one right way for everyone to approach the time change, but there is a best way for you and your people. 


Time Change Warning

Time Change Warning!




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1 thought on “How To Manage The Time Change Your Way”

  1. Hi Valerie, my son is 20 months old and the time change really threw him off this year! I tried the same approach that I used for last year, as well as when we have traveled between time zones, but it just didn't work this time. I move his bedtime later by ten minutes every night the week before the change so that it adjusts his wake time as well. However, last week during this shift he just seemed to get even more tired. Some mornings he would sleep later but since the official end of daylight savings he has woken up exactly an hour early every day at 6:30 (so pre-time change it was 7:30). We're 4 days into this early waking thing now and he is so emotional and over-tired! Do you have any suggestions? Apart from the wake time thing, all other aspects of his schedule have shifted just fine, bedtime included. I leave him in bed until our desired wake time at 7:30. I'm just wondering–will he eventually adjust on his own or is there anything I can do to help him out so he's not so overtired? Thanks!!


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