Tips for Surviving Daylight Savings Time with Kids


We are so excited to feature Brooke Nalle from Sleepy on Hudson, a pediatric sleep consultant with training in child development and sleep science. Many parents are anxious about Daylight Savings Time and the effect it can have on their child's sleep, and Brooke is here to help us ease into the transition with her top survival tips. 

Daylight Savings Tips from Sleepy on Hudson

If you didn’t have young kids, then you would likely love the idea of sleeping for an additional hour. However, you do – and on Sunday November 5th, your happy and awake guy at 6AM is now your happy and awake guy at 5AM! If you are dealing with a cranky baby who is accustomed to an 8:30AM nap and it is only 7:30AM because of the time change, what do you do?

Believe me, I get it. If you are reading this, you are probably already compiling a list of worst case scenarios and questions. I will do my best to address them! Here are my favorite tips for surviving Daylight Savings Time with kids. 

 First, remember that you have options. Here are three ways to address the time change:

1.  If you want, you can be proactive and begin moving towards the new time about 3-5 days before it takes place. The goal here is to move the old 7PM bedtime towards 8PM because by the 5th of November, the 7PM new time will be the ‘right’ bedtime. I know this sounds tricky, but here’s how to do it: every day, shift each nap, feeding, and bedtime 15 minutes later. After a few days, you will be close to the new time and be more prepared for the change.

2.  You can be reactive and start fresh on the Sunday morning new time. Even though your happy baby began his day at 5AM (new time) and is begging for a nap at 7AM (new time), try to hold him off until about 7:15. The next day, try to hold him off until 7:30, and within a few days, you will be back on track. Remember, you have to shift everything, not just naps – this includes feedings and routines, too.

3.  You can simply dive into the new schedule. This is what we have always done at our house. I start the day on the new time knowing that everyone will be cranky due to the earlier wake up. I do try to stay on schedule and “act” on the new time. This means that we have lunch at noon, even though at 11AM, kids are getting cranky and hungry. I find that this “jump in and swim” method helps us all adjust the fastest. 

Do you still have questions? Be sure to join us for a Tuesday Takeover on @TheOllieWorld Instagram this Tuesday October 24th at 8:30AM PST, where I will answer more of your questions about Daylight Savings Time with kids. 

Take comfort that this is the time of year when our bodies do tend to sleep more, and the morning and early evening darkness reinforce our biological need for sleep. You might begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel and some later wake ups for your little ones! 

Good luck, mamas!

About The Author:

Brooke Nalle, MS Ed. Bank Street College of Education, is the owner and founder of Sleepy on Hudson, a pediatric sleep consultancy that specializes in developmentally appropriate sleep solutions that support a child's individual temperament and a family's parenting style. For the past 8 years, she has been helping babies, toddlers, and their parents get better nights and naps. She lives in Dobbs Ferry, NY with her husband and three children.