Surviving the Spring Clock Change

I don’t think I ever really thought about Daylight Saving time in my pre-kids days. Ok, so in the fall¬†I got an extra hour of sleep, and in the spring I woke up a little “later” in order to get the sleep I wanted, but no biggie, right?

And then I had kids.

And all of a sudden, changing the clocks brought on full-blown PANIC!!!

What do I do and how do I do it and what happens and what if they don’t adjust?

Honestly, I’d be totally fine if we did away with the clock change altogether (do you really use less electricity because of it? I know I don’t!), but… it’s still here – at least for this year – so let’s just work on dissipating that panic first, how does that sound?

Which Way Do You Move?

First things first: let’s sort out how this whole time change thing is working when it comes to your child’s schedule (because I know I almost messed this up in my first newsletter as a sleep consultant and nearly had all my followers adjusting the wrong way! Gulp).

This Motzei Shabbos/Sunday morning, we will be moving the clocks forward.

So that means that what used to be a 7 am wakeup is going to magically turn into an 8 am wakeup.

So THAT means that we’re going to be moving your children’s schedule BACK. Clocks spring forward, we shove the kiddos’ schedules back.

Got it? Go back and reread if you need to, draw it out if you need to, and then when you’re with me, move on below.

Now if you’re not still panicking, and ready to get moving here are my tips for surviving the spring clock change:

Changing the Clock With Newborns

Usually, newborns’ bedtimes tend to be a moving target – based on when the last nap ends. So, while I do recommend aiming for a 7:30 pm bedtime in general for newborns, it does tend to vary. And as long as it lands somewhere between 6 and 8 pm, it gets my stamp of approval.

That makes the clock change SO MUCH EASIER when you have a newborn (the one thing that’s actually easier, right? ūüėČ).

You can pretend that it’s not happening up until Sunday afternoon. At that point, you’ll simply adjust your “aim” for bedtime to be the¬†new 6-8pm instead of the old.

Easy peasy.


Changing the Clock with your Infant or Toddler

Split the Difference.

An hour all at once can be too drastic an adjustment for some kids, but 30 minutes is a lot more manageable. By moving 30 minutes and holding it for 3 days, they can weather the change without too much upheaval.

It’s easiest to start at bedtime Motzei Shabbos (or Shabbos evening as the case may be) by bumping¬†bedtime 30 minutes earlier. Keep in mind that you’re still on winter time, so that means that bedtime is going to be at 6:30.

If your child is on a two or three nap day, be sure to wake from the last nap a half hour early so that he’ll be ready for bed at 6:30.

By Sunday morning, you’ll be on new time; that 30 minute earlier is going to look like 30 minutes “later” now (remember – we’re bumping back from 8 new time).

Wakeup time is at 7:30 Sunday Morning (if they’re still sleeping, wake no later than 8), and shove all of your naps a half hour, too – that means an old time nap of 10 should be at 10:30, but it’ll FEEL like 9:30 for your baby.

Keep at it for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

On Tuesday night, bump back that second half hour, bringing bedtime back to the regular 7, and you’re good to go!

If it’s not so clean

Sometimes, try as you may, things just seem to get a wee bit more messy.

Don’t get your sheitel in a knot – that’s okay and normal.

The best way to weather the storm is to hold your child(ren) to it with consistency. Keep doing the same thing, and give them the time and space they need to adjust.

It can take a week or so, so hang in there!

Have any questions? Comments? Success stories? Let me know in the comments below.

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Comments (3)
  1. Noga Mayerfeld

    Hi! I was so excited to see a method to deal with the clock change, but got a bit confused there. Aren’t we going to be moving the clock ahead. If so they should be put to bed a half hour later, as far as I understand. Please clarify.

    Thanks as always for your great tips!

  2. Noga Mayerfeld

    I figured it out! Thanks again looking forward to trying this out!

    • Hi Noga,

      Glad you figure it out! I almost got it the wrong way the first time I tried to figure it out, too. You kind of have to turn your brain inside-out to chap it ūüėČ

      Chaya Shifra