"Ask Me Anything" about Daylight Savings: Fall Back And Your Baby’s Sleep with Dr. Natalie Barnett

Melanie Nanit Team
edited November 2021 in Routines

The AMA will begin on November 4th and end on November 5th at 11:59 PM ET.

Ask Dr. Natalie Barnett Anything about preparing your babies and toddlers to fall back.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Identify the type of child you have. How do they adapt when they miss a nap or bedtime is too late? If they turn into a hot mess when sleep is off start 5 days before the time change. If they are very adaptable and don’t seem to skip a beat on an off-sleep day start 2 days before.
  • Start the shift slowly. 5 days before daylight savings, start shifting your child’s nap & bedtime schedule later by 10 minutes every day. Adjust mealtime as well!
  • Adopt the new clock immediately. As soon as the clock officially falls back we need to work off the new clock right away. Don’t make the mistake of calculating what bedtime or nap time would have been yesterday.
  • Use black-out shades. As the light creeps in earlier in the morning this is an important step to help minimize early rising.
  • Set awake for the day no earlier than 6:30 AM. Wait to get your baby until 6:30 AM the day of the time change and each day after

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  • Melanie
    Melanie Nanit Team

    The AMA is now live! You can ask @Natalie_Barnett_PhD your questions about daylight savings and baby sleep through tomorrow November, 5th at 11:59 PM ET.

  • Hello!

    I have a 6m baby girl. We are struggling with sleep right now anyway (pretty sure she’s trying to cut some teeth) so I’m really not looking forward to time change.

    We put her to bed for the night by 6:30pm and she is ALWAYS up at 3am. She’s usually happy and awake but awake none-the-less. I usually give her a pacifier after she’s talked to herself a while and she goes back to sleep and is up for the day by 5:30am.

    First: how do I adjust for time change since we are already struggling?

    Secondly: how do I get her through this phase and back to sleeping all the way through the night?!


  • Etran
    Etran Member
    edited November 2021

    Hi I have a baby boy who just turned 3 months. I’m pretty sure he’s going through a sleep regression as prior to this he was napping really well for 1-2.5 hours each time and now it’s about 30 mins or less. That said, he gets super tired towards the evening and now has a bed time of 5-530pm 😩. How do I adjust for sleep regression and time change at same time?? And do I keep trying to keep him up until his 630 bed time? Not sure if he will stay awake. We also usually do a dream feed around 10-1030pm and that will take him to his morning start around 6am.

  • Usually put our daughter down between 7:30-8, she usually wakes up early like 5:30, will usually go back to sleep till 6:30

    i was planning on extending her wake windows Friday and Saturday by 10 min before we fall back?? Worried about her waking up at 4:30am ready for the day

  • Why the recommendation not to respond until 630am?

    We have an early riser (5-530a), but that works for us and allows quality time together each day because our baby is ready to start bedtime routine around 515pm and asleep by 6pm.

    So is 630am a general suggestion or is it based on a schedule that optimizes sleep?

  • My 5.5 month goes to bed around 7-7:30 (sometimes is a struggle to make it to then) but is usually up by 5:30 (if we are lucky). She does wake for a feed once at night. I try to wait getting her until 6 but she starts crying. Naps are only 35 mins if we are lucky. Not sure how to adjust to the time change if I already struggle to keep her up at wake windows and up until bed time. Helppppp!

  • Similar to the above, my son is a early riser and I’m worried about this change. He’s between a two nap and three nap schedule right now. Two nap days he naps at 9 and 130 and is in bed by 630. Three nap days he naps at 9, 1 and 430, and he’s in bed by 730. No matter what we do he wakes at 530 almost on the dot. I never go in and feed him until 6am. I have tried leaving him to 630 for a week and he just cries. He never adjusts to a later wake time. When I feee him at 6 most of the time I get him to fall back asleep until 7, but some days feeding doesn’t work and he is up for the day. How do I approach his adjustment? I’m worried he will start waking at 430. Ideally I would have him waking for the day at 630.

  • Hello,

    My daughter is 9 month and half. Recently, she starts wake up earlier in the morning like around 5-5:30 (she used to wake up around 6-6:30 am). Her naps are also relatively irregular/shorter than before; now is 1.5-2 hrs total vs 2.5 hrs total a week ago. I wonder if that because she reaches a milestone? She loves to practice standing during playtime as well as in the crib. So how do we adjust with that and now that Day light saving times approaches?

    Thank you!

  • Hello,

    Our 16 month old wakes up between 6-6:30am. During the weekday he has to be up by 6:30am in order to get ready for daycare. Is there any way to get ready for daylight savings when we're on a schedule?

    Thank you

  • Hello!

    My daughter is 6mo. She still takes 3-4 30min naps during the day but I don’t let her take any naps past 5:30pm, so 7pm bedtime isn’t disrupted. I wonder if I should allow her to nap past 5:30pm on the days prior while doing stretching the bedtime by 10min increments each day? Sometimes I have to shift bedtime a little earlier (around 6:40pm) if she woke up from her last nap between 4pm and 4:30pm as she gets too cranky because she’s exhausted.

  • Hi Dr. Barnett! I'm super nervous about daylight savings because our 16-month-old has been waking earlier and earlier lately. Ever since he was sick a month ago, his schedule has been off by about an hour. He wakes between 5-6am most days...some days even 4:45am. We miss the 6:30-7am wake-ups!

    We make sure his sleep environment is optimal (black-out curtains, white noise machine, nothing in crib; he falls asleep on his own). Shifting his bedtime later doesn't seem to help him wake later; instead he just sleeps less. Does it really work if we wait to get him at our desired wake time? How many days does this usually take for a child to adjust? He starts calling for mama and dada soon after he wakes, and slowly gets louder and crankier. I usually wait 15 minutes but gets him then if he doesn't go back down...

    A typical day right now: 5:30am wake, nap starts 12:15-12:45pm until 2:30-3:15pm at daycare (he naps less at home on weekends), 6:45-7pm in bed.

  • Hello! We have a 6.5 month old who is transitioning from a 3 nap to a 2 nap schedule. She currently goes to bed around 6:30pm and wakes around 5:00am. She sleeps great through the night but I’d love for her to wake up closer to 6:30a. I am daunted by trying to accomplish this with DLS coming up. She naps around 9am, 1pm, and 3pm for a total of approximately 2- 2 1/2 hours of day sleep and about 11hrs of night sleep. We’re still trying to figure out 2 naps, but when we do it’s around 9am and 2pm for the naps. Any suggestions with how to navigate this?

  • Hello, we have a 15 month old who goes to sleep around 9-9:30 and wakes up between 7-7:30 (10hours) She takes a 1:30-2 hour nap during the day and still wakes up about once every night.

    My question is regarding bedtime.

    Around 7-730 PM she shows signs of sleepiness, rubbing her eyes, yawning, etc. but fights it for about 2 more hours. I’ve gotten her to sleep around 7:30 pm before but she either slept for 30 minutes and went back to sleep around 11pm OR woke up at 3am and was up for about an hour before she went back to sleep. Ideally i would like her to sleep around 8-8:30pm instead.

    I feel like 9-9:30pm is a little late for a 1 year old to go to bed but i’m scared to mess with her bedtime and nap schedule. 😬

    Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you

  • Hi,

    I have a 7 month old who will only nap between 22-32 mins at a time. He is sleep trained and sleeps fine through the night, but during his naps he wakes himself up and even if we let him cry it out he won’t go back to sleep. How can we help him connect his cycles?

  • What do you suggest when you have 2 kids that have 2 different bedtimes. One who doesn't adapt well and one who does?

    My 7 month old adapts pretty well to changes in her sleep schedule, bedtime routine starts at 630pm, asleep by 7, wakes 1x at night to feed and is up between 530 and 630am. Naps are fluid so that will be easier to adapt too.

    My 4yr old is a huge struggle. Bedtime routine starts at 700pm, but she doesn't fall asleep till 9🤦‍♀️or sometime later. I think she just comes home with too much energy from school. She sleeps through the night but us up at 5am!!! I know she's not getting enough sleep but nothing seems to work as far as getting to to fall asleep sooner or longer.

    My husband and I tag team bedtime since I'm BF baby, so he gets the oldest ready for bed.

    Thank you, from this one worn out Mommy.

  • Hi, my 10 months old daughter still wakes up middle of the night to feed. I tried to wait for long time wishing that she would go back to sleep without having a milk (formula milk) but she refuses to sleep until she gets her milk. How can I stop that and make her sleep all night through?

  • Hello Dr. Natalie Barnett,

    My daughter is 29 months , her wake window 1 is averaging 5:36 hours and wake window 2 is averaging 5:58 hours.

    usually she’s going to sleep after this period of time, no matter what is the waking time in the morning.

    can we shift her schedule all in one time instead doing all the 2 day adjustment? Or it’s not recommended?

    any recommendations will be appreciated!

    thank you!


  • Hi. My son is 11 months old, 12 months on the 19th. He is already an early riser at around 5:15. Generally he will roll around and try to re-settle until around 6:00 am. I fear with the time change he will be up at 4:30 now but am not sure I can hold him off for 2 hours without him being super worked up. He goes down between 7-7:30 pm. Do you suggest that I let him fuss and cry until 6:30?

  • Our 15 month old is a really good sleeper. Bedtime is around 7:30-8 and she was waking around 8:30am but it has shifted to 7:30-8am these past few days. Now with the time change, I’m worried that she will be up even earlier. We have been pushing bedtime closer to 8, hoping to get her to bed by 8:30-9 on Saturday night before the time change. She only has one nap a day at 2:30, which we will try to extend as well. What else do you recommend we try to make sure the shift goes smoothly? What can we do if it does not work out and she starts waking earlier once the time change happens? Can we just keep her up later until she is back to her normal schedule? Thanks!

  • Hello Natalie,

    I have a 22 month old daughter who is on 1 nap. My husband or I put her down for bedtime 730pm. She wakes up talking to herself around 600am or 615am laughing and saying momma, Dada then more funny talk. No crying or screaming. Then, back to sleep. We wake her at 700am every morning. We transitioned to 1 nap around 4-6 weeks ago. Sometimes she will cry at 11pm or midnight for 5 minutes. I'm wondering if her wake time of 5 hours is too short. Should I get her up at 630am instead of 700am? I'm worried she will be tired. Now the time change....We really need suggestions! 🤗

    Thank you

  • I have a 5.5 month old son. He goes to bed around 7:30-8, then wakes up intermittently throughout the night. Will be fully awake at 5:45-6:30. Then his next nap time will be in 2-3 hours. But his nap time varies from 2 hours to 20min. My question is: what do you suggest us to prepare him for daylight savings as well as how should we adjust his nap time to the new clock time

  • Hi, our daughter is about 5 to 6 weeks now,

    Before two weeks she cluster feeds between 10pm to 4am.

    After passing her birth weight we began feeding her more during the day. Which may have shifted her cluster feeding. Where is was pretty random for a week or two but now it's a more like 7pm to 10pm then she sleeps until 6am usually waking exactly once. After 7am she cluster feeds again from 8am to 10am. At this point we have trouble getting her to sleep some days she might not sleep a full hour again until late afternoons or night time. .

    How concerned should we be about getting her to sleep during the day time?

    Any recommendations if there is any concern?

    Additional details we breastfeed and provide pumped milk. She is drinking at least 100ml every hour during her feeding sprints

  • Hi Dr Barnett,

    We’ve tried adjusting his bedtime an hour later to account for the end of DLS, but he just sleeps less and wakes up at his usual time. Usually from 5:30 to 6:00, which would be 4:30 to 5:00 after DLS ends. Are we supposed to just leave in my he crib for that extended amount of time?

    any advise would be helpful thank you.

  • Really looking forward to hearing the responses to these questions. Have the same issue as Jeff14834!

  • I have a 1 year old, who is a great sleeper. He goes to bed at 7:30 every night and wakes up at 6:30, almost on the dot. However, on Sunday that 6:30 wake up suddenly becomes 5:30. I, like many commenters, am curious about when to get him out of bed- should I wait until 6:30, and just let him cry until then (we did a similar method for sleep training, so not opposed to it. However it is loud!). If he stays up later on some nights (like we are out until 8:30) , he still typically wakes up at 6:30.

  • Natalie_Barnett_PhD
    Natalie_Barnett_PhD Member, Nanit Team, Expert

    @Mhlaffer You might find she wakes early for a few days as her body adjusts to the new time. We suggest you TRY to make it to 6.30am if you can, but for many kids this will be a stretch. I'd love you to try to leave her at least for 10-15 mins to see if she will hang out and try to get back to sleep. If she is upset, I'd go get her!

  • Natalie_Barnett_PhD
    Natalie_Barnett_PhD Member, Nanit Team, Expert

    @Amanda_B16 Firstly, Its REALLY normal for babies to wake in the night,even for extended periods. If she is happy chatting to herself, I'd leave her to give the chance to get back to sleep on her own. Take a look at our blog post on the time change which should give you some tips!

This discussion has been closed.