Daylight Savings and Adjusting 2 1/2 Year Olds Sleeping

Updated on November 01, 2008
M.M. asks from Costa Mesa, CA
9 answers

I am trying to keep my daughter up later and later every night in 15 minute increments to get her ready for the change of time. She seems to still wake up at her normal time (6am) and now I'm beginning to really think she isn't getting enough sleep and worry that once the time changes she will be waking at 5am, YIKES.

Any advice on adjusting for the extra hour gain?

Her normal bedtime is between 7:30pm and 8pm and she usually wakes up around 6am. She is very consistent at 10 hours of sleep a night. I'm trying to make bedtime 8pm - 8:30pm until the 'change' of time happens. I just really worry that 5am is going to be her new wake up time once the time changes.

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answers from San Francisco on

Hi M.,

Good luck with the time shift tonight. I dread it. Last year, my son got up EVERY DAY at 5:30. After we "sprung forward," he got up EVERY DAY at 6:30. It just seems that his internal clock tells him to wake up at that time. He's 3 1/2 and will nap occasionally, but not daily. I don't try to nap him anymore. He does tell me "I'm tired, tuck me in" for both naps and bedtime sometimes.

Good luck!

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answers from San Francisco on

My son is also an early riser, and we always have a bit of a transition period with the fall time change. I have found that he does not really adjust until the whole day's schedule is adjusted. Just moving back the bedtime does not do it. He has to do everything in the day according to the new time. So, I do not try to do anything early anymore. I just expect that it will take about a week after the time change to get all the kinks worked out. On the night of the time change I put him to bed half an hour late, and make him stay in his room until half an hour later (which means he is getting up half an hour early by the new time) Then we proceed with that day at the new time, all meals and activities happen at the new time. Then he goes to bed at the new time and I do not let him get up until the new time. It usually takes about 5 days for him to start waking up at the new time.
On a related topic, he has a nightlight on a timer in his room that tells him when it is OK to get up in the morning. He knows that if he wakes up before his light is on he has to stay in bed and be quiet. This has allowed me to get him to stay in bed a bit later be moving it back by 10 min. increments weakly until I got an extra half hour out of him.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Is she still napping during the day? I know it sounds opposite, but she needs to nap well in order to sleep longer through the night.

My son is one of habit too, and no matter what time we put him down he wakes at 7am. There was a time around your daughter's age that he would wake up at 5am. I told him it is too early and put him back to bed. Even if he didn't sleep, I told him he had to stay there even if its playing quietly with a toy or reading a book. (Of course this depends if you are potty training right now.) The good thing is that it is still dark out, so you can tell her she needs to stay in bed until the sun comes up.

Hope that helps.




answers from San Francisco on

unfortunately babies are hard wired and pushing their bed times out usually just back fires. I have found that when our kids went down early at the time when they were physiologically ready, they slept best. You can try making the room darker to try and trick her, but you will most likely not get the desired results you are seeking by extending her bedtime and pushing her past her comfortable night time if she is more tired and you have missed your window, it is harder to put them down and they will most likely wake up earlier since they did not go down as good.)

Just a thought, leave her to her schedule, don't make her conform to yours.

Good luck-



answers from San Francisco on

Isn't it funny that we never thought of this prior to being a mother? Who would have thought that one little hour would have such an impact in our worlds??? Well, obviously it wasn't a mother of an infant/toddler who came up with this daylight-savings-time concept. :O)
I'm facing the same situation with my 14 month old. -Who is also on a 7pm-6am schedule. I think just letting it pan out may be the best option. Not much we can do besides making the room darker.

What did you do last year?



answers from San Francisco on

Hi M., My advise will differ from others as I have found that kids are resiliant. Don't do anything and your child will adjust. She may wake up early a few days but will go back to sleep when she sees it is still dark out and mommy and daddy are still sleeping. If she wakes up early, let her cry for a little while. She will stop waking up before you know it. Good Luck - Sleep Time is precious when you have little ones...



answers from Sacramento on

It sounds like you are one of the fortunate mothers with a child who is quite consistent with her sleep pattern. That may make for a little more difficulty with the time change, but I agree with the others who have said it will work itself out within a couple of weeks. Just remain patient during that time. And I also don't think there's much you can do that will work to prepare her ahead of time. Does she manage to play quietly in her bed upon awaking? If so, just leaving her there until she really fusses may be your best bet if she does wake up at 5 a.m. That way she'll get the idea that it isn't wake up time yet, and possibly go back to sleep... and eventually learn to sleep through until six.
And... I just have to be the mean one :-)... remember you get to go through this again - in reverse - next spring. (My personal opinion is that one of these years they should change us to daylight time in the spring, then forget about any more time changes at all. As you can tell, I like daylight savings time better than the standard time.)



answers from Bakersfield on

We had a very hard time with my son adjusting to the time change also. It was so bright for so much longer that he thought he had to be up longer. I agree with the moms who share it will work itself out, but one thing that helped us greatly was making some curtains. Originally, we only had vertical blinds in his room and with the fall time change, it would be too bright in his room as his window faces the sunset. So, I found some fabric I liked. I chose a dark color (facing the inside) and a light color (facing the outside) and my mom sewed them together in two panels so they could be easily separated in the morning. Now there are blinds and curtains to keep the bright sunlight out while he tries to go to sleep. It was so worth it and his room is nice and dark at 7pm and stays dark until he wakes up on his own (at around 7am or so). Seriously, I can't believe it took me so long to figure out something to help the change along. We go through our normal bedtime routine and we end up in his room where it is nice and dark and he willingly goes into his crib. I know there will be adjusting for us too in terms of being flexible with starting the bedtime routine and wake up time for a little while, but the dark room makes a HUGE difference for him.



answers from Sacramento on

It ends up just working itself out, and you'll find yourself putting her down later when the time changes. It takes about 4 weeks to really start working but our 3 year old started waking up later and later on her own. I think they're biological clocks just know.....most the time

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