How to Help Your Family Sleep After The Fall Time Change

On Sunday November 4th we change our clocks and gain an hour of sleep. Doesn’t that sound amazing! Perhaps it sounded better before we had kids? Ah yes, gone are the days of singlehood where you can bask in slumberville and enjoy that extra hour. Now as the time change approaches, we parents cling to each other in the fear of not knowing how this will affect our child’s sleep routine.

With the Spring and Fall time change our body clocks will adjust on their own but there are a few ways that we can help the process.

Want to know what I do at my house? Nothing. We change the clocks and start going to bed at the new times and wait for everyone to adjust. If your child isn’t super sleep sensitive then you may be able to do the same and just jump to the new times and wait for them to adapt. Consistency is key and it may take them a week or two to adjust but they will. This is always the approach we take in our home. Easy peasy.

Another approach for those who are a little more sensitive to routine is to begin a gradual shift in their schedule. Starting a few days before the time change shift your child’s bedtime and wake time 15 minutes later than usual. Remember when the clocks change, their new 7pm bedtime will actually be an 8pm bedtime according to their body clock, so shifting everything later prior to the change will help reset their internal rhythms making it an easier transition come Sunday night. Continue this shift by 15 minutes each day until you reach the time change. You may want to go as far as shifting their entire routine throughout the day and make naps and mealtimes slightly later as well.

It’s important to understand that these time changes don’t only affect our children. It can also be a tough adjustment for us parents. Where we go wrong in the Fall is that we use the “extra hour” as an excuse to stay up later and sleep in more in the morning. The best route to take is to stick to your same routine. To help adjust your own body clock go to bed at the same time each night (even though it will be darker earlier) and wake up at the same time in the morning. It shouldn’t take longer than a week for you to adapt.

Sleep Tip! All bedrooms should be set up for sleep success. Promote a cool, dark, and quiet environment for both you and your children. Doing so will aid in proper restorative sleep for you and your family.

Hang in there moms and dads. The shift in this new schedule normally takes a week or two for our kiddies to adapt to it. While their bodies may not feel tired during this time change our kids may get cranky that first week while their bodies wait to nap and eat. They will get there! Remember my two favourite words! Persistence and consistency! You will get through this.

Keynote speaker Sleep Consultant Alanna McGinn

Alanna McGinn is a Certified Sleep Consultant and Founder of Good Night Sleep Site – a Global Pediatric and Family Sleep Team. She provides free child and family sleep support through FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. She invites you to join her sleep community as she works towards Good Night Sleep Site’s mission of a healthier rested family unit. For more sleep tips, subscribe to our newsletter and visit Good Night Sleep Site


By | 2018-10-14T22:08:27+00:00 October 16th, 2016|Baby Sleep, Schedule|2 Comments

About the Author:

Alanna McGinn is the creator of The Good Night Sleep Cleanse and Founder of Good Night Sleep Site a family sleep consulting practice helping babies to adults sleep better. Alanna and her global team are working with families to overcome their sleep challenges. You can follow her expert advice on The Marilyn Denis Show, The Goods, and Your Morning, and national publications like Today’s Parent, Maclean’s, Prevention, and Huffington Post. Alanna strives in helping families and corporations overcome their sleep challenges and have happy well-rested smiles in the morning.


  1. Kelly Hamilton April 29, 2015 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    PLease help! my 6 month old boy was sleeping quite well until he hit the three month mark and since then it has gone from bad to worse. We have been up the past four weeks from 10:00pm to 4:00 am….he’s crying himself to sleep and waking within 25 minutes. We haven’t had more than two hours of sleep a night in four weeks. It is miserable at our home and starting to wake my three and a half year old too. How do I go about getting a sleep consultant when I do not have Facebook or Twitter?

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