Four Tips for Preparing your Kids for Daylight Savings Time
Each fall when clocks “fall back” it sounds like a great opportunity to get an extra hour of sleep. For parents, though, it’s not quite that easy. Preparing in advance can help ease the transition and managing your expectations will help, too. Sometimes it takes a few days – or a week or two – to fully adjust to the new schedule.
Here are four tips for easing the transition:
- Pick Your Strategy
You know your child best - are they easily adaptable or do they do best on a set schedule? Factor this into your approach to the time change.
Kids who are easily adaptable, especially older children, might jump right into the new routine. Let them wake up naturally on Sunday morning and put them to bed based on when the clock hits bedtime. Since they likely woke up earlier, they should be tired. Keep to a set bedtime for the rest of the week to help reinforce the schedule.
Kids who thrive with a set schedule might benefit from a more gradual approach – shifting bedtime by 10 or 15 minutes a day and slowly adjusting to the new schedule will help minimize the change.
- Prepare in Advance
Having overly tired or cranky kids can make the adjustment more challenging, so do what you can to make sure your kids are well-rested in the week leading up to the time change. Think about how lighting can help with the time change by providing more light exposure in the evening and making sure it does not get too bright in the morning.
- Keep a Routine
Young children don’t process that bedtime is at a specific time. They know that it is bedtime based upon a schedule or routine. Sticking with your routine will help your child prepare for bedtime. For example, a warm bath, putting on pajamas and brushing teeth, reading a book, then lights out.
- Be Patient
Remember to be patient with your kids and yourself. It might take a week or two for everything to fall back to normal, but everything will fall back in to place. Time changes – especially the early nightfall – can be hard on everyone, but soon enough it will be the norm.