Time change is rapidly approaching, and it might not seem like much until the hour less of sleep you get really kicks in. Then your kids won’t sleep in and the day just keeps going. So how do you overcome it.
We all know that when little people get tired it can get downright ugly. So, with the sky being sunnier earlier and longer what is a parent to do? I have had my child come to me and say “Mom I can’t go to bed yet because it’s still light outside.” I have some wonderful suggestions for preparing and making time changes a little easier for the kiddos and help us (parents) keep our sanity.
1. Keep your routine! We are all creatures of habit. If you don’t have a bedtime routine, I strongly suggest getting one. Even if it is a simple routine of putting pajamas on at the same time, brushing teeth, and then bedtime. When you keep your routine regardless of the time change it is one less thing disrupted by the schedule change.
2. A week in advance put your kids to sleep 10 minutes earlier each day leading up to springing forward. Allowing a gradual change over the week will allow the lost hour not to be so damaging. It also gives your little one’s body a chance to slowly adjust versus trying to catch up and get back on track all on the same day.
3. Control the lighting in your child’s sleep area. I suggest black out curtains a lifesaver for mid-day naps! Our bodies naturally respond to light so black out curtains help control the pouring in of light causing our bodies to stir. Daylight Savings in March means longer days, where mornings are darker longer so mornings will be a little easier. However, getting to bed may a bit of a challenge now that it will be lighter later in the day. I tell my kids the Sun is an adult and doesn’t need as much sleep and that is why it is up late. 😛
4. Keep them busy to wear them out. The day of that dredge time change keep them busy and engage. This will have them looking forward to rest time and resetting for the next day. This requires some extra work for parents too. But when they go down easy the night off it will be a welcoming reprieve.
5. Do nothing. Now this isn’t the most proactive choice, but kiddos are resilient and might adjust better and quicker on their own terms. I suggest at least letting them stay up about 30 minutes later for the next few days while they adjust to the time change. But after that they will adapt and be back on schedule.
6. Be flexible. Early on in my parenting and teaching adventures I was told there is three things children have control over: sleep, eating, and potty training. Let them still have some control and understand that they are trying to adapt to the change as well.
Good luck to everyone with the upcoming time frame!
Lead Preschool Teacher
Child Success Advocate