Pre-kid, you never really thought about Daylight Saving (what’s an hour here or there?). But nowadays, DST is a big deal because, after all, sleep is a rare commodity to a parent. So, will it throw the kids totally off their sleep schedule? Will it trigger regression and sleepless nights? Totally legit concerns. To help you out, we’ve narrowed down some easy ways you can deal with the time change when it happens on Mar. 10, without too much mayhem. Keep reading to see them all.
Bit by bit. You can try moving the clock 15 minutes forward for a few days leading up to DST. This will help set your kids’ little clocks before the big day so it won’t be a big shock the day of. Consider arming them with a cute (and practical) alarm clock to help make the transition a bit easier.
Be consistent. If you do move back sleep time, make sure you work to do the same with wake up time, breakfast, lunch, dinner etc. Their entire day from top to bottom should still feel the same, even if you're adjusting and fudging with timing. They shouldn’t even notice a change, especially if they’re too young to tell time.
Change it up. Why not try doing everything earlier or later (depending on which way the clock is going)? Things like dinner, bath time, bedtime, etc. can be moved around so that when DST strikes, your kids won’t even notice. And if they’re too little to tell time, this works even better, because your kids’ internal clocks will start to get used to things before the real clock even moves. Need to extend bedtime by 15 minutes? Here are a few of our favorite bedtime stories to read.
Ignore it. Not the best strategy, but if you keep chugging along so will they. Just switch everything on the day of, and move on. Kids are resilient. Just try to keep their routine (mostly) intact.
Be realistic. Your child may not even notice a slight change or they may go bonkers. But it's important to remember to listen to them, understand why they're upset and work from there. Children are each so different—who knows how they'll each react or even how one will react from year to year!
Be sympathetic. Remember to put yourself in your kids' shoes and stay calm if she's a hot mess for a few days. By staying calm, you'll help kids adjust in no time.
— Felissa Allard
Feature photo: Edd Gant via Flickr