Pre-kid, you never really thought about Daylight Saving (what’s an hour here or there?). With the end of Daylight Saving coming this Sunday Nov. 3, before you set your clocks back an hour, read on for some tips and tricks for keeping that precious, tenuous sleep/wake routine in place as we gain an hour of darkness (or lose an hour of daylight, depending on your perspective).
Bit by bit. You can try moving the clock back in increments of 15 minutes for a few days leading up to the time change. 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 sleep time comes earlier, that means waking up time will, too. If you're letting time creep back a few days before, 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.
Eat later. Although it's tricky with work day schedules (because we don't get off an hour earlier, do we?) this time of year may be hard to eat dinner earlier, even if it "feels" later. But if you can push dinner a bit later each night, it will help your kids’ internal clocks. Try giving the kids protein-packed lunches to sustain them until dinner.
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. Oh, and enjoy that extra hour of sleep if you can...make it a cuddlefest and then move forward with your routine as planned.
Resist extra screen time. It's darker, you want to cozy up, it's kinda what winter is all about. But just because it's darker earlier doesn't mean you should extend pre-bed screentime. Make sure they have time to shut it down well before bedtime routine.
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: Alexandra Gorn via Unsplash