It's time to move the clocks forward one hour and lose an hour of sleep on Sunday, March 13. On the bright side, we gain an hour of daylight, but again, we lose an hour of precious sleep. Adjusting to the time change can disrupt the normal day/night rhythm, and lead to sudden sleep problems, especially for the little ones.
Here are five tips that will help mitigate the effects of daylight saving time.
1. Take Gradual Steps
It takes some time to adapt to that loss of sleep. A slow transition to the new bedtime before the actual time change can make spring just a little easier. So if your child goes to bed at 8 p.m., about four days before the time change, put them to bed at 7:45 p.m., then 7:30 p.m., and so on until they're going to bed as close to 7 p.m. as possible. If possible, wake them up a little earlier, as well.
2. Make Naps a Priority
Make sure they are getting good naps for the few days before the time shift. This will help take the edge off of the discomfort associated with the upcoming changes. Also moving naps back 15 minutes at a time along with their bedtime will help keep their schedule consistent.
3. Control the Light and Consider Blackout Curtains
Dim the lights in your child's bedroom and turning off all electronics about 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. In the morning, get your child in the light as much as possible. Consider installing blackout curtains and using a sound machine. This will help all summer!
4. Stick with a Routine
For young children, it's absolutely critical that they have a routine during bedtime. Give your child a warm bath, read them a book, and snuggling together before lights out.
5. Be Sympathetic
Try to be more forgiving if your child is throwing extra temper tantrums and seems to be particularly frustrated or difficult in any way. The time change can cause such short-term changes in your child's mood, but your understanding and support will help him or her adjust a little better.
What to do if you forgot to prepare for daylight savings?
Parents are human and sometimes we do forget things! If that's the case, take your child for some quality outside time in the morning, and have fun as long as you can! It will burn your kid's energies and help them sleep better in the evening.