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It’s Time to Spring Forward: How to Help Your Kids Adjust to the Time Change

Written by Maxine Sass

On Sunday at 2 a.m. the clocks will go forward 1 hour to 3 a.m.

This is the time change that many parents LIKE! Spring forward works in FAVOUR of those with early risers! So, if your clocks used to say 5:30 a.m., they will soon say 6:30 a.m. Yahooos!

How to deal with the time change & sleep schedules:

Plan A – Do nothing ahead of time to prepare

On Saturday night before bed, set ALL your clocks ahead one hour.

Wake your child by 7:30 a.m.(ish) so that he or she is tired enough to go to bed earlier that night. This will also help to move naps earlier too.

If you have early morning risers, this method is for you! Just act like it’s a normal day.

Keep meals, snacks and naps at their normal times according to the new clock time.

Remember that your baby/child will be going to bed at their regular time according to the new clock time. That means if they go to bed at 7 p.m., their little bodies are still saying that the time is 6 p.m.

Be flexible and understanding.

This method shouldn’t take more than a week to adjust to the time change.

Plan B – Start shifting sleep ahead of time

Approximately one week before the time change, start waking your baby/child earlier in the morning.

Your baby’s/child’s age and temperament will decide how much you will shift their schedule each day. You can start by waking 15 minutes earlier in the morning. Do 15 minutes earlier for 2 days. Then 30 minutes earlier for 2 days. Then 45 minutes earlier for 2 days. And if all goes according to plan, by Sunday you are at your regular 7 p.m. bedtime.

Some children can start by having their schedules shifted by 30 minutes leading up to the time change. So, if they are 7 a.m. risers, wake them at 6:30 a.m.

Shift meals, snacks and naps exactly the same way that you are shifting wake time. So, when you wake 15 minutes earlier, meals, snacks and naps will be adjusted 15 minutes earlier, too. When you wake 30 minutes earlier shift everything 30 minutes earlier, and so on.

Extra tips

Invest in really good BLACK OUT BLINDS!

Going to bed in a bright room at 7 p.m. can create more bedtime battles than necessary.

Having a pitch dark room in the early summer mornings and for naps can make all the difference in the world.

Gro clocks can be very helpful tool for older toddlers to adjust to daylight savings.

To get in touch with Maxine about her services, your can email her or visit her website for details.
This blog post was originally posted here. It has been reposted in full with permission. 
Photo: Tamaki Sono

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.