It is daylight savings time again. When we ‘spring ahead’, many parents are excited as that means spring is around the corner and we will start to have more daylight hours later in evening. It also means, we will lose of an hour of sleep! This can be hard on parents (who are already tired!) and even more so on children. Expect that your child may be moody or cranky for the next few days or week after the time change as they adjust to the time change and their new sleep schedule. However, there are some things you can do to try and make this time change as easy as possible.
Prior to the time change:
- A week before the time change, you can start to put your child to bed about 10-15 minutes earlier each night. This way when the clocks do change forward an hour it is easier for your child to fall asleep at his regularly scheduled bedtime. Otherwise, to have your child go to bed an hour earlier the day the clocks change is a struggle!
- Prior to the time change, make sure everyone is well rested. It is never easy to deal with sleep changes when you are already tired!
After the time change:
- Stick to the same bedtime routine that your child is used to prior to bed and falling asleep. Quiet time and calming activities at bedtime can help.
- Make sure the last nap doesn’t go too late in the afternoon.
- If you have darkening shades, use them. They often help after the time changes so your child doesn’t see if it is light out still when they are going to bed.
Everyone child is different. Do expect some moodiness and cranky behaviors in your child, as they will be tired from the change in their sleep schedule. They will need extra parent love and support. The good news is our bodies like schedule and routine and will adjust. Your child (and you) will adjust to the time change, usually within a week.