Archived: Making ‘Spring Forward’ Easy for Children (and Parents!)

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.

 

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Alison Mitzner, M.D. is a board certified pediatrician. She received her medical degree from the State University of New York Health Science Center at Syracuse. After completing her pediatric residency at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset NY, she practiced general pediatrics for five years in a private practice in Manhattan, NY. During her years practicing, she was also an attending pediatrician at multiple New York City teaching hospitals where she admitted and examined newborns and pediatric patients. Additionally she supervised and taught hospital residents and medical students in various aspects of clinical and academic medicine. Alison has since moved into the pharmaceutical industry. She has had experience in the industry with leading safety teams and physicians and currently mentors many physicians globally.
Alison enjoys sharing her knowledge and experiences as a pediatrician (and mom) with other moms and dads in addition to supporting moms-to-be. She has contributed to various online websites and blogs. She also has an interest for creating healthier lifestyles and safer environments for pregnant women and children. Her outside interests include working out, acting, piano, guitar, dance, and being a mom!

You can find Alison at www.alisonmitznermd.com and follow on Instagram @alisonmitznermd

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