Tips for Helping Kids Adjust to Fall Daylight Saving Time
Daylight saving time is ending. Can you believe it’s that time of the year already? It feels like just yesterday I was enjoying a nice sunny day at the beach! This weekend, our clocks will fall back by an hour. As adults, an added hour of time (even early on a Sunday morning) can mean so many things – finally squeezing in some exercise, being able to sit and read, have an uninterrupted cup of coffee, or even catch up on missed sleep! But how do we prepare children to take advantage of this extra hour? Here are a few tips for helping kids adjust to daylight saving time in the fall that have worked for me.
Strategies to Help Kids Adjust to Fall Daylight Saving Time
Start early. Allow your child to go to sleep a half hour later on Friday, and an additional half hour on Saturday. This gives them all weekend to adjust without interrupting your normal routine for the week. Use that extra 30-60 minutes for a family game night, reading or storytelling.
Choose relaxing evening activities. Try not to wear your child out by being too active before bed. When children release too much energy, they may get overtired and this can cause them to take longer to fall asleep or sleep restlessly throughout the night.
Adjust nap time: Push nap time out by 15-30 minutes. Starting nap time a bit later in smaller increments towards the end of the week will allow your baby to adjust to the extra hour on Sunday.
Lights out: Make sure shades are down and curtains are closed so sunlight doesn’t wake your child up too early on Sunday morning. Wake them up at their normal time. If you use a timed clock (like one that lights up when it’s okay to get out of bed) be sure to adjust the time on Friday or Saturday so it lights up correctly in the morning.
Take advantage of the extra hour. If all else fails, enjoy the extra hour on Sunday morning with your children! Don’t make them go back to bed. Cook breakfast together, go on a nature walk, or discuss your plans for the day. If you have an infant that wakes up early, try to keep nap time as close as possible to their regularly-scheduled routine on Sunday.
All children are different. Some may have no problem adjusting to the time change, while others may take a few days to fully adjust. Remember, adults have to adjust too! Do the same with fixing your nightly routine by 15-30 minutes at the start of the weekend so you’re ready for the work week come Monday morning. But as adults, thankfully we have coffee to help us through the first few days.
- Parent Webinars: Good Nights, Great Days – How to Help the Whole Family Get Some Sleep
- Bright Horizons Online Community: Preparing for Spring Daylight Saving Time with a Preschooler
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- Read more posts about sleep from the Family Room bloggers