Helping Little Ones Adjust to the Clocks Moving Forward
Time really does fly, especially when you have kids. How is it already March?! The sun is shining, Wiarton Willie, our Ontario groundhog, predicted an early spring, and the clocks are moving forward again. Get ready as Daylight Savings Time kicks in again at midnight on Sunday, March 12th.
All parents dread the time change - the Fall Back is definitely the hardest with early risers often waking REALLY early. At least in the Spring we move our clocks forward. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but children don’t “sleep in” when the clocks change. Now we lose an hour of sleep and your cranky children might get even crankier, impossible though it may sound!
There is always an increase in traffic accidents following time changes, so please be careful! The spring time change is really hard on adults as losing an hour of sleep is not easy on our bodies. So how do we help our children survive? Here are your (tongue-in-cheek) options:
Parents who like to plan entire vacations, hour by hour, in advance are the ones who should follow this routine. Begin adjusting a few days before March 12th and push back bedtime by 30 minutes. Nap time, too. For example, if bedtime is 7pm, move it to 7:30pm for 3 days. The regular 12pm nap gets moved to 12:30pm. This way, when the time change occurs it isn’t such a shock to their little bodies as they have already begun to adjust.
For the parents who like to fly by the seat of their pants, feel free to wait until the time change happens and adjust bedtime and naps by 30 minutes for the first three days. Then, after three days, go back to their regularly timed schedule.
Either way, you’re in a for a few challenging days, most likely. Look on the bright side, though: if your child is an early riser and was waking up at 5:30am, they’ll now be waking at 6:30am. That’s definitely something you can celebrate!
Give yourself and your children at least a full week to adjust to the new time. You might be dragging your feet for a few days, but at least we know the days will be a little lighter and brighter. If you find that your kid’s a little wired, cranky or really bouncing off the walls, remember they are adjusting too and they’ll get back to their version of normal within a few days. Get them outside, give them lots of exercise and offer healthy foods – these, along with a full night’s sleep, will get the crankiness out and your happy, well-rested children will be back on track in no time!
Lisa Kvapil is a sleep consultant with WeeSleep, where Healthy Moms get 15% off select sleep packages. Find out more here: https://gohealthymoms.com/weesleep