With Daylight Savings upon us, I’ve had many parents reach out requesting support on how to prepare for the time change. The truth is you can absolutely do nothing and it will be ok! Yes you may have 2 off days but usually by day 3 things are back to normal. So if the idea of preparing sounds like too much work, don’t sweat it. Our kids will adjust (some quicker than others). However, if you’ve worked really hard to solidify your child’s sleep schedule and perhaps they are sensitive to change (maybe they didn’t “Spring Forward” too well), then follow the below steps to help prepare.
Shift their schedule the week leading up to daylight savings. During the week leading up to the time change, start putting your kids to bed a little bit later each night — 10 to 15 minutes on average — and goal to have them wake up a little later so that their bodies have time to adjust to the new time. This means shifting meals and naps later accordingly. This will help most the 2-3 days before the change goes into effect. Since the time changes in the early morning hours of Sunday, November 3rd, try to start adjusting (at least by) the Thursday before (just our luck, that’s Halloween! You’ll be out late trick or treating anyway!). So for a child whose on a 7-7 schedule with a 12pm nap it would look something like this:
Thursday-Natural wake up at 7am, Nap at 12:30, bedtime 7:30
Friday- Natural wake up 7:15, Nap at 12:45 pm, Bedtime at 7:45pm
Saturday- Natural wake up at 7:30, nap at 1pm, Bedtime at 8pm.
Sunday- Fingers crossed your child wakes at 7am clock time (8am pre-daylight savings time).
Now wouldn’t it be perfect if it all went down like this? Absolutely! But odds are it won’t be and that’s ok! Give yourself and your child some grace for a few days while they adjust. On Sunday, November 3rd when you wake up, try to forget about the old time and start immediately following the clock. This means that meals, naps, and bedtime should all be according to the current time. Getting outside and allowing exposure to sunlight can really help their bodies adjust quicker.
The time change often affects our children’s appetite and mood so if something seems off, you know the culprit. If you haven’t been using a black out shade, now may be the time to start as the light in the morning starts becoming stronger.
If you have any questions about how to handle the time change please reach out to me here: Lauren@lololullaby.com.