Edit ModuleShow Tags

Help your kids (and you!) handle the switch to Daylight Saving Time



Photo: Shenghung Lin/Flickr

Updated March 8, 2019

Daylight Savings Time begins this Sunday, March 10, at 2 a.m. While it's a safe bet that most of us look forward to the daylight sticking around later at the end of the day, parents already struggling with getting elementary kids to school on time can't be too excited about what is now 7 a.m. becoming 8 a.m. and sunrise jumping from 6:29 a.m. on Saturday to 7:27 am on Sunday.

Sleep consultant and Well Rested Baby founder Amy Lage shares tips for helping little ones deal with the time change:

  • If your child is generally adaptable to schedule changes or is taking only one nap or no naps a day, your best bet is to switch everything (wake time, nap, bedtime, meals, etc.) to the new clock “cold turkey.” Note that you may have to rouse your child at his/her normal wake-time for a few days because of the loss of one hour of sleep. Exposing your child to light in the morning and continuing with all of your normal activities will help reinforce the new wake time.

  • If your child is napping multiple times during the day (or you are concerned that moving to the new time “cold turkey” will be too stressful for both of you), you can make the switch gradually over a few days by only making each nap and bedtime a half-hour later. This will help your child ease into the time change more smoothly.

  • Whichever way you choose to handle adjusting your child’s schedule, it is very important to stay consistent in your regular daily routine. For example, if you always have breakfast before Nap 1, lunch before Nap 2, snack before Nap 3, and dinner, bath and a book before bedtime – make sure this is still your routine. These regular parts of your child’s day actually act as “cues” telling their brain that sleep is coming next.  Keeping them consistent will help their bodies adjust even more quickly.

 

Assist Your Child by Controlling Their Environment

  • As we are shifting our internal clocks to wake an hour earlier in the morning, exposing your child to natural light in the morning hours is key. Throw open all blinds upon waking and make sure to get out for some fresh air and natural light in the first half of the day. Still too cold to play outside, spending time in a sun drenched room will work too.

  • In the evening, we need to adjust our bodies to be ready for bed an hour. Keep your house dim in the hour or so leading up to bedtime – closing the blinds, shutting off any unnecessary lights and keeping the activity level in your home as calm as possible will ease your child into a sleepy frame of mind even if there is still daylight outside.

Related: The move to end twice-yearly time changes gaining momentum

 

 


Get Seattle's Child iOS App

Looking to switch up your weekend plans? Try our app and customize to fit your family. 
Apple logo

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

To Pump or not to Pump?: Real Talk on Breast Pumping

The lowdown on breastmilk pumping.

When flower children have children: a Seattle mom reflects

What growing up in a hippie cult taught me about parenting.

Meet the Parent: Sally Mary S. de Leon

In spite of numerous personal hardships, Sally Mary S. de Leon founded a non-profit whose primary mission is to empower homeless Veterans facing housing challenges regularly volunteers with her family in support of worthy causes.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Family Events Calendar

Subscribe to our weekly newsletters

* indicates required
Send Me:
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags