5 Tips For Helping Your Kids Adjust to Daylight Savings Time
By Nicole Donnelly
You don't really get anything from Daylight Savings Time adjustments once you're a parent, amiright? Time springs forward; we lose sleep. It is what it is.
With the start of DST 2022 coming up quickly (Sunday, March 13!), we'll be setting that clock an hour ahead so our days can fiiiiinally feel longer with the sun staying up later. But with that comes yet another shift in our kids' sleep schedules.
We've got some tips to help minimize the effects of the shift in time to help make the time change a smoother transition for the whole family.
Go to bed early the night before. Try to get your family to bed at least one hour early the night before the time change. This way, everyone is still getting the amount of sleep they need, even if/when they wake up "an hour earlier" than usual. If you've really got your act together, try doing this a few nights before the time change for maximum effect.
Encourage light during the day and darkness for sleep at night. Our bodies are programmed to wake up when the sun rises and start to feel tired shortly after the sunsets. (Ahem, circadian rhythms.) Regulating your child's exposure to light first thing in the morning and making sure their room is dark during sleep times will help ensure their sleep patterns get limited interruptions when the time changes.
Keep your family's routines consistent. With the time change comes a new season! Spring! Our schedules and activities will likely start to feel more busy and chaotic and our kids usually feel the impacts of that the most. Sticking to your routine consistently limits the changes in your kids' lives and therefore can knock the chaos down a couple notches.
Be patient with your kids. I think of any group of people in the world, parents know the effects of sleep deprivation the best. If you notice meltdowns shortly after the time change, try to remember that lack of sleep could be the cause. Set aside some additional quiet time and maybe even schedule an extra nap to ensure everyone adjusts to the new season.
Invest in an OK-to-Wake Clock. We used these for my kids until just this year, and they're 6 and 8 now! This is a great option for children who are used to getting up early and waking you in turn. Having a child-friendly clock that turns a certain color to indicate when it's time to get up can make a big difference to a kid who is trying to adjust.