Nothing is more frustrating than adjusting to a time change; whether you are springing forward or falling into it. Just when it seems like the kids are on a well established routine, a time change comes along to mess it up. As day light savings time comes to an end; we are losing day light quickly! As the sun begins to set sooner, we are all starting to feel it’s effects. The kids seem to be getting tired, cranky, and ready for bedtime earlier in the evening. Over the past few years, I’ve been practicing a couple of tricks to make this adjustment to stand time and day light savings a little less stressful.
WHY THE BIG FUSS
You might be wondering what the big fuss is all about? After all… it happens every year right? The biggest issue is that little ones internal clocks aren’t synced with the atomic clock. As adults, we have the ability to adjust to the new time change. For an example, we can cope by staying in bed until our normal wake-up time or drinking loads of coffee to fake it until we make it. Infants and young children aren’t able to do this. Your darling son or daughter who usually sleeps in until a certain wake up time are sure to wake up earlier. That wonderful sleeping in until 7:00 am becomes a 6:00 am wake up. It’s every parents nightmare.
IDEAS FOR A SMOOTH TRANSITION
- KEEP A BEDTIME ROUTINE- The most important thing is making sure our kids get enough sleep so that they aren’t overly tired. One of the best ways to ensure this is to keep a consistent bedtime routine. Provide them with a comforting and relaxing bedtime routine every night. This could consist of giving them a soothing warm bath, reading a bedtime story or two and snuggling together before lights out. Be sure to keep this structured and the same each night so they know what to expect and kind comfort in the routine.
- MOOD LIGHTING- We all have a natural hormone in our body called Melatonin, it’s what regulates the body’s circadian rhythm. Day light effects Melatonin levels. Daylight savings can throw this natural cycle out of whack. You may notice that your kids get tired sooner now that daylight saving time is ending and the sun is setting sooner. The major goal is to make sure your child doesn’t go to bed too early or wake up early! A way to fix this is by make sure your child has plenty of light exposure in the early evening. You can also prevent the room from being too bright in the morning by using black out curtains.
- BABY STEPS- Keep in mind that you don’t have to make a huge leap in changing bedtime by a whole hour. One option is to gradually shift bedtime by 15 minute incriminates to prepare for daylight saving time. By taking a step-by-step approach it will put less stress on the adjustment than an abrupt change.
Remember you are not alone. No parent out there is excited about this change. Keep in mind that some children will adjust to the change easily, while others will need extra empathy and support. Hang in there and know that this is just a phase and everyone will adapt to the new normal soon.