Daylight Savings Time
Daylight Savings Time is fast approaching. This year we will be setting our clocks forward an hour on Sunday, November 5, 2017, at 2:00 AM. This transition can affect children differently. Some children will barely notice a difference and some children may take a week or two to adjust to the new time. Parents with early risers are often worried about the “fall back” because their child will be waking up an hour earlier. Here are some tips on how to handle this transition.
Gradual Approach: This is often used with children who are younger and have difficulties with transitions and new routines. Starting the Thursday before, change your child’s wake up time, nap time, and bedtime back by 15 minutes each day. This will make it an easier transition for the time change and your child will not feel such a drastic change.
Cold Turkey Approach: This is usually best when used with children over the age of two. Using this approach, you will continue with your regular routines and schedule according to the new time. This works well with children who do not have a tough time with transitions and changes.
Here are a few extra tips:
- Sunlight: Exposing your child to sunshine first thing in the morning will help to get your child’s internal body clock adjusted. Opening windows for light and getting fresh air first thing in the morning is very beneficial to their circadian rhythm.
- Room Darkening Shades: When adjusting to the new time of Daylight Savings Time, these shades can make a huge difference. Seeing as though it will be darker for bedtime and lighter for wake up time, these shades will block out that light and help your child get the good rest they need. I highly recommend these in each child’s room!
- Flexibility: Remember your child’s sleep may be a little off at bedtime for a few days. Try to be patient and keep up with the consistent bedtime routines. Avoid bright lights and limit exposure to electronics well before bed. This transition time is typically resolved within a week.