We’re nearing the time of year when 60 minutes disappear one day in March and reappear again in November! Yes, its Daylight Savings Time (DST). While longer daylight hours are always welcomed after a long winter, setting those clocks forward 1 hour comes with a slew of ADDITIONAL obstacles when you have children. Remembering how to reset your car's clock will be the least of your problems!
The REAL challenge comes when you have young children in the home. The effects of this 1 hour change is obvious in a child and take the form of tantrums, meltdowns and confusion ("it’s still light outside mom – why do I have to go to bed?!") Twice a year it takes around 2 weeks for them (and us!) to become fully adjusted. Regular life is already hard, who needs that?
1. START 1 WEEK EARLY
As of 2020 that means Sunday, March 1st! Have your children (and you!) go to bed 10 minutes early each day and wake up 10 minutes early until you’ve built up to one hour. Voila – on the 7th day, the clocks move ahead and you’ve eased your way into it!
2. WAKE UP ON SUNDAY!
If starting 1 week ahead is asking WAY too much, make sure your children wake up at a normal time the next day after the switch. DLS falls on a Saturday to Sunday – and it’s super tempting to let everyone sleep in. Don't do it! Wake up at the appropriate time Sunday (and go to church!) giving you at least 1 day to acclimate. Yes, everyone will be tired but when Sunday night comes, everyone will be ready for bed, so hang those black-out curtains and head to bed 30 minutes early! That will give your child extra time to fall asleep and hopefully few extra winks before Monday.
3. EXPEL THAT ENERGY!
When nap-time rolls around after the switch, it’s going to feel 1 hour earlier and your kiddo is NOT going to be tired, and if you let them nap later - they wake up too late and are not tired in the evening. What's the solution? Wear those kiddos out! Plan for extra outside time each day during the first week after DLS. Run harder, jump higher, and encourage large motor skill activities that will have your child relieved when it’s time for a rest.
4. TAKE IT EASY
If you can, try not to schedule appointments, play-dates or anything additional to your days on Monday and Tuesday. Most likely it wont end well! Keep it simple and stick to your regular routines.