5 tips to "spring ahead" with ease
It’s that time of year again, moving the clocks forward an hour is approaching on March 13. If you are a parent, you probably aren’t looking forward to this as much as the rest of the world is. We get it, it messes up the kids’ schedules. That’s never fun for anyone. Here are top tips for making this transition as smooth as possible for both children and parents!
Slowly adjust their schedule. We suggest starting by adjusting the schedule by 15 minutes about a week out from the transition, and gradually increase the amount of time over the course of the week. For example, if your child currently goes to bed at 7:30pm, you’d move their bedtime up to 7:15pm for days 1 and 2. For days 2 and 3 move their bedtime to 7:00pm. On day 4 and 5 you’d adjust their bedtime to 6:45 and by days 6 and 7 your child should be going to bed at 6:30. This way your children aren’t losing any sleep, it was a slow gradual transition, and everyone wakes up happy on Sunday morning!
Control the light. Prepare for extra daylight in the evenings. It is going to start being brighter and brighter at what typically would be dark times. Children are going to be confused about why they are going to bed and it is still daylight. We recommend investing out in blackout curtains if you do not already have them. This will block out the sunlight and create the “nighttime scene” that helps children associate that it’s bedtime. When possible, it is also helpful to start dimming the lights in the home to help make this transition smoother.
Wear them out. For a couple of days after the transition your children may struggle with the earlier bedtime. We suggest wearing them out by engaging in physical and mental activities that wear them out and stimulate them, with the hopes of them being worn down and tired earlier those first few days after the change.
Stick to the routines. Babies and children thrive on consistent schedules. We recommend sticking to the schedule based on what the clock says, and not what their body is used to. It may take a few days of tired and cranky, but they will adjust.
Be empathetic. Understand your children may struggle with this. There may be a few days of cranky and irritable children. There could be tantrums or outbursts. Do your best to understand your child is going through a transition, and it may be challenging for them.
We hope this post will help your family transition just a little easier on March 13.