How to Make Daylight Savings Time Easier for Your  Family With These 2 Tried-and-True Tips! 

Daylight saving time is about to begin, and some of us are wondering how we can ease the transition for our  family. There are two strategies you can use to make the transition easier. One is to prep before the time  change, and another is to do so afterwards—this gives you leeway in deciding which works best for your family! 

Spring forward, fall back. 

Daylight saving time is a time change. It happens in the spring when we “spring forward” and set our clocks  ahead one hour. In the fall, we “fall back” and set our clocks back one hour. The reason for daylight saving time  is to make better use of sunlight during the day–to have more daylight hours after work or school (and before  bedtime). But did you know, not every country observes daylight savings time; some have permanent  summertime, while others never change their clocks at all!  

If you’re a parent and your kids are wondering why daylight savings time happens: explain it to them! Make  sure they know that no one is exempt from this event—even adults feel the effects! 

How to Make Daylight Savings Time Easier for Your  Family With These 2 Tried-and-True Tips!  - BC Parent Newsmagazine

How to Help Your Baby or Toddlers adjust to Daylight Savings Time. 

A. Strategy “Start Early”: 

● Step 1: Since we will be moving forwards with our clocks, you will want to move BACK in  increments before the transition happens. So, a week or so before, jot down the times that your child  wakes up, eats, and goes to bed. 

● Step 2: Make gradual shifts over a period of two to four days: 

○ Shifting in 30-minute increments in the 2 days leading up to the time change. 

○ Shifting in 15-minute increments in the 4 days leading up to the time change. 

● Step 3: Make sure that you shift everything else as well! So, morning wake up, lunch and dinner. Example for 4 days: If your child currently goes to bed at 7:00 pm, then you will want to start shifting them  back 4 days in advance, so:  

Wednesday Night: 6:45 pm 

Thursday Night: 6:30 pm 

Friday Night: 6:15 pm 

Saturday Night: 6:00 pm 

Sunday Night: 7:00 pm (The old 6:00 pm) 

How to Make Daylight Savings Time Easier for Your  Family With These 2 Tried-and-True Tips!  - BC Parent Newsmagazine

B. Strategy “Split the Difference” 

• Step 1: My recommendation to all parents is just to leave the clocks alone! You should set your alarm  as usual and wake up at the same time. After you have had some coffee and breakfast, then change all your clocks to reflect the new time zone. 

• Step 2: That day, you will shift your child’s naps, mealtimes, and bedtime by half an hour. If the child  does not take naps now, that is fine; just shift the wakeup time and bedtime.  

• Step 3: The fourth night, simply put your child to bed at their normal time. 

Remember to adjust wakeups, mealtimes, and naps to the correct time on day 4 as well! Example (Baby and/or Toddler): If your little one usually takes a morning nap around 9:30, you will adjust this  to 10:00 am, for the three days after the time change. Do the same for the afternoon nap. If your little one goes  to sleep at 7:00 p.m., then put that child to bed at 7:30 p.m. for the first three days following the time change.  (This will FEEL like 6:30 pm to your child.) 

But if you have children who are in daycare or school and have a set  schedule that cannot be adjusted until the day of the time change, then  those are not a reasonable tactics. Here are the ways to handle the time change for your pre school and school-aged children to help your  child adapt to the time change as quickly and effectively as possible! 

How to Make Daylight Savings Time Easier for Your  Family With These 2 Tried-and-True Tips!  - BC Parent Newsmagazine

Tip 1: Exercise and Sunlight 

Sunlight and exercise are some of the biggest contributors to a good night’s sleep. Exercise helps to burn off  energy and gets the body ready for bedtime, but the sun also plays a very interesting role here. Blue light, during the day, helps enormously in melatonin production, which is the key hormone when it  comes to sleep. It also aids in regulating our internal clocks, which naturally produces cortisol during the day for  energy and alertness, and then melatonin when it gets dark to help us ease into sleep. The sun, despite its  appearance as an orange ball of flame in the sky, is actually a blue light source. Getting your child a healthy  dose of sunlight during the day, will help them sleep better on their first night of daylight savings time, than if  they stayed cooped up inside all afternoon. 

Tip 2: Bedtime Routine 

A child’s bedtime routine is a powerful way to promote sleep. It does so much more than just getting your child  dressed for bed. When a bedtime routine is done repetitively in the same order every night, it signals to the brain  that sleep time is coming soon—which starts its release of melatonin and shuts off cortisol. By the time your  child lays their head on the pillow, they are already prepared for a great night’s sleep. 

Tip 3: Slight Adjustments at Bedtime 

Even though your child may have to get up at the same time in the morning, you may still be able to  make gradual changes around bedtime. Moving their bedtime either forward or back, depending on which way  the clocks are changing, by 15 minutes every two or three nights after the time change, can lessen the effect it  has on their schedule compared to a one-hour switch overnight. Keep in mind that overtiredness is the  adversary of good sleep, so whatever you do, don’t keep them up for an extra hour the night before the clock  moves forward. Always error on the side of more sleep. If they wake up a little early in the morning, that’s OK,  and more desirable than having them stay awake for too long at night. 

If you have children over the age of two, you can put a digital clock in the room and put a piece of tape over the  minutes, so that they can see if it is 6:00 pm or 7:00 pm, but they cannot see the minutes. Set the clock forward  half an hour so that at 6:30 it says 7:00 and let them get up a little earlier than normal, knowing that, by the end  of the week, they will be back on track and sleep until their normal wakeup time. 

Make sure they get enough sleep. When we’re overtired, we struggle to adapt to new things or change our  routines.  

Tip 4: Remain Consistent 

Remember that routine and consistency is so important when it comes to your child’s sleep. If your child is  struggling with sleep, review their bedtime routine and the time that they are going to bed. If it is fluctuating  constantly, that could be a major factor in why they are having sleep struggles. And with the days starting to get  longer now, resist the urge to allow your kids to stay up later than their normal, earlier bedtime. Try not to let  your children sleep in on the weekends. This will throw off their internal clocks and cause them to be tired  during the week. Consistency is key!  

How to Make Daylight Savings Time Easier for Your  Family With These 2 Tried-and-True Tips!  - BC Parent Newsmagazine

Make it a fun transition!How to Make Daylight Savings Time Easier for Your  Family With These 2 Tried-and-True Tips!  - BC Parent Newsmagazine


Set an alarm for when it’s time for everyone in the house – including pets – to get up and go outside for some  fresh air and exercise together! Exercise, fresh air and sunlight will all help towards a good nights sleep! And  always keep in mind, your child’s body needs time adjust to this shift in sleeping habits. It takes everyone’s  bodies—adults included—roughly one week on average to get used to any kind of change, so be patient and  understanding as your child deals with and adjusts to having his sleep schedule changed up overnight. By  planning though, you can help your children adjust easily! The most important thing to remember is that your  child needs sleep. It’s vital for their health and well-being (and yours too!), so make sure you do everything you  can to ensure they get enough rest each night.

Missy Morrison Charko is a Certified Sleep Sense Consultant and Founder of Say Yes to The Rest  Pediatric Sleep Consulting . She resides in British Columbia with her husband and two young  children. She provides Private Sleep Coaching within the Thompson-Okanagan Region and  remotely across Canada and the USA. You can sign up for her monthly newsletter with more tips  and tricks at her website:

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