Tips for Managing Spring Daylight Savings Time

As happy as I am to hear birds chirping and see flowers blooming, there is one thing that I am dreading: Spring Daylight Savings Time. Springing forward is just about the worst thing you can do to a parent if you ask me…do we REALLy need to wake up any earlier? I don’t think so. But thankfully there are parenting experts like the well seasoned mom Eirene Heidelberger who has been through Spring Daylight Savings Time and knows how to get your family through it in one piece. Today she is taking over my blog today to share her tips for managing Spring Daylight Savings Time. After reading this, I guarantee that anyone who is struggling with sleep issues will have Eirene on speed dial (I’m looking at you, dear sister!).  Wondering how the March time change will affect your child’s sleep? Here are your answers!

Hello “sleeping in”

If you have an early waker on your hands (5am or earlier) you will finally get to “sleep in.” Oh yeah! If you don’t need to race anywhere in the morning the time on the clock will allow you to laze around a bit longer. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but we are realists at GIT Mom and it’s likely your early waker will go back to his early waking shenanigans. Rest assured, there are tools for fixing your little human’s alarm clock. Just ask us. We are here to help your family sleep in to a more respectable time.

 

We gotta go!

If, on the other hand, you are a family that needs to adhere to a morning exit strategy, here’s what you are going to do:

Keep your child’s sleep schedule on yesterday’s time. The first day after the clocks change, March 12th, you will wake your child to start her day at the new 7am (yesterday’s 6am). Yes, this will be completely brutal, but after a week you won’t have to enter your child’s room and rouse her from her sleep because she will naturally adjust on her own. The same applies for bedtime, which is still 7pm (yesterday’s 6pm). Yes, your child may comment that it is still light out, but all you have to say is, “It is light out, but, it’s night night time.” And. Stop. Talking. There is never any negotiating room when it comes to sleep!

Keep in mind your baby may not fall right asleep when her bedtime rolls around since her internal clock is telling her that it’s too soon for bed. It’s okay. Let her babble and do her thing in her bed without you. Your toddler may be sleepy in the morning because his internal clock is telling him it’s too early to wake up. 
As long as you put your child to bed at the exact same time every night he will adjust.

 

“But, Mommy, it’s still light out”

Even if your child can’t talk these are the three major factors that will affect the daylight savings adjustment:

  • Sunlight
  • Blackout shades
  • Consistent routine

Sunlight tells our bodies it’s time to wake up and stay awake but that doesn’t need to impact bedtime. If your strong-willed child will not succumb to nighttime sleep I highly recommend investing in room darkening shades. These are lifesavers now and forever! Be sure to stay super consistent with the sleep routine you’ve already been using to wind down your child to ready her for bed. During this adjustment period it is important to adhere to a predictable bedtime, which will help your baby or toddler adjust to the time change faster.

 

Be sympathetic

In the days following daylight savings time, try to be more forgiving if your child is extra whiny or seems to be particularly frustrated or b$tchy.

Just remember –

  • The great news is children with healthy sleep habits cope quite well through the March time change. (The October time change can suck it.)
  • Generally it takes about a week after the clocks have changed for everyone, no matter what age, to be in a new sleeping pattern.
  • Consistent schedule is everything.
  • Have patience if you have a tired and grumpy child on your hands in the days after the time change. Your unusual gremlin will be herself soon enough.

 

To learn more about Eirene and how she is helping families across Chicagoland, be sure to check out her website GIT Mom.

Comments

  1. candy says

    I laughed when I read the title. We raised our kids in Alaska. The sun is always up during the summer. People always use black out shades and blinds. The kids just basically got use to it and just went to bed.

  2. Alli Smith says

    I always look forward to Daylight Savings Time. Of course, my kids are all grown so I don’t have to be concerned about them getting acclimated to the new time. I do remember those days. I love the longer days but I remember my kids saying, “but, mom, it’s not dark, Why do I have to go to bed?”

  3. Robin rue says

    I’ve never had any problems with my kids with daylight savings. It’s only an hour so it’s super easy to adjust Bring on summer!!

  4. Shirley Wood says

    We are empty nesters but my daughter has 5 children who groan when it is Daylight Savings Time and then they groan again when time changes in the Fall. Children don’t like change but they adjust well and quickly. I look forward to Spring Forward! I’m ready!

  5. Tammy says

    My son never really had a problem with DST. It was me and the dog. It would take weeks for the dog to get over the time change. Your post gave me a chuckle of my memories.

  6. Kathryn Kinsley says

    I’ve got a let up because I’ve never set my watch for the Fall time change. So now I can easily adjust because I’ve been looking at the wrong time for half a year!

  7. Pam Wattenbarger says

    I had forgotten that Daylight Savings Time was upon us! I hate when the time changes. These are good tips for surviving it, haha.

  8. Ali says

    Ohhh I am so not ready to spring forward. Yes, more light is great but to lose an hour of sleep? I’m just not ready.

    • Amanda says

      Wow, I’m impressed. I’ve never heard anyone say that their kids haven’t been affected by time change.

  9. Kate | Life of a Ginger says

    I so wish they would get rid of Daylight Saving Time. It’s really a pain!! Especially because parts of the country no longer participate. It makes it really hard to remember what time it is in AZ where my husband is working!

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