Preparing Your Children For Daylight Saving Time

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
I am feeling on the fence about the upcoming weekend. Love weekends. But compared to prior years, this one weekend out of the 52 of them is different. First off, we are turning the clocks back an hour. Great, great news. That equals to more quality time with the two loves of my life. But here's the part that troubles me a bit. My son. I'm a little concerned about the end results for him. How he will adapt and cope with daylight saving time. That's what creates the downfall of this weekend. But im coming prepared. With the bit of information I have collected, not just for me but for you as well, I should survive. Hopefully.

It's a known fact, newborn babies are usually not effected by the start or finish of Daylight Saving. However older babies and toddlers can be effected for a week or two and you may have an overtired little one on your hands as a result. Not to worry! S.O.S. Mom to the rescue. At least I'll try my best!

Transition at the start and finish of daylight saving is far easier if your baby is in a routine. You can make gradual changes to their routine, and the transition will be much easier. If your baby or toddler isn’t in a routine, there is still time to get organized. At the very least have a consistent bedtime for the next few days.

Although adults and older children can usually quickly adapt to a new wake up and sleep time, especially if they are already a little sleep deprived, it can be more difficult for younger children. you can expect a grumpy toddler for up to three weeks. Again, the younger the child, the longer it will take to adjust. According to multiple studies, poor or inadequate sleep causes irritability, stress and anxiety. No big surprise there. Pile on top of that an inability to verbally communicate and you've got a cranky young child on your hands for days, if not weeks. Just brace yourselves and prepare to expect some rocky terrain. After moving the clocks back an hour, children who were used to going to bed at 7pm are likely to be ready to go to bed at 6pm. While that may be okay, they may then be likely to wake up at 6am... which may not be okay! So again, be proactive and prepare for the clocks going back. This should minimise the interference to your baby's sleep and help them adjust much quicker.


Here are some guidelines, assuming a 7pm bedtime:

DayRoutine during the dayBedtime
 WednesdayUsual sleep & feed times  7.00pm
 ThursdaySleep & feed times 15 mins later, (eg first feed at 7.15am not 7am).7.15pm
 FridaySleep & feed times 30 mins later (eg first feed at 7.30am not 7am).7.30pm
 SaturdaySleep& feed times 45 mins later (eg first feed at 7.45am not 7am).7.45pm
 SundayWake your child at 7am (new time), then your usual routine times for feeds & sleeps.7.00pm (new time)

While your little one is getting used to the new time, stick to your usual bedtime rules and behaviours. For example if your toddler usually can go to sleep by himself, avoid lying down with him or letting him sleep in your bed. A week of different bedtime routine while adjusting to Daylight Saving could be long enough to build a new habit, which you then need to deal with. Also, kids sense morning like sharks smell blood. The tiniest crack of daylight can wake even the hardest young sleeper. As another trick to help you in this adapting process, keep it dark in your child's room as it will encourage more sleep in the morning. Something you'll want all year round, really.

Make sure you put your clock back on Saturday night before you go to bed and do not forget to check your smoke alarms at the same time.



17 Fabulous Comments:

Susan Liberatore said...

I remember struggling with this the last couple of years when my youngest was still challenging in the sleep dept. The time change definitely made it worse! These are some great tips.

Dixieland Deals said...

Wow! I love the chart and that just makes perfect sense! I've never thought about this before, but you're right, it is rough on them. Thanks for a great article!

Susan said...

This is something I had never thought about! Thanks!

will1494 said...

Wow! Great chart and everything! We are past this phase (hallelujah!) but, will keep in mind for #2!

Anne - Mommy Has to Work said...

Mine are older, so mine will not like not being able to go to the park!

Kim Croisant said...

Well, now you've got me thinking. I know the time change messes with my dogs, but didn't notice it last year with Brody. Will need to watch closely this year. Thanks for the reminder of the time change too!!

Trisha said...

Thanks for the info and for sharing the guideline chart, such a great idea!

amy2blessings said...

I remember those days.

Mrs. Stephens said...

I have never paid attention to this before at all. I didn't even realize how much it affected the kids, but lots of things throw off the kids schedule. Like the Hurricane Sandy is still wrecking havoc on sleep schedules over here and now daylight savings.

LN Fanning said...

wow.. great scheduling you have here. I will think about putting this to work.

Allyson Bossie said...

That's a great way to do things! My son lays with me to cuddle at 8 pm every night until he falls asleep so I think it won't affect him too much. Maybe a little extra cuddle time. Truthfully he is tired way before 8 but I want to sleep in until at least 6 every morning, and he gets up earlier if he goes down earlier

Irish Italian Blessings said...

GREAT Schedule! I always dread daylight savings, it gets us every year.

Jennifer Clay said...

You have a great schedule! I am dreading the time change as well. :/

Angela Paris said...

what a great post - i'm loving your schedule! :)

An Ordinary Housewife said...

Interesting tips. I haven't really thought too much about the kids adjusting to daylight saving time. Actually I haven't thought to much abou ti period! Thanks for reminding me!

Meredith said...

I appreciate the tips! We have been trying to prepare too, but your chart is excellent organized direction--thank you! Finding you via #MTMmixer and you've got a great site!

Kera said...

We'll see how my little nugget does this year...last year she was only a month old and seemed to adjust fine {basically because she was waking up every 2 hours anyway!}. But this year...not sure how it will go over. It probably would help if I had a set bedtime for her! Please don't judge, I swear I'm a good mommy :)

New follower from the More Than Mommies Mixer! Would love for your to stop on by!
http://nuggetonabudget.blogspot.com

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