Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Helping your Little One Adjust to Daylight Savings Time
Have you recovered from Daylight Savings Time yet? Each year we “Spring Forward” and get an “extra” hour of daylight at the end of the day. (Is it really an extra hour if we lose an hour of daylight at the beginning? Anyway…) It can be tough to get your little ones back on track after the time switch. This is because toddlers just don’t understand Daylight Savings Time, and it can be hard for them to adjust their schedule accordingly.
The biggest problem with the time change is that toddlers are generally used to sleeping a certain number of hours each night. Kids don’t wake up to alarm clocks the way that we do—they use their body clocks! This can result in toddlers waking up at a different time once Daylight Savings Time kicks in. It might not seem like a big deal, but an hour can make a big difference as far as your daily routine is concerned. If you don’t take steps to nip it in the bud early, you’ll end up dealing with a very cranky toddler.
One of the best ways to minimize the effect is to put your little one to sleep an hour earlier before Daylight Savings Time begins. (And an hour later when it ends.) This can help to negate the difference caused by the time change. If you didn’t have the chance to plan ahead this way, the best thing to do is stick to your schedule as much as possible—whether or not your toddler agrees with it! Just stick to the routine, they’ll adjust eventually.
If your little one resists the change, try adjusting a little bit at a time. For instance, push naptime and bedtime back by 15 or 20 minutes each day until they’re back on track. It can be frustrating for you and your toddler, but it just takes a little time! (And a cute Zoobie Pet from Little Dudes and Divas can help make the transition easier, too!)