As we bid farewell to daylight savings time and embrace the return to standard time, it’s a truth that universally acknowledged that adjusting our kids’ internal clocks can be a bit of a challenge.
Fun fact, as I tried to follow my own advice in the days leading up to the end of daylight savings, and kept my kids up later, I DIDN’T follow my advice to also keep lights dark *later* in the morning the next day.
My son’s clock still came on at the same time as previous days.
So he did not get to shift his internal cycle, did not get enough sleep at night, and did not wake up happy.
Sometimes I feel that most of modern society is set up against those with young children, and the shift between daylight and standard time, is one of them.
But fear not, for I’ve got some tips and tricks to help you and your little ones smoothly transition into the new time zone without too many meltdowns (yours or theirs).
1. Embrace Flexibility:
First; let’s throw that rigid schedule out the window, at least for the first week. Kids, much like adults, need some time to recalibrate their internal clocks. So, you may need to be more flexible with bedtime and mealtimes this week. Their little bodies are adjusting and the first few days especially are the trickiest.
2. Chase the Sun of Standard Time:
The sun is your new best friend in this time transition journey. Use its natural light to your advantage! Exposure to sunlight early in the morning helps reset their circadian rhythm (internal body clock). So, take morning walks, play in the backyard, or simply enjoy breakfast by the window. Let that sunshine work its magic.
3. Bright Evenings, Dim Mornings:
Another trick is to manipulate the lighting in your home for the first few days after the change back to standard time. Keep the lights bright in the evening after supper to signal to your child’s body that it’s still wake-up time. Dim the lights in the morning until they wake up to gently ease them into the day. Please note: use this technique ONLY for a few days after the transition. By Thursday or Friday, your child’s body will be close to fully adjusting to the new time.
4. Be Patient with Crankiness:
Expect a few grumpy faces and maybe some extra whining. The time change can throw anyone off balance, especially our little ones. Recognize that they might be a bit more tired or irritable during this adjustment period. Be patient, offer a little extra comfort, and maybe throw in a few extra hugs. A little extra TLC goes a long way.
5. Consistent Bedtime Routine:
Maintain a consistent bedtime routine. Children thrive on predictability, and a solid bedtime routine helps signal to their bodies that it’s time to wind down. Whether it’s reading a book, having a warm bath, or singing a lullaby, stick to the routine, and your little one will be back on track in no time.
So there you have it, a few tricks up your sleeve to help your little ones transition smoothly into standard time. Remember, it’s all about being flexible, using the sun’s guidance, and understanding that a bit of crankiness is just part of the process. Before you know it, you and your kids will be back on track and ready to tackle the new season together. Happy adjusting!
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