Here’s something I don’t think they ever mention in new mommy classes: Just when you get the kids into a great sleep habit… along comes… Daylight Savings Time. Every parent’s angst is how to adjust kids to Daylight Savings Time – so here’s some tips for you!
First of all. Daylight Savings Time is a complete misnomer for parents, because by the time you get the kids back to their usual bedtime…. nobody has saved any time whatsoever. But. For the farmers, we must, I suppose.
So. Daylight Savings Time at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning, usually in March of each year. I’ve been researching some ways to prevent this week from melting down into total nightmare (get it? sleep? nightmare? Okay… maybe I’m the only one laughing).
There are ways to use this time of year to improve and reinforce healthy sleeping habits in our children.
First, how many hours of sleep DO kids need?
The amount of sleep a child needs varies by age. From baby years where they need 12-16 hours a day. On up to preschool/school years where 10-12 is the norm. Check out what WebMD recommends for sleep in specific age ranges.
Once you know how much sleep your child should be getting, put a few more sleep tips for kids into your routine.
Tips to Adjust Kids to Daylight Savings Time
Stick with your routines! In our house that means bath/brush/read/sleep (and a warm bath is also great for relaxing the kids).
We try to stick to the same bedtime every night, give or take 20 minutes. I definitely feel it on night’s we’re out late for church or special occasions – the kids are “off” the next day. Let’s face it, so am I! Adults are not immune from sleep disruption!
Try a natural remedy like Zarbee’s Naturals Children’s Sleep, which contains 1 mg of melatonin to relax children before bedtime (dosage will vary by age). Melatonin is natural and non-habit forming.
We’ve given the Zarbee’s Naturals Children’s Sleep chewable to our son on a few occasions when he was hyped up before bed, and it really works to just get him calmer and less frenzied about having to go to sleep (he’s kind of an anti-sleep kid. Anybody else have one of those?!).
Keep it calm. Dim lights, soft music, and reading keep the energy low and help kids drift off. Also, no electronics, as the light from the screens are very stimulating to the brain and can disrupt sleep.
Trick the clock. Okay you can’t actually trick the clock – it doesn’t really care. But, and this is a new one we’re trying this year, you can put the kids to sleep a little earlier the few days before DST. Or, set your clocks ahead Saturday afternoon so you won’t notice the effect on sleep quite so much.
Hopefully these tips will help ease your family – and mine! – through this otherwise rather groggy week!
More Healthy Sleep Tips for Kids
What else should you be doing at Daylight Savings Time?
Check out my free downloadable Daylight Savings Times to-do list of home tasks that should get done twice a year. Daylight Savings Time is a good reminder for these!
Do you have any tips for adjusting toddlers to Daylight Savings Time (older kids and adults too!)?
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