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Changing Clocks: WHAT!

"What do I do about naps!?"

"They're waking up at the wrong time now!"

"What do I do about dinner time?"

Long story short: keep it all the same as it was yesterday.

Short story long: keep reading.

When parents become accustomed to their child's fantastic sleep schedule, it is very easy to get stuck in a rut when daylight saving times arrives. Daylight saving time comes just as winter ends, just in time for us to spring our clocks forward and experience a little more daylight with each day until the autumn months. The reversal, pushing the clocks back one hour, happens every fall. This an be concerning to parents who covet their child's schedule to the minute each day. But I am here to tell you itdoesn'thavetobesohard.

The number one important thing you can do on the day before, during and after DST is STAY ON SCHEDULE. Use the clock in it's actual form - don't pretend it's yesterday's time, don't plan for tomorrow's time. Just change your clocks at bedtime like you did your whole life, and continue accordingly.

If bedtime is typically 7:00 PM, in the spring they're going to feel like they're going to bed a little earlier than usual. This is where blackout shades come in HANDY! Just get ready for bed as normal, pjs, books and songs - their normal sleep cues will help their brain adjust at the fastest pace possible. In the fall, when you move the clocks backwards, 7:00 PM may feel like 8:00 PM to a child. If your child is crying for their bed or having a meltdown, just put them to bed early. They'll live! It is likely that they will adjust within a few days if everything else in their life continues on normal schedule. Mornings can also be tricky. I recommend using a "time-to-rise" clock or a "ready-to-rise" clock that changes color for the child to signal that it's time to get up in the morning. Implementing this a few weeks prior to DST changes will be helpful when the day finally comes.

The last important piece worth noting here is that if you are a stickler for bedtimes like I am, do not feel pressured by others to change your child's bedtime with the changing of the clock. It is FINE for a child to go to bed at 6:00 PM even if it's totally light outside. Their overall sleep window trumps your friend's opinion about you being to rigid. If you feel that you want to change the schedule about 30-60 minutes in either direction, that is your choice as the parent in charge! You can do it!

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