Whomever decided daylight savings time was a reasonable idea wasn’t responsible for coaxing young children towards a peaceful night of sleep. Even without a sudden time shift, bedtime can be an already long process with tooth brushing struggles, lost teddy bears, multiple trips to the potty, and fervent requests for just one more song, book or another glass of water. Here are some tips to help you and your kids survive falling back an hour.
Shift bedtimes slowly over the course of a week instead of in one night. Abrupt changes to schedules can be jarring for anyone, regardless of age, but children are creatures of habit, relying heavily on internal clocks and routine for a sense of stability. Slowly pushing bedtime earlier by 10 or 20 minutes over the course of several days instead of an hour in one night can ease the stress related with bedtime and waking changes.
Utilize black out curtains. Often the most disruptive part of the beginning and end of Daylight Saving Time is the change in light that filters in through the windows, pulling kids from their beds earlier than we’d like. Using black out curtains all year round lets you control the light from inside the house rather than leaning on the sun to tell your children when it’s time to sleep and wake.
Skip screen time right before bed. Putting the TV on right before bed might be tempting because it’s a quiet activity everyone in the family can usually enjoy together but screen time right before bedtime can activate the parts of the brain that need to be quieted down in order for kids to fall and stay asleep. Choosing other quiet activities such as reading books can create the same sense of calm without setting kids up to fail during an already trying time.