Turning the clocks back doesn't mean you have to turn your life upside down.
It's that time again: Set clocks back an hour for Daylight Savings tonight at 2:00 a.m.
Of course, the clock is nice enough to give us an extra hour of sleep. Unfortunately, our kids will still get up at their usual time -- regardless of what the clock says. Jill and Jen, founders of Sleepy Planet, offer their expert advice on how to ensure the time shift goes as smoothly as possible:
- Put your child to sleep at his normal bedtime on Saturday night.
- Your child will most likely wake up one hour earlier by the new clock than he normally does, say at 5 a.m (which still feels to him like 6 a.m.). Psychologically, it can be painful to see 5 a.m. on your clock and deal with a child who's bright and perky. There's not a lot you can do about his energy level on this first morning, so just get up with him.
- If your child still naps, stretch him as much as you can toward his normal first nap time (according to the current clock). So, if your child wakes at 5 a.m. (according to the current clock), his body will want to nap one hour earlier than normal. Don't let him!
Instead, do everything to keep him awake. Give him a bath or do the Hokey Pokey around the house to keep him up as close to his normal first nap time as possible, then follow his usual schedule thereafter. Don't let him nap too long, as doing so may continue to cause early morning wakings.
If your child has outgrown napping, you still need to allow him to wake up at the early new time once the clocks have changed (bummer).
However, spend your day eating and doing activties according to the usual time (even though the clock has changed). Do your best to keep him up all the way to his regular bedtime at night, by the new clock. Yes, he'll be a bit cranky in the evening, but after a few days, he'll adjust!