Preschool Parent's Guide to Surviving the Time Change
Yep. It’s happening again. Seems like we were just dealing with Falling Back and now- here we are- changing the clock again. This Sunday we Spring Forward.
That means this Saturday night we lose an hour. On one hand, the sun stays out later... summer is right around the corner. But, on the other hand, we’re going to lose an hour of sleep and you’re worried that it’s going to throw your kids’ sleep schedules totally out of whack. Well, don’t worry – this time change usually isn’t as difficult as the one in the Fall. We just need a little planning ahead to avoid any sleep disruptions.
Gradual Adjustment – Since the time is “Springing Forward” and we are losing an hour, we help our kids anticipate it by “Hopping Back” in the days leading up to the change. Start the process on Friday, 2 days before the time change, and adjust your kiddo's bedtime in 20-minute increments.
7:00pm on Sunday night is going to feel the same as 6:00pm did on Saturday night.
So, if your 4 year old has a 7:00pm bedtime....
- on Friday, put her to bed :20 earlier, at 6:40...
- on Saturday, put her to bed :20 earlier, at 6:20...
- then, on Sunday, after the time has changed, moved bedtime back to 7:00pm
Stick to the Clock – Once the time changes on Sunday, stick to the “old” schedule. If normal bedtime is 7:00pm, it should be 7:00pm on Sunday night. Don’t let your child stay up later just because the clock is different. You don't want to get on the path to having an overtired kid.
Be Patient – It will take everyone a few days to fully adjust so remember to be patient. If your kiddo is still napping, use the same "Hop Back" strategy for nap time, too. The younger the child, the longer it can take their bodies to adjust.