Personally, I cannot wait for Daylight Savings. The short, dark days make me cranky and cold and throw off all my good intentions of exercising in the evenings or wanting to do anything other than sit on the couch watching Jeopardy with a bowl of popcorn. (Yes, we do watch Jeopardy. Yes, we are competitive about it. Yes, I know we’re old.)
But what was once the highlight of my March now fills me with a slight feeling of dread.
Are they going to be ready for bed if the sun is still streaming in their window?
What’s earlier than the asscrack of dawn? Because I feel sure this is when they will wake up.
We need to get out the door, but now they’re going to sleep too late and I’ll have to wake them up!
They already make me lose sleep, I can’t afford to lose another hour!
We finally got them on a good schedule! Why must you ruin this?!
Time changes as a parent are hard and it can also be hard for your kiddo. If yours has to be on a schedule like you, losing an hour of sleep or changing up their routine can be hard on them too.
SO without further ado… my absolutely not-scientific, totally unproven guide to surviving a time change with children.
A week or so before start shifting bedtime back (or up) in 15 minute increments every two days to slowly adjust to the time change.
It really doesn’t work the same if you just spend the night before Daylight Savings going “OK we’re going to bed late tonight!” in hopes that they’ll sleep in. They’re still going to get up at some ungodly hour with the energy of a thousand suns while you can barely peel your eyes open enough to figure out what day it is.
(BTW do the same with meals.)
Prep your kids’ rooms.
Blackout curtains were by far the best investment we ever made for my kids’ rooms. In our house, the sun actually rises in their rooms (like we need help waking them up), but they wound up being really helpful last year when their bedtime was earlier than sunset.
We also play music or use a sound machine to help cover the happy sounds of other children with fun parents who don’t force their kids to go to bed before the sun.
(This is a joke… my kids are small and need to go to bed before 9pm. BUT my grandmother used to make my dad and uncles go to bed at 7:30 in the middle of the summer while all their other friends were out playing. My dad says they would all lie awake and hear the other kids playing outside. I won’t do this to my kids, but it still makes me laugh because I’m cold hearted and awful.)
Wear them TF out
It’s a good thing this time of year means nice weather and getting out more because there’s nothing like some fresh air and movement to help get your kids to sleep. Go to the park, the playground, the pool.
Got a tiny baby? Tummy time, mama! You’ll have that baby doing push ups before you know it. And I don’t know about you, but exercise wears me out so it’s gotta work from them too, right?
Play hard, sleep hard.
If your kid is flexible and easily adapts to changes then just keep rolling.
If you don’t have a schedule and your life is (un)organized chaos all the time then what does this change even matter except after they go to bed you can sit outside and get some fresh air alone. (Maybe.)
If the idea of doing one other thing than everything you’re already doing makes you feel like you might lose your mind, then don’t worry about it!
Here’s the best-kept parenting secret… babies and kids are resilient.
Love them. Feed them. Shelter them. Respect them. Set healthy boundaries. And everything else will work itself out. Don’t let a little time change stress you and your kiddos out. If you care enough to even try to figure this out for yourself and for them, then you’re doing a great job.
P.S. if you need a place to ask questions, get support, build a community of parents and parents-to-be with a little bit of free prenatal + postpartum yoga, join my private Facebook community Baby Bumps + Beyond!