The dreaded time change! Anyone else hoping this is the last time we have to change the clocks? I supposed the “extra” hour of sleep (if you don’t have kids) in the fall is great, I mean when it’s not the year 2020. But losing that hour in the springtime can really throw people’s circadian rhythms into a tizzy.
So if we have a hard time adjusting, how do we help our kids adjust?
You pretty much have two options. How you handle it will really depend on your children. Are they able to be a little flexible with their schedules and bounce back quickly? Or are they pretty rigid and any little tweak throws them for a loop?
Easing Into the Change
Starting about 1 week out, you will start moving the schedule a little bit later. Every couple of days you will move it 15 minutes later. For example: If your current schedule is wake at 7 am, nap #1 at 9:30 am, nap #2 at 1:30 pm, bedtime at 6:30 pm, then you will move your times to be 7:15 am, 9:45 am, 1:45 pm, 6:45 pm. Continue to move those times later until you are a full hour later by Saturday. Then, Sunday morning you change the clocks and you are back to your old schedule.
This is actually what I do with my kids. They can be relatively flexible. When the clocks move backward, just continue your day by the clock. Don’t think about the old time, just go with the flow and they will adjust.
So my kids aren’t as flexible as I thought…
That happens, you can always move the times back every couple of days after the time change instead of before the time change. So the 7 am wake up suddenly became a 6 am wake up, nap 1 is now at 8:30, nap 2 at 12:30, and bedtime of 5:30! Push all those times forward 15 minutes. So the first day your naps will be 8:45 and 12:45 with bedtime at 5:45. But by the end of the week, you will be back to the regular schedule.
Eventually with consistency, which every option you choose, your kids will get back to their sleeping schedule. This time change is a lot easier to deal with and work through. Losing the hour can be a lot harder to deal with, especially for those higher sleep needs kids.