Practical tips to help your child adjust to the time change. A must-read for any parent who need tips on handling daylight savings with kids. Thank you to Kidde for sponsoring this post. All content and opinions expressed are my own. This article contains affiliate links.
If you’d asked me what I thought about the spring daylight savings time before I had kids, I would’ve groaned.
We lose an hour! I can’t sleep in! I’ll be so tired!
Ask me today what I think about it, and I’ll say: Yay!
For anyone with kids who wake up earlier than they should (*raises hand*), the time change can be your opportunity to adjust their wake up time later.
On Sunday, we lose an hour, so that when our bodies wake up at 6:30am, it’s technically 7:30am.
This is especially useful for one of my twins who likes to wake up at 6:30am instead of 7am when we like to get them up. Now he’ll technically be awake at 7:30am—score!
But maybe your schedule is different. Maybe you need your kids to wake up by the clock, such as to go to school or day care. And with schedules, naps and events to consider, kids sometimes find it hard to adjust to the time change.
How to survive daylight savings with kids:
So, what are the best ways to best handle the time difference this Sunday? These are the strategies I’ve used to help survive daylight savings with kids.
Option 1: Adjust to a later wake up time.
Let’s say your child wakes up at 7am, but you’d love for him to wake up around 8am instead. The beauty of the spring time change is it does it for you. You’d just get him up at the new 8am (even if to his body, it’s still 7am).
Option 2: Keep the same wake up time.
On the flip side, let’s say your child is up at 7am and you’d like him to keep doing so. Maybe you need him up by 7am to make it to school on time. In this case, you’d want to set your alarm for the “new” 7am and wake him up. It’ll be tough because he’ll feel tired (his body says it’s 6am), but it’ll even out when he takes his next nap.
Option 3: Start the day whenever your child wakes up.
In yet another scenario, maybe your child wakes up earlier than he’s supposed to. For instance, he’s supposed to be up at 7am, but he somehow manages to wake up at 6:30am every morning.
You could then use the time change to make the official wake up time start at the “new” 7:30am. Start your day once you hear him up and about.
Common questions about adjusting to daylight savings time:
What time should I put my child to bed the night before?
On Saturday night, put him to bed at the same time he normally does.
What time should his first (or only) nap be?
Put him down for a nap at the “new” time, regardless of when or how he woke up. He’ll either feel tired (because you woke him up). Or he won’t feel as sleepy (from having what seems to him an earlier nap time). Don’t worry—he’ll correct the time difference either at the next nap or, if he only has one nap, at bedtime.
What time should I get him up from his nap?
If your child takes more than one nap, wake him up according to the “new” time. So, let’s say he naps from 12 to 2, but because he wasn’t as tired, he didn’t fall asleep until 1pm. Don’t let him sleep from 1-3pm. Instead, wake him up at 2 so he can adjust at the next nap.
If he only takes one nap, let him sleep until 3 or as late as you feel comfortable.
When should I change the clocks?
Move your clocks forward the night before. That way, you’ll already have your times set the next day. And when you do, make it a habit to check your smoke alarms as well (or install new ones if you don’t have any). Check your alarm batteries at the same time you’re changing your clocks.
Why check smoke alarms during daylight savings time? This small task could keep your family safe in case you have a fire at home. Three out of five U.S. home fire fatalities happen when homes have no smoke alarms. Or they have them but they don’t work because of dead or missing batteries.
A fantastic option is to get smoke and carbon monoxide alarms with a 10-year, sealed-in lithium batteries like Kidde’s Worry-Free alarms. With just one battery, they provide 24/7 fire safety protection for 10 years. You won’t have to replace batteries all the time or hear annoying low battery warning chirps.
Kidde’s Worry-Free smoke alarms also have location-based features. You can use the right alarm for the right location or room in your home.
Adjusting to the time change can be a challenge for parents. You’ve got overtired kids, or kids not tired enough for their next nap. Use the strategies above to correct for any time differences you and your kids may feel. That way, come Monday morning, you’ll feel well-rested—even with that hour lost.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kidde.
It’s funny how that simple hour throws families for a loop. It messed up Des a lot last year. I’m looking forward to a better transition this year.
Someone made a funny meme, asking why we change the clocks on a Saturday night/Sunday morning. Why don’t we do it at 4:00pm on a Friday – making it 5:00pm – and sending everyone home! ha!
Nina Garcia says
Oh my gosh that would be AWESOME! Haha it’s true, why make our weekends shorter? Hopefully Des will adjust better this year.
I’m kind of like you…looking forward to the kids sleeping in until a reasonable hour. That said, I have no idea what effect it will have on the baby’s sleep schedule. Fingers crossed it won’t mess it all up!
Nina Garcia says
Eeks! It’s always hard with babies, though at least their awake time is shorter so they can correct at their next nap.
I love springing forward now! My kids are early risers too. It’s falling back that gets me every. time.
Nina Garcia says
Seriously! We lost an hour but got to bedtime an hour faster 😉