Daylight Saving Time, or DST as I like to call it, is every parent’s worst nightmare. Just when you think your child is on a reliable schedule, the clocks change and everyone is thrown for a loop!
At least with the springtime change, the end result is that your children will sleep “later”. All the grumbling about kids waking up at 4:00 or 5:00 am typically happens in the fall.
Daylight Saving Time, also known as DST, happens twice yearly in the United States. One occurrence takes place in the spring and the second occurrence takes place in the fall. Daylight Saving Time is the act of changing the time by one hour. During the spring, the time changes forward by one hour. During the fall, the time changes backward by one hour.
DST began in 1916. It started as a way to save energy and fuel by allowing more sunlight during the day. It was first used during World War I. Once the war was done, everyone went back to standard time. This is how the two occurrences of DST became a practice.
The number one question I’m asked by clients and friends is how to handle DST, and my advice might surprise you…
Personally, I like to just do nothing! I don’t bother with shifting the schedule by 15 minutes every other day over the course of a week.
Frankly, it’s just too confusing and who can keep track? The only thing I really do is continue to wake my children at their typical morning wake time. So on Sunday morning, if your kids are typically up at 7:00 am, they may want to sleep until the clock says 8:00 am.
In order to keep them on schedule, wake them at 7:00 am even if that means they are a little cranky in the morning. Then simply carry on with your day offering naps at the regular times. Within a few days, your children will be fully adjusted!
The best thing you can do to prepare for Daylight Saving Time- DST with kids is to not stress over it. There is no point in making a bigger deal of this occurrence than there needs to be. By simply doing nothing, everyone will adjust to the new time change just fine.
As a parent, you are already facing enough struggles and stressors. Don’t make DST another stressor when it doesn’t have to be. Children are resilient and they will adjust to the new change in time. Keep with your normal schedule and routine and everyone will be back to normal in just a few days.