Tips for Dealing With the Time Change with Children
November 2, 2017
Adjusting to a time change is difficult for everybody, but babies and children may have an especially hard time because, well, they simply don’t understand the concept of time or the expectations. With the end of Daylight Savings just around the corner, here are some tips for helping your children transition. These tips are also useful for jet lag or moving to a new time zone.
Make it gradual
Babies internal clocks don’t adjust automatically with the time change, nor does anybody’s bodies instantly adjust. It’s not an easy transition for anyone, so start putting them down later and waking them up later a few days in advance, even by 15-minute increments. Expect to have to do this for a while even after you change your clocks until they adjust. Fortunately, it will be dark around their bedtime and wake-time, but if you live in a part of the world where it won’t be dark, invest in some black-out curtains to help sleep-train them to sleep when it’s dark.
Try to stay consistent
The end of Daylight Savings coincides with a lot of special events. Halloween has just ended and now the shopping and bustle of the holiday season starts picking up. Football games and family get-togethers are in full swing. Despite your busy schedule, try to keep your baby’s routine as consistent as possible. This means regularly scheduled naps, meals, baths, etc. Babies thrive off consistency as it helps them know what to expect and remember what comes next in their lives. Maintain this for them to help them adjust to the time change.
Create new calming routines
The transition may be difficult and require patience on your end. Baby may be cranky, wake more at night, or continue to wake up at 5 AM instead of 6 AM for weeks after the change. Remember that they don’t have any concept of time, so be patient and think of ways to solve this problem. Perhaps you can introduce a new calming bedtime routine that, with consistency, of course, will help baby fall asleep and wake at the appropriate times. Perhaps a calming bedtime song, a bath with a new toy, or a new book can help.
Wear them out during the day
If they’re full of energy at night it will be more difficult for them to fall asleep. Make sure they are getting out during the day so they get plenty of fresh air and movement. Go for a walk, push them in the stroller, visit the pumpkin patch, go to the park, the zoo – anything that you love doing together to help wear them out for bedtime.
What tips helped your babies adjust to a time change?
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