Help Your Toddler Adjust to the End of Daylight Savings Time

It’s almost time to “fall back”.  It’s amazing how that one-hour difference can be such a difficult adjustment for everyone. But it’s especially difficult for young children!

Here are a few tips to help your little one adjust before we turn the clocks back:

Start the transition early: 

Put your child to bed 15 minutes earlier (or later, in the spring) each night during the week leading up to the time change.  It will allow their internal body clock to make the adjustment ahead of time. While they may not actually fall asleep earlier than usual, their bodies will be relaxing a bit earlier each day which will eventually lead to falling asleep earlier.

Develop a healthy sleep routine:

It’s important to keep your child’s routine as consistent as possible, to establish healthy sleep patterns that will support them through life:

  • Establish regular times to go to bed and get up in the morning, including on weekends.
  • Develop a before-sleep routine of quiet activities: bath, teeth brushing, story.
  • Avoid high-energy activities in the hours before bedtime.
  • Make sure your child’s room is a comfortable temp (not too hot!), quiet and dark. Use a nightlight if they are afraid of the dark.

A quiet house will help your little one relax:

Ask friends and family not to call after a certain time and keep ambient noise to a minimum, If possible. This is especially important during the transition to Daylight Savings Time since it will be lighter out when your child goes to bed.

Back to bed, little one:

If your child wakes up too early, let them know that it is not time yet. Encourage them to play quietly in their room or relax in their bed until the correct time to start the day.

Maintain their regular nap schedule:

Don’t adjust their naps after the time change. While they may not seem tired at their usual nap time, their bodies will adapt.

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