It’s that time of year again, mums and dads! When daylight savings comes to ruin the lives of parents and the routines of young children.
This year be prepared for the sleep setbacks that this stupid time change brings with our guide on how to make daylight savings suck a little less.
Although some states are smart enough to skip the whole daylight savings drama, most are not. And thus, all parents in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and ACT can expect their routines to be slightly out of whack come Sunday morning.
That’s right – Sunday, this Sunday at 2am, the clocks are put forward one hour. This means you get the joy of trying to get a child to go to sleep at the normal time of 7.30pm, when really it feels like 6.30pm to your tot. And, as every child knows, 6.30pm is party time. Not bedtime.
One hour forward, two steps back for sleep routines everywhere
How out of whack your world is about to become depends on a number of things, especially how old your children are. It seems that older kids have an easier time adapting to the whole “spring forward” thing. Toddlers tend to have a bit of trouble, especially ones with a strict sleep schedule in place.
Despite our complaints and our children’s demands that “they aren’t tired” yet, there is really no chance that daylight savings is going to be cancelled this year. But we do have a few tips on making the whole daylight savings transition a little easier on everyone.
Tip 1: Let them stay up.
Accept daylight savings defeat. It’s easier than listening to “But I can’t sleep yet” 5 million times on that first night. So let your little one go to sleep a little later than normal (which, in fact, is a little earlier than what your tot’s body clocks is set to).
For example, if normal bedtime is 7.30pm (which is actually 6.30pm for your child’s body clock), aim to put bub to bed at 8.20pm (which is actually 7.20pm for your child’s body clock).
The ten minute change won’t be too hard for their bodies to handle and won’t result in them standing at the bedroom door for an hour announcing they are “not sleepy yet.”
Tip 2: Reset their body clocks, slowly
Next step – take small steps back to regular bedtime. Aim to bring bedtime back to normal by 10 minutes a night. So, the first night, bedtime is 8.20pm, the next night, 8.10pm, and so forth.
By next week, when school holidays end, your child’s body clock should all caught up. And you should be enjoying 7.30pm bedtimes once again.
Tip 3: Don’t plan anything too early in the morning
If your little one is pretty consistent with waking up in the mornings, then there is a chance he may sleep in a little later due to the time adjustment. The chance is slim, of course, but it’s still there.
Tip 4: Let sleeping kids lie
Some experts suggests waking your children up to get them used to the time change. But we reckon these experts must not have kids.
Because waking a sleeping child up is pretty much the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard. Sorry, but Ill take the sleep-in, thanks.
Tip 5: Move to Queensland
It’s sunny and warm and no such thing as daylight savings up there. That’s right – no bedtime routine disruptions and no confused children wondering why they are being sent to bed when the sun is still up. Sure, there are snakes pretty much EVERYWHERE, but, hey, you get used to them.
Good luck to all mums dreading daylight savings as much as us. And bring on April when we can trick our kids into going to bed an hour earlier!