Daylight Savings Time is rough at first for all of us, especially babies and toddlers. Most parents of small children are used to not getting as much sleep as they used to, but this weekend might be a little tougher since we’ll move our clocks ahead one hour, tomorrow night (Saturday, November 1st). If you’re dreading the time change, you are not alone…but we’re here to help! The Sleep Lady, Kim West joined me for an interview this week to discuss how parents can prepare themselves and their children for the time change, what they can expect and how parents can make Daylight Savings Time easier on themselves and their family.
Candace Rose: With Daylight Savings Time happening this weekend, how can we prepare ourselves and how can parents prepare their children for the time change?
Kim West: “Ideally, you would start as soon as possible moving their entire schedule later in 10/15 minute increments. That would mean moving naps and mealtime and bedtime later, so that we can make up for that hour difference that will happen on Saturday night. Then Sunday morning be prepared for some early rising because our children – even though the clock will say 6:00 am, our children’s body will feel like 5:00 am.
It will be lighter outside, so if you haven’t already, install some room darkening shades and be prepared for them to rise a little bit earlier, maybe attend to them and tell them it’s not time to get up, and if you can, wait until 6:00 am before you start the day.”
Candace Rose: How long does it typically take people to adjust to daylight savings time?
Kim West: “It takes about three to seven days on average.”
Candace Rose: What should parents expect during Daylight Savings Time?
Kim West: “I would expect some early rising because of that time difference and because our clock says that it’s earlier, or earlier than it is, so that’s very common. Make sure that you have your child well napped in order to prevent that. For instance, on Sunday if they wake up at let’s say 5:30 and they don’t go back to sleep and you get them out and start the day at 6:00 am, that might be a day where you might need to add a nap if they’re not napping, or add an additional nap if they are napping to help them make it to a later bedtime so that they’re not overtired. What can happen if we don’t do that it sort of becomes a downward spiral, or children become more and more overtired, which then ingrains the early rising.”
Candace Rose: How can parents ensure their babies are happy and healthy during Daylight Savings Time?
Kim West: “I think making sure that they’re well rested and well napped and that they’re also wearing a diaper that will keep them dry at night so they’re not woken up from a wet leaking diaper. That’s why I really like Pampers because across their entire line, their diapers offer up to 12 hours of overnight protection and are three times drier than the ordinary diaper, so we don’t have to worry as a parent that a wet leaking diaper is waking up our baby.”
Candace Rose: Is there anything else that parents and children can do to make Daylight Savings Time easier on them?
Kim West: “I think preparing up front, making sleep and naps a priority and not starting the day before 6:00 am as much as possible, and then before you know it in a week we’ll all be adjusted.”
Candace Rose: Where can we go for more information?