Soon enough the long, cold days of winter will be behind us. Ahead are months filled with sun and warmer temperatures. But first, we have to get through spring — and that means the start of daylight saving time again, AKA we are about to Spring Forward. It’s never a fun time for parents, though it’s clearly not as bad as falling back. But it’s still no walk in the park. So while it’s still a little over a week away, you want to start preparing now.
On Sunday, March 13 at 2 a.m. local time, Daylight Saving time begins. This means the time jumps forward, also known as “springing forward.” This means we’re going to lose a full hour of time. The best thing about springing forward is that we will have way more sunlight. The worst part is what it will do to our sleep schedules. And it’s a near nightmare for parents who have younger kids. With that loss of sleep, our kids are more tired, hungrier, and less patient.
Arguably the spring forward is easier than when we fall back in the fall. But it’s still a challenge and the more prepared we are for it, the better off we will be. Or at least that it will be what it feels like. Here are a few tips to help prepare your kids and your patience before we jump ahead in time on Sunday.
We know that we still have a week until the clocks need to change, but if you start adjusting the kids’ schedule now, slowly over the week, it will be a much smoother process for everyone. Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News’ chief medical correspondent, spoke with the news station about preparing for daylight saving time and suggested that gradually adjusting over the month might be ideal, but a week is better than nothing. Get your kids up 10 minutes earlier, say, every day until Sunday — that’ll make waking up on Sunday a little less terrible.
Another hot tip is one that parents clearly already know. Tired kids sleep better – that’s just a fact. So, tiring your kids out over the weekend will help make Sunday, and Monday, easier. And Today suggests spending the weekend doing high-energy activities with the kids. The theory behind this is that with all the extra energy expelled, the more likely a kiddo is to fall asleep without too much struggle. Since our kids will be going to bed an hour earlier once Daylight Saving Time hits, we need the kids to be really, really tired on Sunday night.
A few other suggestions to help everyone settle for the start of Daylight Saving Time is to buy blackout curtains to block out the brighter evenings, minimize screen time particularly closer to bed, and, mainly and perhaps most importantly, take a deep breath and realize that the schedules will even out soon – hopefully before Daylight Saving Time’s ends.
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