The subtle signs that spring is just around the corner have slowly begun to happen to mark the end of winter. The sun stays out a little longer, so we’re not making dinner in the dark, and there is more sunlight pouring into our windows during the day.
Both are welcome shifts, but these changes also point to the start of daylight saving time. Though it’s great to get that extra hour of sunlight at the end of the day, every parent knows the havoc it wreaks on our kids, their sleep schedules, and our sanity. But luckily, with springing forward just around the corner, it’s not too late to prepare the family for the time shift.
When clocks spring for daylight savings time in 2023?
On Sunday, March 12, at 2 a.m. local time, the start of daylight saving begins, which means we’re losing an hour by springing forward. That will give us an extra hour of sunlight at the end of the day.
Why is daylight saving time hard on families?
A lot of people look forward to this time of year because we get to thaw out of the darker days of winter and have more sunlight during our awake hours. But for families, the loss of an hour can mess up the sleep schedules of our kids and ourselves. And the younger the kiddo, the harder that sleep loss seems to hit.
But sleep isn’t the only thing that can get complicated during the time shift. Scheduled snack or meal times may also experience friction, and the time change can be difficult for kids who mark time in the day based on what the sun is up to. If the sun is still out at bedtime, it can’t be time for bed, right?
The time change can also be difficult for families caring for kids with complex medical needs and relying on daily schedules for medications and other timed supports.
How can we prepare the family for daylight saving time?
With a little preparation, we can make the spring forward less dramatic and chaotic for everyone. And the big key is to start today — here are some quick tips:
- Shift bedtime and mealtimes by 15-minute increments over four days instead of on the day the time changes.
- Ensure the kids get a lot of time out in the sunshine and lots of exercise to wear them out so they’ll be ready to go to sleep.
- Try blackout curtains or dim the lights inside the house.
- Keep other routines consistent.
Best of luck, parents!