Tips to Adjust Your Child to Daylight Savings


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It’s one of the biggest catch 22’s on the Australian calendar..  Yes daylight savings means we get more sunshine at the back end of the day but also plays havock with the body clocks in our home..

Especially the kids..

Turning the clock forward or back can have a massive impact on our children’s bedtime routine because:

+ A change in sleep routine impacts on our circadian rhythms – the system that controls when we wake, sleep, and our general wellbeing.

+ Children don’t have maturity of these rhythms and so even a little change in this can lead to a ‘jet lag feeling’.

+ While it may only seem like one hour, your child’s sleep debt could rack up to 7 hours over the course of a week.

+ If they’re failing to properly catch up, by the time the weekend comes they’re going to crash.

+ Depending on their age, the child will be affected differently

  Does daylight saving throw a big spanner in the works in terms of their routine for newborns?

+ Newborns younger than 3-4 months are free running.. Not necessarily impacted by daylight savings

+ Babies older than 5 months need environmental factors, so will be impacted by the change.

+ Breastfeeding bubs will also be taking in their mothers’ melatonin

How can I help my toddler adjust to Daylight Savings?

+ Write down what time your child normally goes to bed, then put your child to bed 15 mins each night (or every second night).

+ It’s most effective for parents to shift their child’s sleep in the three to four days leading up to the change, but it can still be done after.

+ Once daylight savings has kicked in it can take a week for everyone’s system to reset

+ You’ll have to move your child’s whole schedule 20 minutes earlier – for the next 3-4 days’ naptimes, bedtime and meal times may need to be brought forward until tiny systems adjust. This helped children last extra time into the evening and not get as over tired.

+ It’s really important to monitor room temperature – the summer heat can disrupt sleep.

+ Also make sure that they are sleeping in natural, breathable fibres.

+ Ensure that when they get up they get some good Serotonin exposure as this helps adjust the circadian rhythms

How can I help my Pre Schooler adjust to Daylight Savings?

+ They have different sleep needs to toddlers – needing about 10-13 hours each night, and they nap less.

+ Might need to be stricter, especially as they are more confident to defy the rules.

+ Lighter earlier, which means they might wake up earlier – but school times dont change

+ Overtired when they go to bed later, which will increase increase night wake ups.

+ Kids this age love screen time, but it’s important you keep it to a minimum.

+ Watch what time your child is exposed to devices, leading up to sundown. With the longer hours it is tempting to let little fingers tap away later. Consider banning the EMF at least 1-2hrs before light’s out.

+ If your child is experiencing bedtime resistance, then consider a few days without electronics completely.


What are some other tips?

+ The big challenge for parents during daylight saving is convincing kids that it’s bedtime when the sun is still shining!

+ Portable Blockout or black out blinds are a brilliant “Must Have” if you don’t wish to put in permanent window furnishings. They can also double as temperature controllers, with some brands, reducing the degrees by 2-3 C. Can substitute by covering the windows with garbage bags, foil or painting with window tint.

+ May need to rearrange the room.

+ Toddler clocks: Another visual tool that your child can see when it is time to wake up, or time to be asleep. So many types on the market. E.g. Momo the Monkey clock,

+ Bedtime charts and Star Charts- another visual tool and positive re enforcement technique for helping implement a good bedtime routine and decrease bed time resistance due to sunlight outside.

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