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Top Tip #135 - preparing your kids for a clock change

Top Tip #135 - preparing your kids for a clock change

September 06, 2018

If you're anything like me, you'll have no idea that daylight savings is coming until it hits. Last time I woke up to find none of the clocks in the house agreed - they were all an hour different. Then I realised daylight savings had ended. Not a big deal for me personally, but too late to prepare the kids, and for them it is a big deal. I'm sure daylight savings was invented to keep parents on their toes!

 

This time I'm on to it though. I already know that the clocks are springing forward at 2am on the 30th September, so I'm going to get the kids prepared early. Here are some great tips to keep reset your child's body clock. 

Step A - The earlier you start, the easier the adjustment will be. I've started already, but you can adjust this program to suit you.

Step B - For 4-6 nights, put your kids to bed 15 minutes earlier than your normally would. For us this means a 6.45pm bedtime.

Step C - For the next 4-6 nights, put them to bed 30 minutes earlier, and start waking them/giving them breakfast 15 minutes earlier than normal. So, my kids will be in bed by 6.30pm and I'll aim to give them breakfast around 6.45am instead of 7am.

Step D - For the next 4-6 nights, put them to bed 45 minutes early, and start waking them/giving them breakfast 30 minutes early. At this point it's probably worth adjusting all other meal time accordingly (ie serving them 15-30 minutes early). So for us, breakfast at 6.30am, lunch at around 11.45am instead of 12, dinner around 4.30pm instead of 5 and bed at 6.15pm.

Step E - For the final 4-6 nights before the 30th, put them to bed 1 hour early, and wake them/give them breakfast 45 minutes early. Definitely start serving lunch and especially dinner 30-45 minutes early. Oh gosh, breakfast at 6.16am and dinner ready but around 4ish. That's going to be tricky - but worth it.

Step F - Once daylight savings hit, they will already be in bed by the 'new' bedtime (for us 7pm, previously known as 6pm) , so you can start waking them at your 'new' normal wake up time (for us 6.30am, previously known as 5.30am). Don't forget to move all the mealtimes too.

 

Other things that might help, especially if the clock change does creep up on you:

(a) blackout blinds in the kids bedroom so you can pretend that it's nighttime;

(b) I find explaining the situation works quite well for pre-schoolers and older kids too - even though it's not dark outside and not nighttime,  it's still bedtime;

(c) again for older kids that can follow directions, a sleep clock can be handy. I introduced my kids to their sleep clock when they were tiny babies, so they've grown up with them and most of the time, abide by them.

 

It might not all go smoothly, but it's worth a try to prevent some super early morning wake ups. And of course you can do all of this backwards when it nears the end of daylight savings.

As always, I strongly advocate keeping your kids on a routine - being able to anticipate and prepare for what comes next really helps kids thrive. Whatever way you go though, just remember to be as consistent as possible, and that summer is coming!! Yay!

 

 



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