Time changes are an annoyance for everyone. So if you’re traveling to a different time zone or just facing a daylight savings time shift, get ready for a bumpy ride.
In the US Daylight Savings Time ends November 1 at 2 am this year. Whether or not getting an “extra hour” on the day after Halloween is a good thing or hell on earth remains to be seen. But one thing we know is that the time change can wreak havoc on young kids who are very dependent on their schedule.
There are a few ways to handle this change so that it doesn’t turn your kids into screeching howler monkeys, and no one solution works for every family.
Gradual shift. Move bedtime back 15 minutes every couple of days. This way when you’re setting up for bed it doesn’t feel super early.
Snail-paced shift. Just like above, but move daily in 5 minute increments. This version requires much more precision in your household routine. If your bedtime is more of a range than a time, this probably isn’t for you.
Hail Mary. Basically, in this method you do nothing to prepare for the time change, then say a prayer on November 1 as you’re trying to get the kids to sleep. I recommend pairing this method with a nice bottle of wine (for you, not the kids).
Get an assist. The one thing that always helps my daughter sleep no matter how off schedule or far away from home we are is melatonin. Just before bedtime on November give a children’s melatonin tablet (make sure you read the label or check with your pediatrician first) and she has no trouble falling asleep. Zarbees is the brand I typically use, but I’m sure there are others.
Of course, with Halloween being the night before the time change this year, all bets are off. Chances of getting your kids to bed on time, let alone 15-45 minutes early, are slim to none, so that may impact your plans.
What are your plans for handling the time change? Share in the comments.