Parenting, Toddlers

Tips for surviving the first week of daylight savings with kids

Melissa Imbesi by Melissa Imbesi
October 5th, 2020

Many of you will be ya-hooing about daylight savings coming into effect this week – long, balmy days, night time walks in the LIGHT and sipping a sauv blanc outside at 9pm. Of course, everything will look different for us this year with Covid restrictions, particularly those of us in Melbs, but there’s nothing stopping a bit of cheeky sauv blanc action in the isolation of our own backyard.

To be honest thought, all I’m thinking about is how the change in time is going to screw with my kids sleeping patterns.

Annnnnyyyway, if like me, you have little kids who you KNOW will struggle with the change in time, we’ve rounded up a few tips to help make the transition a little easier.

1. Keep your normal nighttime routine.

Regardless of the fact your kids will think it’s still 4pm and telling them to go to bed will no doubt ensure a bit of a shit fight, keep their bedtime schedule the same. If you don’t have one, think warm bath, maybe a quick massage and a bedtime story – anything you know relaxes your kid.

Try NO devices, as they are thought to be a stimulant before bed, and no games of hide and seek or tickles. Keep it chill.

2. Keep it as dark as possible.

Once you’re getting to around an hour before bedtime, make sure to draw all the blinds in the house (ESPECIALLY in their rooms) and try and keep things looking as dim as possible….at least for the first couple of weeks until their body clocks adjust to the time change.

If you’re able to invest in some blackout blinds in their bedrooms, these are a great idea. Not only will they help with the transition to daylight saving bedtimes, they’ll also help when the clocks roll back and it gets lighter in the mornings.

If your kid is a little older, they might be receptive to sleeping with an eye mask to block out the extra light….this is good for grown-ups with early bedtimes too.

3. Adjust bedtime a little in the first week.

If your little monkey is usually in bed by 7pm, it will still feel like 6pm to them during daylight savings. Try and slowly work your way backwards if they’re struggling to fall asleep at 7pm (which is now 8pm…so confusing).

Try working backwards in increments of 15 minutes. So, for the first night, get them into bed at 7.45pm. The next night, or couple of nights later, bring it back to 7.30pm and so on, until you get to 7pm.

4. Create light in the mornings.

Getting up on time, especially for school-goers, can be that much harder when it’s still dark in the mornings. Most kids will associate wake-up time with light, so try and open their curtains in the morning to allow light into their rooms, or turn on some lights nearby their bedrooms so as to re-enact that feeling of ‘morning light.’

If the mornings are warm, consider cranking a window in their room. A little breeze wafting through might help to rouse them, as will the annoying chirping of the birds.

kids room light

5. Make sure your babies and tots get enough nap time.

Try your best for your babes to get as much nap time as possible during the day…this will help ease any chances of them being overtired. We all know trying to put an overtired kid to bed SUCKS.

Pay extra attention to their sleep cues during this time too.

6. Tire them out before bedtime.

Yeah, I hate the park as much as you do, but try to get them out and active in the afternoon so they can burn off some energy and get so knackered that they’ll be begging for bed.

Just remember, don’t do this too close to bedtime as it’ll ramp them up and for god’s sake, make sure you’re wearing your mask.


7. When all else fails, try bribery.

Ok, so this is definitely not a professional tip, just one from a strung-out mama who has gone through the perils of time-change sleep deprivation in the past.

The promise of a treat (like extra TV time to get them out of bed in the mornings), or one or two more bedtime stories at night might help with the transition until their little bodies have caught up. You can pick any little treat you’ll know they’ll love, you just got to know their currency of choice to make the bribery work! Once they’re in a routine and have adjusted, start scaling back again.

Remember, this ain’t gonna last forever.

8. Be patient.

If your kids are a little crankier or aren’t adjusting so well to the new sleep cycle, try to be as patient as you can. It might only be an hour, but an hour is a big deal for them. Know that eventually, everything will fall into place and they’ll form new patterns…..that they’ll have to break again when Autumn rolls around, but we’ll be on hand to help with that one too.

Good luck with the transition and if all else fails and you’re at your wits end, remember what daylight savings is all about and pour yourself a BIG glass of that sauv blanc once the kids have passed out.

Please share any of your tips for making daylight savings bed times a little easier. Please.

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