Being a parent to a baby or small children will make you wonder why we continue using Daylight Savings Time; nothing like moving the clock an hour forward and trying to keep your kids on track! I know I dreaded the week or so after moving the clock when Vera was little but found some useful tricks to make the transition as cranky free as possible.
Prepping For Daylight Savings Time With Baby
Babies and children don't manage sleep loss quite as well as adults (although it could be argued we don't manage all that well either!). When you need to wake up for work, school, or day care on time their bodies don't know we've changed the clocks! One way to make sure they get their normal amount of sleep is pushing their bedtimes back in 15 minute increments over the week leading up to the time change. If 8PM is bedtime, it may be helpful to push it to 8:15PM about a week before, slowly increasing it over the next few days. Once the clocks change, baby will be going to bed at 8PM with the time change. This will also help keeping baby from waking at 6AM if typically they wake at 7AM (because their internal clock is telling them it's really 7AM, which it was in the days prior).
The same "time push" can be done around nap and meal times. Didn't start this time change prep before the clocks were pushed forward? No worries! You can make those changes over the next few days with bed and meal times.
The other option is do nothing! Really- we aren't being sarcastic at all. Some babies and children (and even adults!) are quite adaptable with time changes and no prep with schedules is needed.
Prepping For The Lighter Evenings
The other eventual change with Daylight Savings Time is more evening light. Toddlers and pre-school age children may especially be questioning why they have to go to bed when the sun is still out. Some children may be able to have some understanding of bedtime by looking at a color coded clock, or discussing how there is more light in the spring and summer.
But more likely most kids need some help understanding how it's still bedtime despite the light. Light blocking window blinds or curtains may be helpful for bedtime. Read a book in their bedroom with the light blocking curtains covering the windows and low level light.
And if all else fails, know that eventually everyone will readjust at some point and schedules will feel natural again!