4 Tips To Get Bergen Parents Through Daylight Savings Time
As we prepare to push the clocks back this weekend, read up on how to make the transition more seamless (and less exhausting) for parents of babies and young kids.
Most of us will be getting an extra hour of sleep this weekend when our clocks fall back and Daylight Savings Time ends this Sunday, Nov. 7 at 2 a.m. But uh, don’t include parents of little ones in that count. This extra hour tends to throw off babies and young kids’ sleep schedules, and it could take them up to a week to adjust to the new time.
So, what’s a tired parent to do? Caffeine helps, sure, but here are a few other expert tips that parents should try to help their kids adjust to the new time:
Shift your schedule. Experts recommend waking your child 15 minutes earlier and putting them to bed 15 minutes later each day leading up to the clock change (naps included!). If you do this consecutively for a few days (going from 15 minutes later to 30), their schedule will eventually catch up and be an hour later than normal.
Make the room pitch black. Nicole Cannon, a New Jersey-based sleep consultant, recommends hanging up blackout curtains (or contractor trash bags if you’re in a pinch) to make sure light doesn’t peek through the bedroom windows. Pushing the clocks back means we’ll be getting more sunlight in the morning, and we don’t want the kids waking earlier than they need to!
Maintain (or establish) a consistent bedtime routine. Hopefully you’ve established a nighttime routine for your little one(s)—this might include a bath, books, brushing teeth and lights out—but it’s never too late to start one. A consistent bedtime schedule helps kids wind down at the end of the day, and ultimately makes falling asleep less of a battle for everyone.
Be patient. Your kid’s schedule probably won’t magically transform overnight. It could take him or her a few days or up to a week to adapt to the new schedule, so cut them some slack. They’ll get there—and you will sleep again too!
Think you need to bring in the big guns, or think your child (or you) may have a sleep disorder? Reach out to a local sleep expert such as the sleep sciences department at Hackensack Meredian Health or the sleep medicine department at Valley Hospital.