Oh, Daylight Savings. We used to have a love-hate relationship, but now that I have a toddler it’s mostly hate. In case this comes as a shock to you, toddlers like routine and thrive on it. You change that routine and all hell can break loose. That means twice a year when the time shifts toddlers around the country are having difficult weeks and their mothers are losing their minds. Here are 5 tips to help you beat the time change when you have young children.
5 Tips for an Easier Time Change with a Toddler
5. Start shifting their bedtime the week before. Instead of trying to get them to shift a whole hour one day start shifting 10-15 min a night for the whole week. By the time you actually get to the time change your little one will already be on schedule. If you want/can you can do this the week following as well. We will be shifting slowly after the time change this year after a week of long middle of the night wake ups.
4. Head outside the day of the time change. Get out as much as possible and soak up whatever sun is shining. (It’s supposed to be 90° here but I know it won’t be that warm many places.) The sunshine will help your body adjust. If you can do this later in the day it can help your body and your toddler’s body regulate their circadian rhythms (the natural hormone shifts that tells us when to sleep and when to wake).
3. Give everyone a little bit of extra grace. It’s not just your toddler that will need a little bit of extra grace. Be sure to give yourself the same grace. Your toddler unusually cranky? Maybe focus more on distracting their behavior than dealing with small issues that day (I am not saying let them get away with murder, of course, but if it’s not a big deal let it slide for the day).
2. Don’t schedule something important if you can help it. We plan to essentially stay home for the day and just hang out as a family. We do not plan on going any where that we expect our toddler to be well behaved. Hubby plans to build our little guys a sand pit but we are going to go out and pick up the materials the day before.
1. Do something fun that wear them out. A big part of our plan is to just wear the little guy out so that he needs to go to sleep “early.” We are going to build the sandpit as mentioned, play outside most of the day, probably go on a walk, and just wear the little guy out as much as possible. Ideally, he will be tired enough that he won’t protest and early bath and bedtime.
Time changes with kids are rarely fun but it is possible to make it easier on both your toddler and yourself. Sound off and let me know any other tips you have for adjusting to the time change with small children in the comments.