Daylight Savings Time Coping Tips

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Are you ready to”Fall Back?” As you may know, Daylight Savings 2011 ends on Sunday, November 6th. By 2 a.m., you need to move your clock back one hour. For many people, the Daylight Savings time changes that occur twice a year are fairly manageable. However, busy families often have a different experience.

In fact, many parents can face a real struggle during that transition period when kids’ schedules become disrupted. Why? Because while we grownups can adjust to new regimens rather quickly, children may be slower to internalize the switch.

Child sleep experts say it can take between 7 and 10 days for a kid to adjust when Daylight Savings Time kicks in, or comes to its annual abrupt halt. For many children, it can throw off sleep habits and even appetite─which in turn can affect behavior.

So, how can you ensure a smooth adjustment in your own family? One tactic is to shift your child’s schedule gradually a few days before the time change. For example, if a child typically naps at noon each day, put her down a little earlier for a few days before the scheduled clock shift. You might also tuck your kids in 15 minutes earlier in the four nights leading up to the time change, so they’re fully adjusted by the time you actually reset the clocks.

Other parents, however, find it best to treat the situation as they would if they were traveling to a different time zone. They simply change the clock and operate by the new time as though it were business as usual. That means maintaining the same bed and nap times, even if it takes kids longer to fall asleep initially. The thought is that the children will eventually get with the program. Which approach would work best in your family?

It can help to discuss the matter together, especially if you have older kids. Ideally you can all work together to experience these inevitable annual time changes in the spirit of adventure rather than as an inconvenience. Staying positive will help everyone adjust better. Good luck!

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