Daylight savings with kids is rough. It happens twice a year and is a gut-punch to new parents across America. It’s one of those things that you truly don’t understand until you are a parent.
Here are a few facts about daylight savings time for kids and tips for parents alike.
When is Daylight Savings Time for 2020?
Begins Sunday, March 8, 2020 at 2 AM. It’s the “spring ahead” date which means you’ll need to set your clocks forward one hour before you fall asleep on Saturday, March 7.
Ends Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 2 AM. This is when we “fall back” and you’ll need to set your clocks back one hour before you fall asleep on Saturday, October 31.
Why Does Daylight Savings Time Exist?
It didn’t just happen overnight (pun intended).
Benjamin Franklin wanted to save money on candles, a New Zealand entomologist wanted more daytime to go bug hunting in the summer, a British builder (Chris Martin of Coldplay’s great-great-grandfather!) was rejected by Parliament when asking for more daylight working hours.
The German government wanted to save energy (coal) during WWI and every other country involved in the war followed suit. In 1918, Congress put into law our system for saving daylight and defining our time zones in the U.S. However, Arizona, Hawaii, and Florida have their own relationships with daylight saving.
Now that coal is no longer king, Daylight Savings doesn’t really save energy anymore. However, people’s feelings about the time change most likely align with where they’re geographically located. The closer to the equator you are, the more likely you’re going to want less hours of sunlight. Whereas those farther away will take as much sunlight in the winter as they can get.
Tips to Prep Your Kids for Daylight Savings Time
1. Plan Ahead
As the saying goes, the best defense is the best offense. It’s good to have this date on your radar more than a day or two in advance. Start pushing bedtime in the direction of the time shift 5 mins at a time the week before. An hour change is something fully sleep trained adults even have trouble adjusting too. Give little ones a little more buffer time in the week leading up to it.
2. Blackout Curtains
The time change will affect the amount of light that comes into your little one’s room. Invest in blackout curtains to help easily control their baseline for darkness in the peak years of sleep training.
3. Kid-Friendly Alarm Clocks
Pick up an alarm that’s tailor-made for kids who aren’t yet able to tell or read time. They’re absent of sound. They use soft light signals to tell kids when it’s ok to get out of bed or when they should try falling back asleep. At the very least, it’s one way to say “don’t wake up your parents yet!”
4. Take It Easy
Even if you lean into all the tips and tricks, a daylight savings Sunday is bound to feel “off.” Avoid scheduling hectic plans that will trigger meltdowns. Have a little more quiet time baked into the schedule to give plenty of room and space for your little one to adjust to the transition.
Remember, it’s only a small bump in the sleep journey road and you’ll get back on track. Good luck!