How can I help my child adjust to the time change?
As a parent, daylight savings time and young children doesn't necessarily mean an extra-hour of sleep. On the contrary, even an hour time change can affect your child’s rhythm, especially their sleep, regardless of age.
An adult’s sleep cycle is 90 minutes long while a child’s is about 45 minutes, so you can see how a difference of one hour can significantly affect this rhythm. Usually, what happens is that your child will be cranky and sleepy during the day because of their lack of sleep and can have trouble falling asleep at night. But don’t worry, it usually only lasts for a few days!
Our best tip to avoid a greater impact on your child is to move their sleep time gradually depending on the time change (Spring and Fall changes). By rescheduling your nightly routine by 15 minutes each day for the four days preceding the time-change, your child will be able to adapt smoothly, and the hour difference will have less of an impact on them.
What about a time difference due to travel?
When making your travel arrangements, try to keep your child’s regular sleep schedule in mind. The ideal plan would be having the ability to choose a flight that will align with their usual sleep times. The goal is to settle them to the local time as soon as possible and it starts with the first day! For a smoother change, you can try to reschedule their night routine by moving its start time by 30 minutes to an hour a few days before the departure.
If it’s not a major time difference, you may find it easier not to change your child’s routine, especially if your trip is not a long one. Don’t forget that during the travel, you need to be aware of the time you are feeding your child because this can also disrupt their rhythm, regardless of the time-difference.