When does Daylight savings time end? As you know daylight savings time ended November 1st this year, However, your toddler has no idea that we set our clocks back one hour. What does that mean for you?
To start with, remember that extra hour of sleep you thought you were going to get? With a toddler, you quickly realized that you did not get that extra hour of sleep. Even though you tried to adjust your time at night, you still must adjust your toddlers’ time.
How To Adjust Toddlers Sleep
What I have found with my grandson is he didn’t really care if the time changed. He is still on his own schedule. And I am going to take a stab and Ill bet your toddler feels the same way.
So why do we still adjust the clocks twice a year? They call it daylight savings time. or DST for short. Believe it or not, DST used to be practiced basically around the world. However, today only a handful of countries adjust the clocks. Mainly the United States, Canada, and parts of Australia.
So how do we do this? Here are some tips that will help you adjust your toddler’s sleep time.
When did it all begin?
According to Wikipedia, George Hudson proposed the idea of daylight saving in 1895. However, the concept of adjusting daily schedules goes back to ancient civilizations.
The Geman Empire and Austria-Hungry were the first to organize implementing DST on April 30, 1916. Many countries have used it at various times since then, particularly since the 1970s energy crisis.
What is most interesting is that I always thought it was Benjamin Franklin who purposed DST. On the other hand, he did publish the proverb “early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
Maybe this is why our children get up so early. So they can grow up being healthy, wealthy, and wise. Probably not, I guess. However, I’m sure it is every parent and grandparents’ dream and prayer that our children are smarter and wealthier than us.
So How Does This Help?
Now that the history lesson is finished for today, The question still remains. How do I adjust my toddler’s sleep when the clocks get adjusted?
Even though Daylight savings just ended, the fact remains in the spring the cycle will repeat itself. We will need to advance our clocks forward 1 hour.
So in order to adjust your toddler sleep patterns for this silly practice, I think it is important to understand how sleep is affected by the sudden changes of time each year.
Light is the cue for setting and resetting our circadian rhythm. Wait what? I know I keep using big words Ill try to stop but, sometimes science gets involved and I have learned that scientists don’t know any small words or words that anyone can understand. Not to insult you, You may already know what the circadian rhythm is. However, since I had to look it up I thought I would share the definition.
So here goes, According to Wikipedia, A circadian rhythm is a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and repeats on each rotation of the Earth roughly every 24 hours.
Ok, I’m done with science and history for now. I hope you feel more educated because I certainly do.
To Adjust Time or Not to Adjust
There are several things that have been proven to help. But I will suggest first that you can consider moving to a state that doesn’t practice this silly semi-annual game of changing clocks.
That said, if you move to Arizona you will not need to worry about reading any further. Your problem will be solved. That is because Arizona is one of the few states that has chosen not to participate in Daylight Savings Time.
Now, I realize that packing up and moving just to avoid changing the clocks twice a year might be a little impractical. Never the less it is always an option.
Here are some more practical tips that should help your toddler cope with the adjustment of time when daylight savings time starts and ends.
Relax and Calm Down
Bedtime is not a simple a just laying in a bed and closing your eyes. That is to say, very rarely can you go run 2 miles and go straight to bed. Well, neither can your child.
My grandson starts running from the time his feet hit the floor in the morning till I try and calm him down at night. I have found, as I am sure you have as well if I just put him down while he is still wide open he will struggle to fall asleep. That is to say, the same thing will happen if you try and run 2 miles just before bed.
You probably already have a bedtime routine that you have established with your toddler. Just because the clocks moved shouldn’t change anything. Keep the same routine. Allow your toddler to get the same amount of sleep each night.
The more normal your routine is the faster your toddler will adjust to the change. If you are looking to transition your toddler to a toddler bed check out this deal on Amazon. With Free shipping right to your door when you purchase from Amazon why not complete all of your shopping at one time and one place.
I know that it would seem as if I always repeating myself. If you have read any of my articles the number one thing in toddler sleep training is to stay consistent.
Dinner and bedtime kind of go hand in hand when it comes to sleep training a toddler. Part of your routine should be sitting down to dinner, some light activity before bath, Bath time, relaxation time, and bedtime.
Try to keep dinner time the same as well. One thing I have noticed after this daylight saving time ended was how hard it is to eat dinner later. I guess this is because it seems to start getting dark earlier. Therefore, I think we should be eating dinner.
After dinner and cleanup, I look at the clock and it is only 530 pm. Now, what do I do? Mason still has about 2 1/2 hours till bedtime. So, my whole routine is off.
So it is important to stay consistent with things even like dinner time to ensure a seamless transition to daylight saving time effects.
Allowing your child to get exposure to the morning sunlight after the time change will help regulate his internal clock. Having shorter daylight hours affects his mood and energy levels.
On the other hand, keep in mind that light suppresses the secretion of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Exposing your toddler to sunlight during the day and removing the bright lights at night, when it is dark outside, should increase melatonin levels in your child.
As a result, he should fall asleep rather quickly.
Make Small Adjustments
Another way to help your toddler adjust to daylight savings time ending would be to adjust your routine by 10 mins each day for approximately 10 days prior to the daylight savings time event.
That is to say either in the spring when we set clocks ahead 1 hour or in the fall when we adjust them back an hour.
However, if you are like me, and don’t think about the time change until the night it happens. Well, then you will have to make your adjustment after the fact. either way works.
It just means adjusting prior means you are prepared and adjusting after is an afterthought. For me personally, it will just have to remain an afterthought.
So at the end of the day, the best way to adjust your toddler’s sleep when daylight savings time ends is to stay consistent and make small adjustments. This way your toddler will never notice the change. It is only twice a year and only one hour either way depending on the season. Remain calm and stick to your routine.
Thank you for reading and I hope I was able to leave something for you. If you have any experience that would like to share or want to leave a comment or a question. Leave them below and I will certainly get back in a timely manner.