If you have a baby or small child, it maybe painfully obvious that they don’t tell time!
So, How can you help your little one adjust to the time change?
Children have a difficult time changing schedules, especially by an entire hour. When babies in the hospital need schedule changes, the change is made in small time increments.
Try to change your child’s schedule by 15 minutes at a time each day.
For example, if dinner is usually at 6:00, keep in mind 6:00 is now 7:00. Waiting an extra hour for food is way too long for a little one. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how quickly a hungry or tired child can have a meltdown. 😉 You could have dinner at 5:15 the first day, 5:30 the second day, 5:45 the third day, and by the fourth day, dinner is at 6:00 again. If you have the opportunity, spend a few days at each new time before moving on. Keep in mind, bedtime is now an hour later, which means they may wake an hour earlier than you plan if you don’t help them adjust. It may be that your child is off schedule enough that it is more difficult to wake them in the morning, small changes can help. If you have little ones that don’t go to school, this is much easier. If you have a little one that has to get up and go to school or daycare, you may have more of a challenge. If you need to be back on schedule by Monday (only 2 days away), you can force the change a little quicker by changing things by 30 minutes vs 15 minutes. It will not be as smooth of an adjustment, but it should be helpful.
Filling the time before meals with small healthy snacks such as fruit or veggies to help hold them over until the new dinnertime can be helpful too.
I learned early along my parenting journey that the time change can wreak havoc on a child with a good schedule. Good parenting involves schedules, so most kids will have some adjustment to make. I hope this info makes “Springing forward” easier for your family! Good luck and I hope you are Enjoying the Journey! 🙂
5 thoughts on ““Spring Forward” without meltdowns…. Help your child adjust to the Time Change”
Nice advice. So glad my kids are old enough that the only effect we have is everyone grumbles about having to get up in the dark again. And I grumble about “losing” an hour that I don’t have to spare. 🙂 Ellen
I am going to have to complain along with your kids, Ellen, getting up in the dark again is the hard part for me too…Morgan complains about losing the hour! Thanks for the kudos! 🙂
This is very helpful for all parents and children Katie. I have used the ‘small increments’ of 15 minutes at a time for both my girls since they were first born and it not only works great but it also makes my life so much easier when the time change does roll around. 🙂
Thanks, Katrina, I was definitely thinking of you and Moms like you with the little ones when I wrote this. Hope all is well at the beach! 🙂
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