As we enter the spring, many parents are excited to finally escape the brutal months of a cold Midwestern winter. However, many parents are equally pessimistic about another springtime tradition, daylight saving time.

History lesson aside, this is a difficult time for many parents, as well-established evening, bedtime and morning routines are disrupted by the one hour time change. Here are just a few practical tips for keeping your preschooler dialed in during the transition.

  1. Keep it simple. Maintain your your current routine. Our bodies are adjusting to things being an hour later and it will do the best it can. What your children need is your stability. Do what you’ve been doing and it will show them that nothing has really changed.
  2. One foot in front of the other. Make incremental changes to the timing of the routine. A few small rollbacks may not seem like much but after a week of starting things 10 minutes earlier, you’ve already gained back the hour you lost.
  3. Early to bed, early to rise. The “spring forward” time change lends itself to children wanting to sleep later because of the lost hour and this may cause your mornings to become much more hectic. Initiate bedtime earlier and you’ll save yourself some grief. Also, at Willow Montessori, naps are offered and can help during the transition.
  4. Climate control. Speaking of pushing for an earlier bedtime, our bodies are wired to initiate sleep based on two things: light and temperature. Dim the lights, use blackout shades, drop the thermostat just a few degrees and you will set yourself up for a restful evening.
  5. Keep the fun. Don’t forget more sun means more fun. Get your kids outside to take in the fresh air and enjoy the sunlight. The increased activity will help them burn some more energy and tire them out!

The first days and weeks following the daylight saving time change can be a struggle. Adults will have just as much difficulty making the adjustment as children. Keep your head up, keep loving on your little ones and everything will be just fine.