Do you remember on Pee-Wee's Playhouse how the word of the day would make everyone in the house scream? That's basically what the phrase "Daylight Saving Time" does to parents — they all start screaming. Whether it's time to fall back an hour or spring forward, that one hour can really screw up your kids' schedules. But once the transition's over and everyone's (hopefully) sleeping again — you can enjoy longer days and more sunshine. But when do we spring forward in 2019? I can barely remember falling back last year thanks to my newborn and 4-year-old, but I'm more than ready for extra sunshine in the day.
Luckily, it's not far off. This year, Daylight Saving Time begins March 10 at 2:00 a.m, according to the Farmer's Almanac. Which means you may spend that Sunday feeling a little... groggy. And if you have children, well. I suggest stocking up on your favorite snacks and charging the electronics. Because, for whatever reason, one hour seems to send children from slightly cranky, overtired kids into raging monsters hellbent on ruining your weekend. And also the next like three to four days. Yeah, if you weren't screaming before at the mention of Daylight Saving Time, you are now.
But hey — for a little bit of trouble with your kids' sleep schedule, you do get to enjoy a solid eight months of Daylight Saving Time, making the days a little longer and giving you more room to enjoy them. We live in a lake community, and every afternoon I think about walking my girls down to the lake so we can enjoy the sunset. But when the sun sets at 6:30, it feels darn near impossible to finish work, cook dinner, and pack up for the walk before it's dark again. The longer days give my family a little more freedom at the expense of some crabby days. (Hey, nothing worthwhile is really *free,* right?)
If you're really panicked about how the start of Daylight Saving Time will affect your kiddos, there are some tips out there that can ease them into springing forward. The sleep consulting website Sleep Baby Love suggested looking at your baby's personality and schedule first. If they're a baby or toddler that needs a rigid schedule or everything falls apart, you'll want to start preparing them for the time change early. The website suggested that the Monday before the time change (so in this case, March 4), you should start adjusting your baby's sleep schedule by putting them down for naps 15 minutes earlier than usual, to reset their clock to an earlier bedtime. So if they usually go to bed at 7, by the time Daylight Saving Time starts, they'll be going to bed around 6. Then we'll spring forward, and it will be 7 again. Make sense?
You can also follow the "do nothing" approach according to the website. Eventually, your kid will get the hang of this time change, and you can help reset their body's clock by giving them a hefty dose of sunlight first thing in the morning, and adding room-darkening shades at night to block out the long-lasting sun, the website suggested. These small tips can help get your baby prepped for springing forward, and keep all of you from screaming like Pee-Wee.