MamaToyz: How to transition during Daylight Savings Time with children

It’s unlikely that we can pinpoint the year and which season we first remember the clocks going back or forward. It always felt like an eternity between these two and peculiar when it happened. But, alas every year it happens twice and now with young families, it creates a ripple effect ruining our children’s daily rhythm. So what can we do to make it easier and help our little ones transition without an impact on their sleep cycles?

First, we need to understand what Daylight Savings Time is. 

What is daylight savings time?

Daylight savings time is the practice of moving the clocks forwards or back at a specific time of the year. On March 27th the clocks move forward one hour from standard time and on the 30th of October, they return back an hour. With the way the sun rises and sets during the day, daylight saving time enables us to have more hours of daylight. At the start of spring, days have begun being elongated by the increasing hours of daylight and the nights become shorter. By moving the clocks forward at this time, the number of daylight centres back throughout the majority of the daytime. This is then reversed for the autumn and winter. 

What impact does it have on us and our children’s daily life?

Daylight savings time is there to give us more light during our day. This impacts many things, including quality and amount of sleep. By adjusting to daylight saving time we aid our sleep and our children's sleep. Our natural circadian rhythm is dictated by how much light we are exposed to each day. It is most sensitive to light starting from the two hours before we go to bed and during the night. Lots of light exposure at this time can disrupt our circadian rhythm affecting our sleep. Our circadian rhythm is what helps us to naturally feel sleepy and want to go to bed. Too much light or too little light has an impact on how we and our children sleep. By changing the clocks at specific times of the year, we help how much and when we have light exposure so we can all have better sleep.

How to prepare children for the change

It’s a great time to talk about seasons, the environment and natural movements in the world if your little one is interested and old enough to understand. This is an incredible event that happens across the world and affects humans, animals and creepy crawlies!

If your little one is much younger, it's important to put things in place to help them gradually change rather than moving their day an hour either way. This will help you, your baby and your other family members have a peaceful transition without incredible disruption to sleeping patterns. 

The most effective change is a gradual adjustment

With proper planning, a gradual change before the clocks change has the easiest impact on children. By putting them to bed 5-10 minutes earlier each day the week leading up to the clocks changing, when the day happens, they won’t have to make any dramatic or disturbing changes. This also applies to them waking up in the morning. By doing this gentle, incremental change, your little one doesn’t feel any difference other than enjoying more light and spring air during the day!

The importance of sleep for children and adults

‘We spend about a third of our lives asleep. Sleep is essential - It is as important to our bodies as eating, drinking and breathing, and is vital for maintaining good mental and physical health. Sleeping helps us to recover from mental as well as physical exertion.’

The importance of sleep

Sleep is a massive part of everyone's day and everyone's life! The quality of sleep is crucial to us being able to sustain a full day and function as human beings. Planning transitions to help maintain quality sleep is more important than some might think. Sleep is so important for our and our children’s health that the time it takes to plan is worth every second. Good sleep accounts for better concentration and productivity levels. It helps to support a healthy immune system, reduces stress and helps us have positive relationships with others. 

The impact time change for spring has

Spring always brings a lot of joy and optimism. It signifies that winter is over and the more light we get, the increased our mood and positivity is. Our children might not be as in tune with their emotional and physical reactions to the new season as we are, but we’ll easily be able to see a change in them. Most likely we’ll notice more energy and vibrancy for doing activities and getting outside, which is a great bonus!

If you’re looking for new pieces to help your little one with their development when they’re outside playing, check out our wonderful range of toys here:

If you’re trying to help your child gently rock to prepare them for falling asleep, you'll want to check out the Loop Large Baby Nest too!

We hope our explanation and transition plan helps lots of families have an enjoyable start to spring and the opportunity to take advantage of this new optimism and excitement for warmth and light!