Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday, March 11, at 2 a.m., which means the clocks get set ahead one hour (spring forward!). Even though losing that extra hour makes the following day feel like a time-warp for us adults, turns out it has a pretty big effect on kids, too. That one-hour shift is actually akin to flying cross-country into a new time zone for kids, says Jodi Mindell, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia who specializes in pediatric sleep. Here are three tips from her to help ease the time shift:
1. Begin shifting your child's bedtime a day—or, better yet, several days—before the time change. If she usually goes down at 8:00, for example, have her under the covers by 7:45 the first night and 7:30 the next.
2. Stick to your current daytime routine. Once the time change occurs, continue to have your child's meals, snacks, naps, bedtimes, everything, at the same time as usual.
3. Expose your child to bright light first thing in the morning (the indoor kind works) to reprogram her internal clock faster.
How does Daylight Saving Time affect your household?