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Sleep expert offers advice to help your children adapt to time change

Posted at 6:52 AM, Nov 01, 2019

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — The end of daylight saving time means an extra hour of sleep, but parents often struggle getting their children to adjust to the time change. Sleep consultants have some advice to help your kids to adapt.

MORE: Florida passed a measure making daylight saving time permanent; Why are we turning our clocks back?

Katie Armando and her 12-month-old son, Leo, are getting ready for Saturday night.

"It does always make me a little nervous," said Armando when referring to turning the clocks back an hour. "It's always like, 'Oh man, is it going to be even earlier than it normally is?'"

Rachel Fiorello, a senior sleep consultant with the Cradle Coach, said no matter what you do, the key is to remain consistent.

She said you have a few options.

First, you can start slowly for about a week, leading up to it, but at this point, it's too late for that. You can adjust as it's happening instead.

"Come Saturday night, I start with dinner time and push it later," said Fiorello. "So, if I usually do dinner around 5:30, I'll try to give them dinner around 6:30 if I can make it happen."

It's all in hopes you can gain that extra hour in the morning or you can always go cold turkey.

"Putting them to bed like normal and then Sunday, keep them in their sleep space for as late as you can," said Fiorello.

Another option is to buy a clock that lets your child know when it's OK to wake.

"It allows you to set the clock or time for when it’s OK for your child to wake up," said Fiorello.

She said it helps kids buy into something.

"Drive that home with them. Let’s stay in bed until your clock lights up," said Fiorello.

Also, make sure their room is really dark.

"Now with the time change in the morning, it will be brighter out earlier," said Fiorello.

How long will the adjustment take?

"Every child is different. On average you are looking at about like a week or so," said Fiorello. "There are some kids out there that are going to really going to throw you for a loop and it could take a couple weeks to adjust."

Take heart knowing, as a parent, you are not alone.

"You know going into it, it’s always going to be a little rough," said Armando.