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Surviving daylight savings for parents.

How do you plan to survive the daylight savings transition? Here are our top tips.

Never have two words divided parents more.

I hear you asking, what two words are those?

Oh you’ll know as soon as you see them.

Ready.

Go.

Daylight Savings.

BAM.

Daylight. Savings.

Parents are firmly split in two camps when it comes to daylight savings:

1. “Woohooo!!!! Yay! There’s more light, more time to play at the park and beach and do stuff I otherwise we couldn’t do in winter when it was dark at 5pm.”

OR

2. “Are you kidding me? It’s not going to get dark till HOW late? How the hell will I get my kids to bed while the sun is still up?”

I sit happily in camp one. EXCEPT for the week leading up to daylight savings and the first week of daylight savings.

During that period, I am firmly in the camp of “I haven’t been on a holiday yet my kids are acting like they have jet lag. This sucks.”

Those two weeks KILL ME. (Not literally, clearly, but damn it they are hard.)

Babies don't like going to bed when it's light. Blockout blinds are worth every cent.

Just in case you didn’t realise, we are currently in that period. On Saturday night, we get to fast forward the clocks, or rely on Mr Apple or Mr Samsung to do it for us, in order to give us an extra hour of sunlight over the warmer months.

But enjoying daylight savings means first having to adjust to daylight savings.

And let me tell you, kids do not go well adjusting to daylight savings.

Put your hand up if your child is currently waking up around 4am because of how light it is.

Put your hand up if you know your kids will fight you when you are forcing them into bed when the sun is still shining in their bedroom window.

The adjustment to daylight savings is hard but there are things you can do to combat the would-be fake jet-lag that may arise next week.

Here are some of the best tips I have learnt over the years.

PREPARE – For the love of God, prepare. A few days of pain this week keeping your child up for an extra hour will result in less pain next week. Their little bodies will already be adjusted to going to bed at a later time. Even though they aren’t technically going to bed at a later time it's just by the clock, not your body thinking it is…or is it? Basically put them to bed later this week and you’re right next week.

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IT’S NOT ‘JUST’ AN HOUR - An hour to a child is a long time. Sun to a child is fun. Combine the two and you get an extra hour of sun for a child to have fun in. One hour will have immense changes in your routine. Don’t palm it off as simply ‘an hour’ that will have no effect.

Daylight savings with have an effect on older kids too.

PLAN MEALS – All our bodies need time to digest food before sleeping. Make sure you plan meals accordingly so little tummies aren't too full when they are trying to sleep. The last thing you need is another excuse for your child not wanting to go to bed.

BLOCKOUT BLINDS – Get them. Worth every sent. End of story.

DON’T GIVE IN TO NAPS – Try hard to keep the kids up in afternoon of the first week. As all parents know a late afternoon nap can truly screw the system. Daylight savings is no different here.

EXERCISE – Nothing will make a kid more willing to go to bed than them being utterly exhausted. Make the most of the extra hour and let them run around like crazy so when it’s time, they will be less resistant to the idea of sleeping when it’s light.

ROUTINE – Okay, generally, I am not a big routine person but sticking to a routine over this period is pretty important. Bath, book, bed or whatever you may use. Stick to it each night, before the transition and after the clocks have changed.

THINK OF YOURSELF – Daylight savings will have an effect on our bodies too. Make sure you are preparing yourself for the change as well. Also remember the insanely early starts we’ve all had the last few weeks are not forever, they will end. I promise.

ENJOY IT – Like I said, I am positioned in camp one, I just wish everyone loved daylight savings as much as I do. It’s an extra hour of sun light to do stuff, what’s not to love? Enjoy it, because once April hits you’ll all be whinging about how early it gets dark again.

How do your kids cope with the daylight savings transition? What tips do you have for other parents?

Like this? Try these:

15 brilliant party ideas to take you into Summer

The 8 school holiday activities that cost absolutely nothing

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