RVA Parenting: 3 tips to avoid sleepless nights around Daylight Saving Time

RVA Parenting: Prepare now to have kids ready for Daylight Saving Time

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - You hope your kids will adjust and sleep like angels, but when it comes to making that seasonal time switch for Daylight Saving, sometimes it's eyes wide open for the little ones and less sleep for moms and dads.

Sleep experts say there are three steps you can take to make the transition go a little smoother.

1. Start a bedtime routine

If you don't already have a bedtime routine, now is the time to put one in place.

"It's definitely not too late to start a routine," said Diane Flutie, a sleep consultant, discussing this weekend's time change.

Flutie says this will help your kids adjust Sunday morning and any time you need to tweak bedtime.

"Reading books, singing a song, using what I call a key phrase right before you lay them down are all great things to add," said Flutie.

2. Don't worry about the clock. 

It may seem a little crazy to ignore the time during the time change, but Flutie says to think big picture.

"Worry about the routines. And the natural sunlight. And keeping the child in the room until they're dark," she said.

In fact, she says go so far as to keep the kid in bed until 6 a.m., even if you have to sit in the dark with the child.

When morning comes -- anytime 6 and 8 a.m. -- get your child outside in the sun.

"That is going to start their circadian rhythm and it's really going to set their internal clock and make the transition into the day a little bit more smooth," said Flutie.

3. Don't wait until Sunday 

Go ahead and start bedtime at the new time now. The reality is, it might not be perfect, but it will help.

"Don't panic," said Flutie. "The effects of daylight saving are short lived and they will straighten each other out."

"But, it is a good time to establish good habits, to help keep your children sleeping well all year."

Flutie helps establish individual sleep plans for families and will even come to your house.

To see more of her tips, visit BigSkyLullaby.com.

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