Kids Health: Daylight saving time

It sounds so great, turn the clocks back and get an extra hour of sleep. That is until your baby or toddler now wakes up an hour early.

We all have internal clocks, and although adults can recognize when household clocks change, kids cannot.

If their wake-up time is off, nap-time and bedtime probably will be, too.

That can translate to tiredness, though Dr. Suzanne Beck of Children's Hospital says kids don't show it the same way adults do.

She said "Children don't usually ask their parents for an extra nap or to go to bed early when they had a bad night's sleep."

Instead, "They become a little cranky, a little rammy. They might be hyperactive that day," added Dr. Beck.

In order to avoid meltdowns at the beginning and end of daylight saving time, sleep doctors recommend gradually shifting bedtimes the same as families do before school starts.

In fall, for a few days before the switch, put baby to bed 10 to 15 minutes later each night.

In spring, move the bedtimes earlier.

And, don't let your child's last nap end too late in the afternoon, or it may be hard for them to fall asleep, and stay asleep.

Some parents have had success with sunrise simulator alarm clocks to signal the changing wake up times.

The clocks can also train early risers not to wake mommy & daddy too early.

If you can't get an early start on the time shift, don't worry.

You can do it the week afterward and it still helps.
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