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How to help kids 'spring forward' with ease

Tips to help kids adjust to daylight saving time.

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — The concept of daylight saving time is a hard enough concept for adults to understand. But for kids, it's even more difficult.

Trying to get children to adjust sleep schedules to daylight saving time is a challenging task for parents.

Thankfully, experts are weighing in, and agree the "spring forward" is easier than the "fall back."

Certified pediatric sleep consultant Katie Pitts talked with the Today Show to give some tips on how to to survive the adjustment.

Wear them out

As parents experience difficulty getting their kids to wake up in the dark morning, their solution is to tire them out the night before to get to bed sooner.

Jacque Rogers Foster said she has a rule to play outside the day before daylight saving.

"We wear them out on Sunday," she said. "Not indoor anything — our local children's museum, playground until dark, trampoline in the playroom after dinner — so they'll go to bed earlier than usual."

Shift their schedule

Some parents opt to start nudging their children's bedtime a few days before so the transition isn't as extreme. Even moving the time 15 minutes can make a difference.

Buy blackout curtains

Courtney Wagner, who lives in Amarillo, Texas said her kids usually sleep an hour later for about a week. That, paired with the bright light at bedtime can present an issue.

"Buy blackout curtains so they don't protest falling asleep when the sun is still shining bright in the windows," said Wagner.

Split the difference

Instead of trying to keep the bedtime the same, some parents choose to move nap times and bed times temporarily until kids adjust.

"If nap time was usually at 9:30 a.m., it’s now at 10:00 a.m. The same goes for the afternoon nap," said Pitts. "Bedtime, which is typically at 7:00 p.m. would be 7:30 p.m. instead."

That means your baby will technically go to sleep earlier than normal, but hopefully not enough to interfere with a regular schedule. Pitts said on day four, parents can move to the normal sleep time.