I learned quickly when the diva was a newborn that a schedule is important for babies – one of the easiest ways to ward off temper tantrums and fussing. And I had it all figured out. Meals, snacks, naps and bedtimes. Like clockwork. If her snack or nap time was running late, she was screaming on the floor. But once she had a full belly and a nice nap, she was my little angel again.
It was all undone in just one night.
With infants you end up sleep deprived as they learn the difference between night and day and gradually reduce the need to eat every two hours. Then once you think you have it figured out, they start teething. At some point though, you start to get a little spoiled and forget about those hazy nights watching the sun come up, so tired you could vomit. And you slip-up.
A little over a week ago, we did just that. It was Super Bowl Sunday and we decided to allow the diva to stay up late, after all it was only ONE night. What could really go wrong? Big, big mistake. Her schedule has been off ever since. Naps? Normal bedtime? Ha! What are those again?
She’s slowly getting back on her normal schedule, but now an even bigger challenge is coming our way: daylight savings time. On March 11, we’ll spring forward, turning the clocks ahead by one hour. Don’t get me wrong, I’m anxious for nice warm weather and longer days, but even as an adult daylight savings gets me all screwed up.
On that day, when you try to put your little darling to bed at their normal bedtime, it will be an hour earlier according to their internal clock and they probably won’t go down easy. Then you’ll be waking them one hour earlier than normal. See, babies can’t tell time, but their little internal clocks are set. Can you see what’s going to happen here? They’ll want to go to bed at their internal clock’s normal time and have a hard time falling asleep. Then you come in and wake up their little butts an hour early. It’s the perfect storm.
Which had me thinking…how will the time change affect fussy butts. So I did a little research about what I can start doing now to ward off a major schedule meltdown and maybe, just maybe make the transition a little easier for you too.
- There’s four weeks between now and then. So each week, according to parenting experts, move their bedtime back by 10 or 15 minutes, using the same routine every night.
- Resist the temptation to let them sleep in, this will only compound the issue.
- If you want to keep your child on a set schedule, you’ll need to adjust naps and meal times too, ensuring they are eating and sleeping at the same intervals.
- Not everyone has the ability to make these changes this early due to other commitments. If you’re one of them, take heart. According to sleep experts, you can start the transition a few days ahead making the change a little easier.
- If all else fails, buy some earplugs and consider investing in an IV coffee drip, because sister, if your child is anything like mine, you’re gonna need it!
As always, if you have any little tricks up your sleeve, share them in a comment! How and when do you plan to change your child’s schedule in anticipation of daylight savings time?