Remember the days before kids? When you heard “Fall Back- change the clocks” a wonderful feeling of excitement and pleasure filled your body as we prepared for an extra full hour of sleep! Instead of it being 7AM already, its only 6AM- and you can go back to sleep! Ah, what a good feeling!
The sad thing here is that once you have babies and children, this changing of the clocks doesn’t evoke such joyous feelings. Now instead of your baby waking at 6AM will they be waking at 5AM old time? Instead of bedtime at 7PM will they not be tired until 8PM? This Fall time change can actually create some stress and anxiety for parents!
So how should we handle this? Firstly, I would like to remind you that patience and consistency go a LONG WAY. Secondly, this one hour time change may cause a few bumpy days, but with consistency, sleep should get sorted out, back to normal in about a week at most. (After all, it is only an hour).
Since we are moving the clocks back, when it is 7PM it will actually feel like 8PM for your little munchkin. SO really it’s just a matter of your child going down a little bit later and you can handle this transition in a few ways:
For a few days before the time change (3-4 should be enough), put your babe down 15 mins later for bedtime, get her up 15 mins later in the AM, and push naps as well. Continue to do this, gradually pushing later by 15 mins, so that by the time the clocks are changed, baby is already used to this new bedtime. (EX. Night #1 7:15 Bedtime, Night #2 7:30 Bedtime, Night #3 7:45 Bedtime, etc.) Remember though, that if we push bedtime gradually later and later we must also push wake times, meal times and nap times as well. It all must be shifted.
Just assume the new time. Keep bedtime the same time according to the new time. Make sure your child takes a good nap that afternoon to make it to the later bedtime. Make sure he doesn’t start the day earlier than 6AM (new time). Schedule all meals and naps according to the new time. (P.S.I prefer this method, as I find it’s easiest to be consistent and it rarely takes longer than a week to adjust.)
So there you have it. “Fall Back” just doesn’t have the same meaning it once had before you were a parent. Remember, if you can be consistent with your child’s bedtimes and wake times and structure the schedule accordingly, everything should be smooth and settled in about a week. And hey, if it isn’t there’s always the Prairies where these silly time changes do not occur 😉