How to Survive the end of Daylight Saving
“If a year was tucked inside of a clock, then autumn would be the magic hour.”
– Victoria Erickson
“Yeah, except if you’re a mom in daylight saving”
The autumn time change is approaching and if you’re like other moms, you’re dreading it.
If this isn’t your first time change as a mom, you will know by now that just because the numbers on the clock change, the internal rhythms of our babies don’t always go along with it!
The end of Daylight Saving that occurs in the fall can send moms into a real panic. The thought of having your baby wake up at 6 am instead of 7 am, (or 5 am instead of 6 am!) is enough to strike fear in the bravest of maternal hearts.
To break it down, here’s what happens to your baby when we set the clocks back.
If you keep your baby on the same schedule as you did before the time change, your baby will now be napping and going to sleep an hour later than his body is used to.
So what used to be your baby’s 7 pm bedtime now becomes 8 pm in old time and 7 pm on the new clock. When his old bedtime approaches, he still has an hour to go until you put him to sleep!
There are ways to make this time easier on your family. Here are some tips:
A week ahead of time, start putting your baby to bed 10 minutes later each night, so that by the time we change the clocks, she will be ready at her new bedtime. If her bedtime is now 7 pm, by increasing her bedtime to 7:10, then 7:20, then 7:30, then 7:40, then 7:50, then 8:00pm, by the time the clock changes back to 7, your baby will be perfectly on schedule for her usual 7 pm bedtime.
Once the clocks change, expect your baby to wake up early. He can’t help himself! His biological clock is set to wake up at a certain time, and that internal clock doesn’t know (or care) that adults of the world decided to change things up.
If your baby normally slept till 6:30 am, she may start waking up a full hour early, at 5:30 am. Not fun for you.
There is hope, don’t fear!
The day the clocks change, have your baby wait an additional 10 minutes before taking him out of his crib.
If he wakes up at 6 am (an hour earlier than usual), have him wait until 6:10 to take him out. The next morning, have him wait until 6:20. The next day, till 6:30, the next day 6:40, the next day 6:50, and about a week after the clocks change, he will be perfectly on schedule with the new time, sleeping from 7 pm to 7 am.
With a week’s prep before the time change, and a week’s adjustment after the time change, things should be back to normal for you.
Of course, you can also take the lazy route and just let things go, seeing how that works for you. Most kids are resilient can adapt to the new time within a few days on their own. Expect a few early morning wakings and cranky afternoons, though!
You’ll get through it, whichever route you take. The season will turn no matter what you do, and in the words of King Solomon the Wise, this too shall pass.