Fall Time Change
By Natalie Fitzgerald
As if parenting isn’t hard enough, these random times of year we change the clocks in certain states can totally throw off a baby’s schedule, and it’s true their little body clocks just don’t adjust as easily as our own. On Sunday, November 4th at 2am, we will set the clocks one hour back (which means this will actually happen while you are sleeping on Saturday night). This used to be my favorite day of the year – before kids, ha! What does this mean for parents? Your early riser might be rising even earlier – eeek! But before you give in to getting the kids up at 5am and heading out to a (very) early Sunday brunch, check out my tips for getting your baby through the “Fall Back” time change.
Start Adjusting Schedule the Week Before
About 5-6 days before the time change, start moving your baby’s schedule by 10- 15min each day, so gradually doing everything a little later. By Saturday, your baby should be doing everything about one hour later than your usual. When s/he wakes for the day on Sunday, this should help set your baby right on track with the usual times and schedule on the new time change.
OK to Wake Clock
These are great for toddlers who like to get out of bed! Order it ahead of time and explain how it works ahead of time – make it super exciting. Toddlers love independence, however they don’t quite know what to do with it. This can help give them a sense of control and independence, but with boundaries so your threenager isn’t showing up next to your bed at 4am (which can be scarier than you think!).
Darkness helps increase melatonin production, so keeping your little one’s room dark can help them get through those early morning hours when their bodies produce less of the hormone, and they tend to sleep a little less soundly, especially when the sun comes up a whole hour earlier.
Try not to stress over it. I know these things can create a lot of anxiety for new moms (been there!) but as with all transitions, they can just take time, and within a week or so everyone should be re-adjusted.
Natalie Fitzgerald is a Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Postpartum Doula. Natalie’s approach to sleep training is tailored to each family she works with, meeting them exactly where they are and developing a customized plan to help them reach their sleep goals, based on their unique baby’s needs and their parenting style. Natalie walks alongside families during the time they need the most support, encouraging parents and helping them find a rhythm that works best with their baby and lifestyle. Natalie is also a member of the Postpartum Health Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness about Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders. She lives in San Diego with her family, including her three little ones: Connor (6yrs), Kate (3.5yrs), and Makenna (1yr).