How to Manage Losing an Hour When You Have Kidsby Laura Driver
The daylight-saving clock changes were never a problem before I had children. I’d just take that extra hour and run with it, usually spending an extra hour in bed, or lose an hour and take it on the chin. It was no biggie.
When my children came along that teeny tiny hour change filled me with horror. Feeling like it came out of nowhere, despite time changes being at the same time each year, I’d be left with my two little ones, born 18 months apart, with their sleep pattern in total disarray and me feeling frazzled.
My little ones would still wake early and then fight the fact they were going to bed in daylight. Their tortuous ‘Sleep is for the weak’ attitude meant that the loss of a WHOLE hour made a HUGE difference and needed to be managed, with what felt like a military operation.
For the lucky ones, the ones who have children who are easily adjustable, lucky you! You can just go with the flow, otherwise known as ‘The Cold Turkey Approach’ and put your child to bed an hour earlier than usual and feel no repercussions for doing so.
For those of you who are feeling rising panic, who have no idea what havoc the hour loss will wreak, those of you who have worked hard to get their little ones sleeping soundly at night and don’t want any disruption, here are our top tips;
- Adjust your little one’s bedtime each night by 15 minutes from Thursday. Don’t forget to also adjust nap and mealtimes by 15 minutes too.
- Try to have an energetic Saturday and Sunday, wearing your little ones out for their new bedtime, albeit in lockdown conditions.
- Don’t try to cheat by putting your little ones to bed an hour earlier and hope for the best (unless you are one of the lucky ones we mentioned above).
- Stick religiously to your normal bedtime routine. Consistency is key!
- Accept that your child may wake earlier and be prepared.
- We are tired! That’s a given and I don’t wish to sound like a fun-sponge… but you could go to bed an hour earlier yourself.
- Don’t allow the clock change adjustment to break you, making you slip into bad habits. Don’t bring your baby into bed with you or giving a feed to encourage your baby back to sleep. This may work in the short term but could cause issues longer term. Be strong you can do this!
- If the extra daylight is an issue invest in a blackout blind. This Gro-Company Ollie The Owl Portable Blackout Blind is adjustable and can be put on any window (which is handy for holidays and visiting friends and family… when we can again!) It's also available on Amazon Prime!
Just remember, in your dark moments, when you are propping your eyelids open with matchsticks that the loss of an hour means Spring is coming and hopefully, weather permitting, it means little ones can spend more time burning off excess energy outside.