Here we are, another Daylight Savings time change.
Before I had a child, Daylight Savings Time was merely a minor inconvenience. Spring forward meant one less hour at the karaoke bar, and fall back meant one extra hour of sleeping in. Those were the days. I never thought Daylight Savings Time, or any time zone change for that matter, would mean anything else.
Then I had a child.
The first Daylight Savings time change I experienced with my baby didn’t really phase me.
He was only about 5 months old and his sleep schedule was way early in the day. He was waking up at 6 a.m. and going to bed by about 6 p.m. I was looking forward to the later hour, even if it was just a perceived thing.
Then the holidays came, and along with them a trip out West for a wedding in Arizona followed by Christmas at my parent’s house in Las Vegas. My very scheduled child had to adjust to first Mountain, then Pacific, and finally back to Central Standard Time. All of that happened within a matter of weeks. By the time we got home, we were all cranky and tired. It took at least a month to get my kid’s sleep schedule straightened out again.
We had bliss for a while, and then that darned Daylight Savings Time snuck up on us again.
Now, in my toddler’s second year of life, we’re at another Daylight Savings Time. I know I sound crazy, and I know no matter what he/we will adjust, but I know my kid and our family dynamic. We all function best when there is a set schedule. We have lunch at a certain time, nap around the same time, and dinner pretty much at the same time every day.
The schedule works.
It has allowed me to get some much needed “me” time on weekends. Before the magic schedule my husband used to call me and ask what time the baby should take his nap. The schedule has also allowed us to feel more comfortable leaving the baby with a babysitter because we can clearly say when bedtime should happen.
Currently, our child goes to bed between 8:15 and 8:30 every night, which we love. How do we “fall back?”
Do we try and keep him at 8:15/8:30? If we do that we would essentially be trying to push him to stay awake until what for him would feel like the 9 o’clock hour. That to me seems almost cruel to my baby. BUT there are so many things that are nice about an 8ish bedtime. With an 8ish bedtime we get to take prolonged family walks in the evening. We get to have dinner together. We get to go to the playground in the evening as a family, and we get to attend evening family-friendly events within the city.
There are also pros to the earlier bed time. Namely it would allow for more sunlight play for my kid, and one more hour each night for just me and my husband to enjoy each other’s company. And right about now I realize just how anal retentive I must seem…I digress.
No matter what we choose to do with time changes, I know my kid and family will get used to the set schedule whether we like it or not.