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the crib sheet

How to handle the time change (gracefully) ...

Elizabeth Nalle

The World Series is on, the Halloween costumes have been worn and photographed, and we are deep into the Halloween candy -- must be time for the Fall time change.

At Sleepy On Hudson, we keep it simple, there are 3 ways to handle it.  Just pick your path and go for it -- in the mean time, petition your local senator to work on getting rid of these crazy time changes once and for all!

1. DO NOTHING (this is Brooke's favorite, because she always means to do something but very often ends up doing nothing): That's right.  Just put them to bed at the old time and let them wake up to the new time (it will be too early).  Run your day on the new time, moving meals, snacks, and naps to the new time.  The early wake ups might continue for a few days, but maybe you can squeeze in later nap and push bedtime a bit later.  This approach takes a day or two to even out and is better for more flexible sleepers.  It also works well with older children.

2. DO SOMETHING in advance (this is for those of you who are 'on it' like Lindsay:  She suggests start moving towards the new time 15 minutes each day.  The key here is to move everything 15 minutes - meals, snacks, bottles, nursing, naps, and of course bedtime.  You will be living your new schedule and feeling very comfortable come Sunday morning when the rest of the world is a little off their game.

3. DO SOMETHING after the fact (this is for those of you who couldn't get on it this week, have a sensitive sleeper, and need to do small steps to get adjusted): The time will change and you are going to react to this change slowly but surely.  You will move into the new time each day by 15 minutes, moving everything closer to the new time, hoping to get there in 3-5 days.  For example, your baby has been going to bed at 6:30 old time, 5:30 new time.  Put him to bed at 5:45, 6, 6:15, and then finally 6:30.  If he used to wake at 6am old time, 5am new time.  Get him up but don't feed him until 5:15, 5:30 and try to get that first nap to start 15 minutes later.  Make sense?  Kind of?

Good luck!