Time Change and the Unsuspecting Child


Let’s talk about the time change.  Honestly, I hate it.  As a flight attendant, I was always worried about missing van time.  When I taught English to Chinese and Japanese children/adults it made my time difference even more difficult.  And now as a sleep consultant and having my own children it becomes a challenge that I never imagined.

We as adults feel the effects for typically a day.  We either get that hour extra of sleep or we do not.  With children, things can get a little more complicated.  Most children and babies are programmed to wake about the same time every day (give or take) so when you toss in an extra hour of sleep/lose that extra hour things can get crazy especially when you have to get up to go to work the next day.

Here are some tips to help you get through it without any bags under your eyes:

  • You can start your day 15 minutes later about five days before the time change. That means you leave your child or baby in their bed 15 minutes later than you normally would.  You will also push their naps and bedtime 15 minutes later.  You will continue to do this until you have reached your normal bedtime.
  • The day before the time change you can adjust your child by keeping them awake 15-20 minutes longer than their normal nap time. If on multiple naps this will then push the next nap and will push bedtime about 45 minutes later.  This will set you up for a later bedtime and a later wake.
  • If you have a toddler that is not a sensitive sleeper you can just push their only nap later and push bedtime a tad later.  This is a great option if you have a perfect sleeper and is a go with the flow kinda kid.  This is the option that I have always used as it’s the easiest to remember.
  • You can do nothing at all. This works best if you do not mind waking an hour earlier than what you normally would (odds are they will not sleep 13 hours).  Keep in mind that if you decide to do nothing you can get your schedule back on track within a few days with just a little consistency.

Now that I have explained to you why I hate the time change and how to survive it lets talk pros: 

  • I love the time change if you want a later or earlier wake. Now is the time to tweak your schedule.  If you want that later wake you can make that happen now.  If you want that earlier bedtime and an earlier wake you can make that happen.  This is the perfect way to not have overtired babies and YOU actually get the awake time that YOU want!
  • The day of the time change I like to keep both of my kids super busy especially in the evenings. I always go with option 2 with my own children. That evening I like to have family over for dinner or do something fun like the Zoo Boo at the Pittsburgh Zoo.  Anything to keep my kids entertained and distracted so that they do not want to go to sleep at their normal time.

I know you were planning to go to Ulta to stock up on that under-eye concealer from lack of sleep.  But follow these tips and save yourself the money.

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Amber is a Pittsburgh native who grew up in Irwin. She now lives in Rostraver Twp with her husband Justin and two girls Haisley and Isla. Amber graduated from CCAC in business and also from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Employment and Labor Relations. Recently she has graduated from the Family Sleep Institute to become a certified Sleep Consultant. Currently she owns NorthStar Sleep Consulting (nssleepconsulting.com) and is a Pittsburgh based Flight Attendant for the past 13 years. When I’m not working I enjoy coffee, Target (LOL), and baking. Everyone in my family (Isla doesn’t know it yet) loves desert! Haisley and I love to cook every chance that we get. Once the kids go to bed Justin and I enjoy the quietness outside in the warmer months or love watching a good movie. Check out my website at https://www.nssleepconsulting.com/ for more sleep tips.