Losing An Hour of Sleep Isn’t All That Bad!

It seems like just yesterday I was thinking about how we would adjust Emily and the triplet’s sleep schedule with the time change of daylight savings time and now here we are again! On March 11th at 2am or to make life easier, on March 10th before going to bed, our clocks will go forward 1 hour.

When you become a parent, it’s amazing how much a single event, like daylight savings time, can impact your life. Before having kids, I didn’t think twice about the time change. Yes, it was unfortunate to lose an hour of sleep, but I would go to bed, wake up the next morning having slept one hour less and continue on with my day. Now that I am a parent, I go to bed, knowing I will be tired tomorrow, hoping that the kids stay asleep and they wake up in a good mood.

Although we are losing an hour of sleep, there is a benefit we gain from this time change. By pushing the clocks forward an hour, we get to enjoy an extra hour of sunshine in the evening. It’s sometimes difficult in the evenings when it becomes dark so early. There were some days it was dark 30 minutes after getting home from picking Emily up from school, which really limited the outdoor time we had after school. I know earlier sunsets are better at bed time, as I said back in November when we pushed the clocks back an hour, but the extra hour of sunlight is great with the warmer weather and it gives you a little more time to get things done or to enjoy some time outside.

The shorter days during the winter combined with the cold weather, can be challenging to get through and I find it really impacts my mood and attitude. I think I experienced bouts of seasonal depression this winter, especially on those days when it was cold and cloudy outside and we were stuck inside because it was too cold to take everyone out. It’s one thing to deal with it yourself, but when you add kids into the mix, who are also feeling the impacts of the short days and just want to get outside, it’s not very fun.
I am excited for the extra hour of sunshine in the evening and even though we will lose an hour of sleep and we will have to adjust Emily and the triplets’ sleep schedules, in the long run everyone will be happier.

For some parents it may be a challenge when adjusting their baby’s sleep schedule to the time change, but with a few simple tips, it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience. Just as we shared in our previous post, How to Adjust to Daylight Savings Time, last November, having easy tips to follow can make the adjustment easier for everyone.

I think the biggest thing to consider and focus on is keeping your baby comfortable and providing them with a sleeping environment that will allow them to sleep through the night. Sometimes it is inevitable and your baby will wake up during the night, but if you can set things up to promote them to sleep through the night, you will have a better chance of it happening.

The best things I found that help the most are

  1. Make sure their room is dark.
  2. Put them in comfy pajamas and a clean diaper.
  3. Add a little extra comfort with a stuffy, a sound machine or a story before bed.

We are lucky that the kids’ rooms are at the front of the house and the sun rises at the back, so they never get the bright sun light in their room at night or in the morning, but we still have blinds on their windows to keep the room dark.

I always like to keep their pajamas light, except for the winter months when I put them in comfy fleece onesies to keep them extra warm. My favourite pajamas to put them in are the ones with built-in feet! For the longest time Jackson and Levi hated the feet, but they have luckily outgrown that phase and wear them with no problem. All of their pajamas are from Carter’s OshKosh and my favourite thing about their pajamas is, I can usually get matching or similar styles for boys and girls.

I also make sure to change their diaper right before they go to bed. I know it’s probably a standard in every home, but I think it is a key part of a good night sleep. We use the Pampers Baby Dry diapers at night and they really do provide up to 12 hours of protection overnight. The triplets do wake up during the night, but I don’t remember the last time they woke up because they needed a diaper change.

If your kids are old enough, a stuffed animal could give them a little more comfort when holding onto them at night. I’ve started this with Emily and the triplets and I bought them each a Lenny the Lamb Scentsy Buddy. They bring him to bed every night and plus there is a scent pack inside him so he smells good! If your baby is too young for a stuffed animal at night, I think a sound machine is a good way to add some more comfort. It doesn’t even need to be a sound machine, but just something that provides a little background noise. In the rooms we have a little heater and a humidifier that each provide the background noise like the sound machine would.

I hope my tips help some of you out, but just remember, I am not an expert by any means! Sometimes it’s nice to hear what others do and then take some of their advice and apply it to yours through trial and error to see what works. I will be the first to admit, that even though I incorporate all of the above into our bedtime routine, the triplets still wake up and end up in our bed. I have seen an improvement though with the amount of time they spend in their own beds before they end up in ours, so we are getting there!

With all that said, I actually wont be home Saturday night to put everyone to bed. Dan will be on his own, as I am going to Niagara Falls for a girls weekend, but Dan is an expert so I know he can handle it! =D

What are your plans for handling the time change? Let us know below!

-Corrie

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