Tonight is the night I’m going to sleep in. Even though it won’t be a real gain on the number of hours I get to snooze, I am blissfully assuming that when we roll the clocks forward an hour, my kids will just start sleeping until that time.
Until recently, my kids slept from 7 to 7. Then somehow both of them decided 5:30 to 6 a.m. would be a good time to wake up, despite going to bed at the same time and despite not napping longer. (In fact, Zach is transitioning from two daytime naps to one, but that is another post.)
We have tried putting them to bed earlier for several days in a row because the “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby” book says to do that. It didn’t work. We have tried putting them to bed later, around 7:30 to 8, because my dad told me I should do that and they would adjust, eventually, to sleeping later. But two weeks into that, I’m here to tell you it hasn’t caused much improvement. This represents a huge pain in my butt because having your kids decide all of a sudden that they need an hour or two less sleep each day, despite that causing multiple tantrums and fits and ornery-ness, is like having your house broken into and robbed of your most prized possessions, and all of your furniture pooped on by the thieves.
Although I haven’t put much research into sleep, I’ve put a lot of effort investing into bedtime routines and scheduled naps, and it’s worked for me. My kids generally don’t fight about heading to bed. So this is an unexpected thorn in my side. And perhaps I just need to accept that they are getting older and sleeping less. But why is that so hard? Why am I clinging to their sleep patterns of old? The answer, of course, is because this change doesn’t meet my expectations and I don’t like getting woken up by crying children who need more sleep at 6 a.m. but are up anyway.
So, if Daylight Saving Time doesn’t work (and oh, how I hope it does), I’m going to buy a large, digital alarm clock for Eliza’s room, draw a 7 and put it above the hour number, and tell her she’s not allowed to leave until the clock shows a 7 or higher in that hour spot. But what to do about Zach? I guess, in the words of Princess Leah, help me Daylight Saving Time, you’re my only hope.