You should breastfeed; it’s so much better than formula.”
“Why are you using disposable diapers? Cloth diapers are more environmentally friendly.”
“You’re spoiling your baby by holding them too much.”
“You should let your baby cry it out to learn independence.
“A pacifier will ruin their teeth and make them dependent on it.”
“You’re feeding your baby that? It’s not organic!”
“You’re going back to work? Aren’t you worried about missing out on their early years?”
“You should have them on a strict schedule. It’ll make your life so much easier.”
“You’re using a stroller? Babywearing is the only way to bond with your child.”
“Why is your baby still using a pacifier at their age? You should have weaned them off by now.
The list of endless unsolicited advice and judgements by friends, family members and social media is loud.
Daylight savings time ending (or starting) is always a particular time that I notice increased stress in new moms. You’re terrified of the clocks going back an hour and what it’s going to do to your little’s schedule – and how it might affect your day, their mood and your ability to control naps and bedtime. Take a big breath mama, and let me tell you why doing nothing for the time change is your new trick to get through this.
So what is happening? This Sunday – November 5 at 2 am – we’re moving the clocks back to 1 am. We gain an hour of sleep – which means that if your child consistently gets up at 7 am – they might now get up at 6 am the new time (7 am the old time). Or if you’re lucky – they still sleep until 7 am (8 am the old time).
Guess who else is likely going to naturally want to wake at 6 am – you are. It is perfectly normal for you to continue to follow the same patterns you did the day before.
We often forget during the time change that as adults, we do absolutely nothing to prepare our bodies for this change. We don’t make subtle changes to our schedule a few days at a time to prepare – so why are we obsessing over this with our children? Our bodies and their bodies are in sync. If they get up early because that’s what time their bodies are used to getting up – guess what – the same is happening with yours.
Our bodies sleep and wake hormones are controlled by our environment and exposure to lightness and darkness.
When we move our clocks back an hour – the only thing that changes in our day is that it is a bit lighter earlier – but the trade is that it’s darker earlier. There is a growing body of evidence that has been actually calling for an end to daylight savings time practices due to health concerns. Not even every province in Canada follows this practice anymore. Saskatchewan, the Yukon, parts of British Columbia and Quebec have stopped observing daylight savings time.
So if you’ve done “nothing” to prepare for this time change – please don’t fret. I actually encourage you not to. To help your body (yours and your children(‘s)), I just encourage you to help your body adjust naturally on its own. Make sure your rooms are very dark for sleeping and get early natural light exposure in the morning. (go outside!) This will help your bodies adjust to the new time over the next week or so. And if we have to miss a few scheduled activities while our bodies adjust because our children are tired at 6 pm (7 pm the old time) – is it really the end of the world? No it’s not. Follow your body and your child’s bodies lead – and focus on that light exposure to help naturally move through this process.
Be kind to yourself. Be reasonable with your expectations for your child’s sleep and activities when the world demands unreasonable expectations for sleep with this forced time change – take a beat and just try and go with the flow.
If you’re looking for more sleep help with your little one – check out my sleep coaching programs. I even offer just assessments and consultations if you want to do everything yourself!
Roenneberg T, Wirz-Justice A, Skene DJ, Ancoli-Israel S, Wright KP, Dijk DJ, Zee P, Gorman MR, Winnebeck EC, Klerman EB. Why Should We Abolish Daylight Saving Time? J Biol Rhythms. 2019 Jun;34(3):227-230. doi: 10.1177/0748730419854197.
Time Change 2023 in Canada.(2023). Time and Date. Accessed on November 2, 2023.