L.B. asks from Seattle, WA on March 10, 2008
Daylight Savings Time Change Sleep Difficulties
Is anyone else having trouble with the daylight savings time change? We have an 8 month old beautiful boy who is having difficulty adjusting, especially at night. We are trying to keep up the same old routine, just like every night, but are finding that when we put him down to sleep he just wails. Normally, he babbles a bit or whimpers before dropping off, but the screaming is hard to take, so I end up trying to comfort him by not picking him up and just giving him verbal reassurances and soothing touch. After about 10 minutes of him getting utterly hysterical, I end up going in and picking him up, and we sway and talk for about 2 minutes and then he's out. Hopefully we can get him to go back to the old way of doing things and avoid the screaming fit at bedtime. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
So What Happened?™
Thanks everyone for your thoughtful responses! The gradual shift ideas sounded great and very workable. We'll try them out and see how it goes!
K.W. answers from Anchorage on March 11, 2008
I'm wondering why you need to get back to the "old" way of doing things? It sounds like you've already found a *new* way that works - you sway and talk and then he's out. Just as the seasons are changing, your baby's rhythms are changing, too! Work with those changes, not against them, not against him! Instead of forcing *him* to stick with old routines that aren't working, open yourself up to *new* ways of thinking and find what does work! He's still such a baby! Children of all ages have a very strong need to be close to their loved ones, to hear that steady heartbeat, to feel that warm breath, to hear that sweet voice. Go *with* the flow, not *against* it! Your baby will be little for such a short amount of time. Bedtime seems to only present challenges for parents who feel they need to *force* their children to sleep. It is completely normal and natural for kids (the younger they are, the more it is true) to need lots of comfort and closeness at bedtime, and throughout the night. If there is something *you* are needing, figure out what that is and try to give it to yourself. As I wrote to Mena, be gentle with yourself and with each other. Listen to the wisdom of your own body, and listen to the wisdom of your son. Do what FEELS good...if his crying and wailing does not feel good to you, and I'm sure that certainly doesn't feel good to him, give him what he needs. Babies do not manipulate. They have needs, and when their needs are not met, they cry. The reason may not be clear, but a crying baby *needs* something. Don't be afraid to give it to him. It will not "spoil" him, it will comfort him and fill his heart with love and joy!
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A.K. answers from Portland on March 11, 2008
M.S. answers from Portland on March 11, 2008
I agree with the gradual changing of his bedtime, but be sure not to rule out a coincedence. He may be teething or coming down with a cold.
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S.H. answers from Seattle on March 11, 2008
It may have nothing to do with the daylight savings time change at all. However, sleep experts tell us that you shouldn't try to adjust bedtimes by more than about 15 or 20 minutes per night. So, follwing this rule, it would take a few days of adjusting to finally get to the new bedtime.
None of my children ( I have 5) would ever just go to bed as you describe your child doing. I rocked all of them to sleep evey night. They are all well-adjusted people. The oldest is 26 and expecting his first child. Usually a crying child is trying to communicate something to you. Leaving them to cry is to ignore the only way they have of communicating with you.
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L.S. answers from Medford on March 11, 2008
Hello. My suggestion would be to back his bedtime up by only 5 minutes a night till you get to the desired time. Also know that you can throw out almost everything you've read about most things regarding childrearing and do what naturally comes to you for your child. Then find stuff that matches your natural parenting style and child's personality. Putting a child to bed and letting him cry it out, even with assurances, can work for some children, but not all. And it actually can raise a parent's blood pressure and stress level. Plus cause a very vicious cycle where a child associates bedtime with not getting his needs met and therefore cries each night. I didn't let my child cry it out that young. I rocked him till he fell asleep and it wasn't till he got older that I started the whole sitting next to his bed and then moving further out each night. Took a week or so and he has fallen asleep on his own ever since. Babies are ever changing and as parents we get the "fun" responsibility of figuring out their changes, many times just in time for them to change again. It might be that you will need to hold him at night for awhile till he adjusts. And after reading your "a little about me:" I'd guess that you'd really be blessed by those close contact bonding times. And I promise, it'll last such a short time, you'll look back and long for those moments. Good luck
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