Since he was about 6 months old, Tristan has had a very regular internal clock. He gets up at 6am, naps at 9am and 1pm, then goes to bed at 6pm. For a while I tried to push those times back an hour, so that we could spend more time with him in the evening and get a little more sleep in the morning. Alas, no matter what time we put him to bed — boing! at 6am he’d be up and at’em. All I had managed to do was deprive him of an hour of sleep. Eventually I gave up, especially as I knew I’d need to get him up at 6 once I returned to work.
Now that he’s almost a year, his schedule is pretty much the same; he’s pushed his bedtime back to about 6:30, but he’s still up shortly after 6am.
Last month we spent a week with our good friends in Saskatchewan (hard to type, easy to draw). At first I was worried about the 2 hour time difference – then I realized it was only 1 hour, as Saskatchewan doesn’t do daylight savings time (something to do with confusing the cows). Rather than try and set Tristan’s internal clock to CST, we decided to just keep him on home time, which allowed us to keep him up an hour later, and, theoretically, sleep in an hour later in the morning.
It worked pretty well (aside from the sleeping in part), and he returned to his old schedule with nary a peep when we got home.
Fast forward to last Saturday. “Fall behind” used to be one of my favorite nights of the year – who doesn’t love an extra hour of sleep? (Of course, it didn’t work so well for me the year I worked the graveyard shift at 7-11 – we used a punch-in system, which didn’t acknowledge that the clocks had changed, so I got paid 8 hours for working a 9 hour shift.) Of course, I don’t think I ever actually got that extra sleep; I’d just end up staying up an hour later instead, and then the next day was Sunday so I never had to get up for anything anyway, so what did it matter?
This year, with a baby, everything changed. With the time falling back, what Tristan thought was 6am would now actually be 5am. In the hopes of tiring him out, we kept him up late Saturday night. He was pretty sleepy by the time we put him down at 7:10, but he went down just fine. Nathan and I set the clocks back, and proceeded to stay up an hour later. This was despite the fact that Sunday is now a work day for me. We fell asleep….and guess what? Tristan was up at 5am.
Now, what I wanted to do was leave him until 6, so that hopefully he’d figure out the time change on his own. I listened to him alternately cry and fuss and play for half an hour, then his crying turned serious. I dragged myself out of bed and got him up. Nathan kept him on the new time all day, and he seemed a bit tired, but otherwise fine.
Monday was better – he woke up at 5:20, and was content in his crib until 5:45. This morning he awoke at 5:30, and played quietly until 6am. Of course, I’m not getting any quality sleep after 5am, as I’m lying in bed listening to his noises, and anticipating the first cry. But if he continues on this trend, he’ll be sleeping until 6am by Friday, and hopefully so will I. Just in time for my “work week” (Friday to Monday).
At least for “spring forward” it won’t be so hard. All I have to do is drag him out of bed an hour early, then leave a grumpy, overtired boy with Nathan for the day. Joy!
My mom recently admitted that when we were young, but old enough to tell time, she’d sometimes set our clocks back so that she could get an extra hour of sleep in the morning. Evil genius! Maybe I’ll start teaching Tristan to tell time this afternoon.