On November 1st, our country recognized its annual observance of “Fall Back” or adding an extra hour back to our day known as Returning to Standard Time. Eleanor was eleven weeks old transitioning to twelve weeks, which is a precarious time for sleep schedules. She had slept through the night four out of the last seven nights, and we were the happiest parents on the planet. Then along came an extra hour to build into our routine and really mess Ellie up. What a difference an hour makes.
Let’s start with some bragging: Eleanor had been responding as if magic to the techniques outlined in Dr. Weissbluth’s Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. This could mean one of two things:
- Eleanor was what we call “a sucker baby” where the parents have such an easy time with her, they are suckered into thinking having another will be just as easy
- Or two: this sleep training stuff really works
Then along came Halloween and Daylight Saving Time on the same weekend. These holiday weekends are known for disrupting schedules. Being at other people’s homes, voices the sleeping Ellie isn’t used to, people wanting to hold the baby and wake her at the slightest murmur of waking up. We are happy to allow these interruptions to routine because holidays are special. Seeing family is special. And if she’s solid with her routine the majority of the time, then the occasional change is easy to get back into the routine again.
But in the same weekend came an extra hour in our routine. Of course, Ellie was awake at 6am thinking it was her usual 7am. Not a problem really because she sometimes wakes up earlier than a full night’s sleep. Just as long as we got her to her 8am bottle to start her day at the same time every day…
But since she ate at 6am, she didn’t want to eat at 8am and only drank an ounce or two. She didn’t want to nap at 9am per her schedule because she was overtired, so she only slept about 45 minutes. Now it’s 10am and she’s awake. Not due for another bottle until 11:30am and her body feels like it’s 11am.
She was so exhausted by 6pm (trying to push her to her 6:30pm bedtime) that she was throwing a temper fit and HATED her bath time. That’s most uncharacteristic because she LOVES her bath time. She loves the sound of the running water and splashing her arms and legs (awkwardly). Instead, she was crying, coughing and spitting while we tried to bathe her as quickly as possible and get her to her bed.
She woke up Monday at 6am again. Not adjusting at all.
Her afternoon nap went until 5pm, so now we’re all messed up.
For two Mommies who LOVE their routines and have read a book that confirms their biases that routines are God’s gift to babies, we’re devastated. We just want the clock to match Ellie’s routine. Is that so much to ask?
It’s getting dark at 5:30 at night, and Coda is sitting at her spot waiting for dinner as though it’s 6:30 in her mind:
By Tuesday (today), Ellie is officially at her 12 week milestone. She’ll be three months on November 11th – a little over a week from now. Many of my Mommies here have told me that keeping Ellie on her schedule is never a “fixed and done” proposition. There’s always something that will throw her off AGAIN – holidays, family visits teething, getting sick – what else?
On the brightest side, Ellie’s starting to sleep through the night, and we couldn’t be happier. So this balancing act is working out just fine. She’s stirring throughout the night, but gently puts herself back to sleep until 5am, 6am, 7am – depending on the day. Today, being the Tuesday after Standard Time begins, Ellie woke at 5am (had a bottle) then woke at 7:30am for her scheduled 8am bottle. We are going to really push the schedule today and for the rest of the week, and by next weekend, she should be back to her magically sleep-trained self again.