Spring forward, fall back

27 Oct

Before having children, the clocks changing twice a year barely impinged on my life.  Of course I was grateful for the extra hour in bed at the end of October, and noticed how suddenly it was dark when I started my evening commute, but it wasn’t an event that I put much thought into.

When you have a baby, you notice how finely tuned their body clocks are with even small changes upsetting them.  Having to keep them up an extra hour on a single day at the end of October disrupts their routine for days, with naps falling at unexpected times, feeding schedules going awry and crying at bedtime as they try to settle their overtired little brains to sleep.  It doesn’t get easier as they grow into toddlers, a species that is particularly intractable and finds comfort in the familiar.   Adjust their routine by just an hour, and you have tantrums and 4.30am starts on your hands.  Well we did, anyway.

This year, for the first time in seven years, I did not unduly dread the clocks falling back.  Aged 7, 5 and 3, our children are becoming more adaptable and more willing to listen to reason.  They woke up at their usual time on Sunday morning, despite having been put to bed a little later than usual the night before, but instead of crying and demanding to get out of bed at 5.45am, they were happy to sit in their beds looking at books until the new 7 o’clock.

Now it’s Tuesday, and they seem to have adjusted to the time change, having woken at 7ish this morning.  Two days for one hour.  The time difference between London and Los Angeles, the first planned stop on our round the world trip is 8 hours.  We will probably stay in LA for a week, or less, before flying to Hawaii, a further three hours change.  Two days for one hour.  Hmmm.

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6 Responses to “Spring forward, fall back”

  1. Metropolitan Mum 27/10/2009 at 10:49 am #

    Little L used to wake at 4AM sharp for a milk feed. She now wakes at 3AM sharp. Ouch.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 27/10/2009 at 10:50 am #

      Hopefully you’ll be able to stretch it out over the next few days. Being woken at 3am is no fun!

  2. Weston-super-Mum 27/10/2009 at 10:52 am #

    We were up almost 2 hours earlier than usual yesterday, bed at same time last night and then just under an hour early today. Mad, I’m exhausted.
    Another year to prepare? The time thing wouldn’t have occured to me ….

  3. Laura 27/10/2009 at 12:18 pm #

    I must admit that this year is the first year that we haven’t had problems with the clocks going back. Mainly, like your chldren, they are happy to potter around playing until time to get up rather than demanding attention.

    Also I was in Port Aventura waking up alone on Sunday morning … Ahem

  4. Mara 27/10/2009 at 2:24 pm #

    I’ve definitely noticed a vast improvement in my children’s ability to deal with time changes as they’ve gotten older. Although with that said, we had a bear of a time going to Arizona last spring for spring break – and the difference was only 2 hours. Sometimes it’s hard to know when it’s going to work and when it isn’t! I’m sure you’ll have a range of experiences as you go RTW.

  5. kellyfairy 30/10/2009 at 8:51 am #

    Oh it wasn’t until the day that I thought ohhhh this might mess things up a little. It took 3 days to get Piran used to the new times. Mind you I had a clock setting incident where mine ended up getting put back two hours and so I kept him waiting too long for a feed.

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