Parents, listen up! The pesky clocks are changing soon (Sunday 28th Oct 2018, to be precise). And so, into the British winter we delve. But what about our precious snoozing bundles? They have no concept of the clock change and are governed only by their own body clocks. How do we help them to transition through the loss of an hour's sleep? Easy. Ish. Here are some tips for coping with the clock change, and preserve your own sanity at the same time. Hey, at least the clocks are going back this time- in theory we should be gaining an extra hour in bed, right?
Start changing bedtime NOW
A whole hour can make all the difference for some kids, so if you know your little one is likely to find the transition to a later bedtime a little difficult, you need to start the change now. Delay bedtime by 15 minutes every day from now until Saturday, and I guarantee it will make it a little easier. By the time the clocks actually change, your little one will be going to bed an hour later than usual, and therefore the 'new' bedtime will be a breeze. So for example:
- Baby goes to bed at 7pm usually.
- First night, move bedtime to 7.15
- Next night, move bedtime to 7.30
- Next night, move bedtime to 7.45
- Last night (clock change night) move bedtime to 8pm
Once this transition has been made, you will continue to put baby to bed at the usual time of 7pm, but as the clocks have changed this will not affect her sleep at all. Her body will be used to this new time. And hopefully she won't wake up at 6am instead of 7!
Don't forget to adjust naps too
If your daytime routine allows it, adjust your baby's naps to suit the clock change too. It will make it so much easier when the clocks have moved back an hour. Don't forget that if your little one is finding it hard to adjust to a new nap time, the SnoozeShade is your friend! Lots of families report that the shade acts as a sleep cue for their little ones, and at the very least you're blocking stimulation to make sleep a lot easier.
Make sure your routine is up to scratch
A good bedtime/ sleep routine is so important for little ones, and never more so than when the clocks are changing. Start tweaking now if you need to, to make sure that everything is running smoothly when the clocks move back. Remember to stay consistent and all will work out well.
Make sure your child's bedroom is inviting for sleep
Again, now is the time to check your child's bedroom and make sure that it is a suitable environment for sleep. Is it warm enough, dim enough and safe enough? You want to eliminate all possible problems so that the transition to new sleeping times goes as well as possible.
Praise older kids
When your little ones are not quite so little any more, the clock change can be a different kind of challenge. Some parents tend to allow older kids to stay up a little later on clock change night, so that the loss of an hour doesn't mean they want to get up earlier than usual. But as we all know, this doesn't always work! The best thing to do is to change the clocks in their bedroom the night before, and let them know what's happening. Explain that they still need to get up at the usual time, and praise them when they do so. It's only an hour, but when it comes to getting up either at 5am or 6am , I know which I prefer!
What are your top tips for coping with the clock change?