Spring is nearly here (YAY)! And as a result, the clocks will be going forward on Sunday, March 29th. For some parents, this event will bring with it some worry, confusion and questions about what changes need to be made to their little ones routine.
With that in mind, here are my tried and tested tips for dealing with the clocks changing:
Tip #1: Bring bedtime forward
Three days before the clocks are due to change, so from Wednesday, bring your child’s bedtime forward by 15 mins each day. If your little one usually goes to sleep by 7PM each night, on Wednesday evening aim for a 6:45PM bedtime, Thursday evening 6:30 PM, Friday 6:15PM etc. etc. So by the night before the clock change happens they will be asleep by 6pm, which will be 7pm when BST arrives.
Tip #2: Don’t forget naps
Day time naps, feeds and meal times will need to mirror the above to help your child’s body clock get into sync. You may find that when moving your little one’s first nap forward they may go down a little under-tired, but by the time nap two comes around it should have all fallen into place.
Tip #3: Keep it dark
The lighter evenings are wonderful for grown-ups, giving us the chance to enjoy a well-earned glass of wine in the garden, but can cause confusion and maybe a little disruption to your child’s bath and bedtime routine – “It’s not bedtime yet Daddy, the sun is still awake”. Having a good routine, setting clear boundaries and keeping everything consistent is the best way to combat this.
If you are finding that your child’s room, which was once lovely and dark, is now streaming with sun and they are finding it hard to settle or waking early, then it may be time to invest in a blackout blind. You can get portable blackout blinds – GroAnywhere Blind is a firm favourite - or pick up liners from Dunelm Mill and other high-street stores. Darkness is key for the body to produce melatonin (the sleep hormone), so the darker the better.
The above should help your little one adjust to the clock change without too much disruption to their sleep and routine.
Alternatively, you could do absolutely nothing. Some parents opt to just ride the wave, and although it takes a little longer for your child to adjust, within 3 – 7 days they should be back in the swing of things.