The clocks going back an hour had never been an issue for me. Technology is so advanced now you don’t even need to worry about adjusting your clock on your mobile phone or smart watch – it is all done for us! So, wouldn’t it be nice if someone adjusted the body clock of your little one so they don’t wake that hour earlier too? Since having my son, I have never worried so much about the change in time so much in all of my life! The good news is the change need not be a problem as I am going to give you some tips on transitioning your child’s sleep prior to the clock going back so that they won’t even notice – and you will get your extra hour!So, for those alert little ones and those that sleep to the minute of their usual routine I advise;
- The Wednesday BEFORE the clocks go back, place your child down 15 minutes LATER than normal, so usual bedtime 7pm then they go down at 7.15pm
- Thursday evening add another 15 minutes, so they go down at 7.30pm
- Friday evening add another 15 minutes and place them down at 7.45pm
- Saturday they go down at 8pm and the clocks go back 1 hour at midnight
- Sunday evening place your child down at 7pm as normal (this previously was 8pm) this should bring you nicely into the new timing with little disturbance
For older children, this is likely unnecessary and some parents will get away with keeping their child up for an extra hour or nearly an extra hour. If your child still naps then this may not work as their need for daytime sleep may make them overtired by stretching them out a little more. This is perfectly fine and can work well but be mindful of overtiredness. Some little ones are very sleep sensitive and just half an hour missed in their daytime sleep can cause sleep disturbance in the night or early rising.
I am a firm believer in parents know best and ultimately, you need to do what feels right for you. For me, I will be moving bedtime by 15 minutes. My son can NOT cope with chunks of missed sleep and when he does miss sleep he can be grumpy and throw some lovely tantrums.
In all, you can help make the transition smoother with a little forward thinking and within a couple of days of the change of time they will be back on track if you keep resort straight back to normal bedtime routine and hours.
Laura, Babbaboo Sleep.
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