Twice a year when the clocks change, we are inundated with questions and parents asking what they can do. Here’s a quick guide depending on the age of your little-one(s) of what to do. If your little one is naturally an early riser then you don’t have to change anything, as the clocks will do everything for you!
However, if you feel the clock change will mess up your little one’s good sleeping routine, in that you might have to wake them an hour earlier for nursery, school etc, here are some tips for you!
Our best advice here is to ‘split the difference’ between the old time and the new time. Start on Sunday night (first night of the change), for children who no longer nap and normally go to bed at 7pm you would put them to bed at 7.30pm instead. Do this for 3 nights and then on the 4th night put them to bed at the normal time – 7pm.
Toddlers (over 1 and older):
On Sunday put them down for their first nap 30 minutes later than normal. For example, if they usually nap at 9.30am you would put them down at 10am instead, and to the same for the afternoon nap. Little ones might become a little grumpy and need a little more entertainment than normal whilst they are ‘pushed’ to their new nap time. Then at bedtime if you usually put them down at 7pm, move this by 30mins and put them down at 7.30pm. Do this for 3 nights after the time change and then on the 4th night put them to bed at the normal time of 7pm and on the 5th day move nap times back to normal.
For babies over 4 months you can change their internal clock gradually. For example, if their bedtime is normally 7pm then move bedtime 15 minutes earlier each night until you reach their normal time. So, on Sunday night you would put them down at 7.45pm, next night at 7.30pm and so on. By the fourth night you should be back to their ‘normal’ time of 7pm.
If your little one’s bedtime is not predictable, which is totally normal for those aged 0 to 4 months, simply just jump to the new time on Sunday night as if you were traveling toa new time zone. It may take your little one a little longer to fall asleep which is expected as they might not be as tired to start with.
For all little ones:
No matter what age, one thing that will make a difference at bedtime is how light it will be outside. With this in mind, we recommend you make your child’s bedroom as dark as possible to limit any sunlight coming into their room which could make it difficult for them to fall/stay asleep.
Using something like a blackout blind or even blackout card/material over the window can be really helpful to block any residual light.
Overall, it can take about a week for children and babies to completely adjust to a new time, some children can take up to a month. Be patient and remain consistent and it will happen!
As always, if you’re experiencing any problems with your little ones sleep, please do get in touch for a free 15 minute chat – We would love to help!