Next Sunday the clocks go back an hour.
Do you remember when before children you’d be excited about the extra hour you’d have in bed, now it’s filled with the dread of being woken an hour earlier dread?!
Let me run through the things you can do to help:
You can start to push their bedtime back by 10 mins each night from the Wednesday before this is called ‘The Gradual Approach’.
The gradual approach works like this:
- Wednesday night bedtime is 7.15pm
- Thursday night bedtime is 7.30pm
- Friday night bedtime is 7.45pm
- Saturday night bedtime is 8pm. (Then the clocks go back in the middle of the night)
- Sunday night bedtime is the new 7pm
This can work really well if you’re organised, don’t have older children you need to factor in to the equation, and can stick to a slightly longer plan of action.
There’s the ‘Put Your Child to Bed an Hour Later’ approach:
If your child’s bedtime is normally 7pm, on Saturday night try to keep your child up for an extra hour and make 8pm their bedtime for that one night only. When the clocks change in the night, you gain an hour, so ideally your child will wake at their usual time (i.e. 7am) by the new clock time, and still have had his usual amount of sleep. Then, on Sunday night just continue with your 7pm bedtime by the new clock time.
This is a good one for older children, younger children may struggle to last that extra hour before becoming overtired, and we all know overtired children are harder to put to bed/stay asleep once in bed.
For me I tend think that children can adapt pretty quickly and if you stick to the same routine at bedtime and can accept that your child will probably wake up at the normal time (pre clock change time) for a couple of mornings but see if you can let them rest in their cot or bed for as long as possible, then any effect will be short lived.
It can really help to simply stagger the upcoming new time change through the Sunday. Moving meal times really helps adjust their body clock, adding a few extra snacks will help with this-
- Breakfast – 15 mins later
- Lunch – 30 mins later
- Dinner – 45-50 mins later
And for younger babies pushing those feeds and naps slowly back in the same way.
Then this is where a couple of extra Peppa Pig or Waffle Doggy episodes can come in handy, along with a slightly longer nice and chilled bath time, and/or some extra bedtime stories. See what you can do – if your baby or child can’t make the full extra hour, don’t push it let them lead the way. But it won’t be long until they’ve adapted to that hour change. These little people are much more flexible than we give them credit for. If you can be calm and confident about the time difference they will be too.
Good luck and happy sleeping! X
You can find Lucy on Instagram @daysanddreams_sleep_consultant or https://www.daysanddreams.co.uk
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