Updated: Jan 30
Most people jump for joy at the thought of having an extra hour in bed, however, for families with young children it can be stress inducing and exhausting!
. Here are some ways to help you and your little ones adjust to the time change;
1. The slow and gentle approach is to begin moving bedtime later by 15/20 minute increments on the lead up to the clock change. (You could do this even slower over a week if you wanted). For example, your child is asleep by 7pm and gets up at 6.30am, but when the clocks change at 2am, which now becomes 1am, their wake up time has moved to 5.30am...no one wants that, you end up with a grouchy child short on sleep, and you have less energy and patience too! So you would move bedtime to 7.20pm on Thursday night, 7.40pm Friday night & 8pm on Saturday night. Then from Sunday night you would go back to your 7pm bedtime. By moving your evening routine 3 or 4 nights before the change, gives your little one a chance to adjust their body clocks to the new schedule.
Good for; early risers, sensitive sleepers. 2. Split the hour difference in half over a couple of nights. So 2 days before the change put them to bed half an hour later, then Saturday night put them to bed the full hour later. On Sunday night put them to bed at your usual bedtime. Good for: late risers or older children
3. Dive in and adjust after the clock change. Embrace the earlier start on Sunday morning and allow your child to nap and go to bed earlier than normal, then move them back to their regular routine over the next day or two. Expect to have an overtired child for a few days though!
⭐ My tips for using these 3 approaches are:⭐ ⭐Be flexible towards timings in your daily routine ⭐Ensure you adjust timings for your schedule (lunchtime, nap times, dinner time, bath time, bedtime routine). ⭐Set reminders to help you remember each day what the timings are.
⭐ Help your child's body clock by exposure to daylight in the mornings and soft, warm, low lighting in the evening to stimulate melatonin. ⭐Mornings will become lighter so if you haven't got a black out blind, go and invest. You'd be surprised how a little bit of light can affect sleep! Be mindful: that it may take your child a few days to adjust, but it's not a major disruption if you follow the steps above and your child is already in a good, age appropriate sleep routine. If your child's bedtime is already late, now is a good time to bring your routine earlier.