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Daylight Savings : The Autumn Fall Back

Updated: Oct 24, 2021

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, moving the time by 10-15 minutes every 2 days).

For example, on a normal day if your child is asleep by 19:00 and gets up at 06:30, remember when the clocks change at 02:00 to read 01:00, their wake up time has now moved an hour earlier to 05.30...yikes! Nobody wants that, you end up with a grouchy child short on sleep, and we all have less energy and patience! 

So you might move bedtime to 19:20pm on Thursday night, 19:40pm Friday night & 20:00pm on Saturday night. Then from Sunday night you would go back to your 19:00 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; young babies/toddlers, 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 another half an hour later. For Example, if your LO goes to bed at 19:00, you would put them to bed at 19:30 on the Friday night, and at 20:00 on the Saturday night. When the clocks change at 02:00 on Sunday morning, they would be much more comfortable to the time change and you could take 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 go to bed earlier than normal if needed, then move them back to their regular routine over the next day or two. This is best for newborns because there is no real routine in their early weeks, however for some children you should expect to have an overtired child for a few days though! 

Good For: Newborns, older children, and generally good sleepers

⭐ 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.  ⭐Keep the room environment dark for sleep, 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. 

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