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Daylight Savings; Sunshine!

Updated: Mar 10, 2023


Finally, sunshine, warmth, flowers, MOTHER'S DAY, Easter and lots of colours, I love spring!


On Sunday 26th March at 1:00 am our clocks go forward an hour, which for those families with early risers it may just be an answer to your prayers, that 5:00 am wake up now becomes 6:00 am!


What to expect:

  • Lighter evenings - While we adults love longer days in the sun, it can cause problems for the little ones, especially when they don't understand time. When our children go to bed as the sun starts to go down later in the evening, it can be too light in the bedroom proving it harder for children to drift off. Darkness supports melatonin the sleep hormone, so the darker you can get the room the better!

  • As the mornings get lighter - Early sunrise can cause those dreaded early wakings, even for those that hadn't been up early before, this is because in the early hours of the morning, we are all in a lighter state of sleep so the light coming in can easily rouse us prematurely.

TIP: I highly recommend blackout curtains or blinds to block out light sources, also white noise can be a huge help to sound out birds and outside noises that may disturb them more now.

  • Day and night routine shifts an hour - Children respond so much better to routine; Keeping your routine consistent will signal to children what is happening next, no matter what time it actually is. Morning daylight exposure sets us up for the day and can help us adjust to time changes more naturally.

TIP: Focus on the day's events, get the children out into the fresh air and sunlight first thing in the morning to help their body clock reset, and of course tire them out ready for an afternoon nap or rest period so they have a settled afternoon, especially on the day of the clock change.


How to manage the change:


There are three ways I recommend approaching it;


1. Jump straight into the new time


Seriously, parents of those early risers, this is for you! Put your child to bed at the usual time on Saturday night, then when the clock changes from 1:00 am to 2:00 am and your child wakes at 5:00 am normally, it will now be 6.00 am (a sigh of relief for a manageable hour of the morning!) Follow your normal routine at the adjusted times and remain consistent, and after a few days, the body will have naturally adjusted to the new time.


Tip: Watch their mood and if you feel an earlier bedtime is needed, go for it!


Great for - Babies under 5 months, older children and the early riser. Also if you are struggling to move your LO's bedtime later, & those parents struggling to find the time to adjust sooner.



2. Split the hour


Either, 2 days prior or on the morning of the clock change, bring your child's daily routine 30 minutes earlier than normal, so that goes for milk feeds/meals, naps, baths, and bedtime routine. It may look like this for example;

Start your little one's day 30 minutes earlier (I know this sounds awful but it's only for a couple of days and the clock will still say it's later ). If your child is usually up at 7:00 am your schedule would shift to a 6:30 am wake-up, and the day's tasks would follow i.e. meals, naps, bath and bedtime.

Then adjust another 30 minutes earlier on Monday 6:00 am (the clock says 7:00 am), and you are then back to your normal routine timings. If they seem grouchy earlier start your nap routine sooner; some children adjust easier than others so there is no harm in adjusting the day as it goes. You may get a little resistance at bedtime but it should have settled down in a few days. It is important to follow and read the child's cues in this situation and keep everything as calm as you can leading up to sleep.


Tip: Watch their mood and if you feel a nap and/or an earlier bedtime is needed, go for it!


Great for - late risers and toddlers +, & those on a 1 or no nap schedule



3. Slowly does it


A week ahead or 4 days prior to the clock change, adjust your child's daily routine by 10-15 minutes earlier each day, so Monday you would wake them 10 minutes earlier, have meals 10 minutes earlier, naps 10 minutes earlier and bedtime 10 minutes earlier, so they would go down at 6:50 pm if they usually go to bed at 7:00 pm, Tuesday 6:40 pm and so on, until they have reached 6:00 pm on Saturday night, so when they wake up after the clock change, the wake-up time is now back to the normal time and routine is as normal again.


Tip: Watch their mood and if you feel a nap and/or an earlier bedtime is needed, go for it!


Great for - babies on a nap schedule, toddlers and sensitive sleepers


REMEMBER;

Be patient, babies and children don't have a concept of time but need time to adjust, so be flexible, let them give you signs, if they need an earlier or later nap/bedtime, there is no harm in allowing it.


If patience is in short supply because your baby is already struggling with sleep, I have the resources to help you with that, please get in touch, don't suffer help is out there for you!



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