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Daylight Savings; Springing Forward

Updated: Mar 13


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


On Sunday 27th March at 1:00am our clocks move forward an hour, which for those families with early risers this may just be an answer to your prayers, that 5:00am wake up now becomes 6:00am!


What to expect:

  • Lighter mornings and lighter evenings - While we adults love longer days in the sun, it can cause problems for the little one's, especially when they don't understand time. 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. 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!

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 1:00am to 2:00am and your child wakes at 5:00am normally, it will now be 6.00am (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 - older children and the early riser or if you are struggling to move your LO's bedtime later, & parents that struggle 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, bath, bedtime routine. It may look like this for example;

Start your little one's day 30 minute's 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 7:00am your schedule would shift to a 6:30am wake up, and the days tasks would follow i.e. meals, naps, bath and bedtime.

Then adjust another 30 minutes earlier on Monday 6:00am (clock says 7:00am), 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 by 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, meals 10 minutes earlier, naps 10 minutes earlier and bedtime 10 minutes earlier, so they would go down at 6:50pm if they usually go to bed at 7:00pm, Tuesday 6:40pm and so on, until they have reached 6:00pm 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, 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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