Clocks going back, YAY an extra hour in bed HEAVEN!!!
A nice thought HEY... Let's get back to reality that was before having children... Unfortunately you will be up an hour earlier! Think of it as a positive thing, what could you do with that extra hour that you're going to have?
OK I'm going to keep this simple, follow these 3 steps to get your little ones back on track from this dreaded clock change:
Step 1: Ignore it
The clocks “officially” change in the middle of the morning. My advice is to ignore this completely. Do NOT change your clocks before going to bed that night. That way, when you or your child wakes up at your usual times, you won’t “freak out” that it’s an hour earlier than normal. Some babies and older children will be able to handle the extra hour so go with the flow and stick to the normal routine or as close as you can.
Step 2: Split the difference
After you’ve set your clocks back, if you know your child won't handle the extra hour then move all nap times and bedtimes earlier by 30 minutes.
This means that if your baby goes down for a nap at 9.30a.m BEFORE the time change, nap time should be at 9am. This will feel like 10am for your child, so don’t be surprised if he/she seems a little grumpy!
Same thing for afternoon naps, normal nap time is 2.30pm now move it back to 2pm. This goes the same for bedtime. If he/she usually went to bed for the night at 7p.m, that night bedtime should be 6.30pm.
If you can, do this until Tuesday, which will give your child’s body 3 days to adjust to the time shift. On Wednesday, move all nap times and bedtimes to their regularly scheduled times.
Step 3 - Push your child’s morning wake-up time later, gradually.
The technique that you use will differ depending on the age of your child.
If you have a baby, when he/she wake up an hour earlier on Sunday, keep them in their cot for an extra 15 minutes before you go to get them up. After 3 days move the time later another 15 minutes, continue to do this until you reach your desired wake time by the end of the week. Within a week, your baby’s body should be adjusted to the time change and they will be back on schedule.
If you are a parent of a toddler (2 or older), I suggest you invest into a Gro clock this clock indicates when morning has arrived by a yellow sun appearing I love this clock and so will your toddler.
When it is time to change the clocks, move it back by 45 minutes, for example your toddler normally wakes up at 7am, they will wake up at 6am therefore set the clock for 6.15am. That way, you are only expecting them to stay in bed for an extra 15 minutes. After 3 days move the time later by another 15 minutes and then after another 3 days move the time back by another 30 minutes then you will be at the correct time of 7am. Since you are adjusting their bedtime in the same manner by the end of the week their bodies should be adjusted to the new time.
The most important thing to remember is to be patient as it may take your child a week or even two to become fully adjusted to the new time. Children are even more sensitive to time changes than adults. Children who are not sleeping well before the time change and are overtired to begin with will have an especially difficult time adjusting to the fall time change.
If you’re struggling with any other aspects of your child’s sleep, make sure to book in a call with Lisa Lamb who can help with lots of various sleep habits!