How to handle the clock change with a baby
Clock change for spring forward.
Today's guest blog post has been written by baby sleep expert, Karen Miller from Asleep At Last – Asleep at last
It’s that time again that as parents we all dread, clock change can wreak havoc with your routine and if not handled right can result in bedtime battles and night wakes. The clocks go forward by an hour on 27th March, if you’ve got an early riser you may not be too worried about it and for you this might actually be helpful as 5am becomes 6am.
For others though you’ll want to know how to adjust your schedule accordingly so that bedtime stays on track and so do naps. You will basically be losing an hour and there are some options for what you can do. I will give you a couple now and you can choose what’s best. Some people like to be proactive and others like to be reactive – either is fine just do what’s best for you and what you’re more likely to follow through on.
To plan ahead and be proactive follow these steps….
If you want to wait and be reactive then follow these steps…
Babies 0 – 5 months
For this age group, many babies won’t have settled onto a strict nap schedule yet so keep focusing on awake windows. You might want to cut a later nap so that you can bring bedtime forward. If you still haven’t established a bedtime yet you can grab my free nap guide here.
Babies body clock rhythms are set by food and light so moving these is how we adjust their schedule. Of course the evenings and mornings are lighter now, so a good idea is to get outside when awake and expose them to lots of light! Then when they go to take a nap or bedtime the black out blinds (if you don’t use these I recommend you get some) will make a difference and help the production of Melatonin which is the sleepy hormone that will help them to feel sleepy.
Toddlers and older kids
Focus on lots of physical activity for this group to try and tire them out through the day. Start the wind down a little sooner than you normally would to get into the groove of sleepiness and use a reward chart to intensive them to come in and get ready for bed if you’re struggling to convince them it’s sleepy time. It can be harder for this group since they notice it’s still light outside so make sure you keep communicating to them that although the sun is still up the clock says it’s bedtime. Gro clocks are really good for encouraging them to stay in bed in the early hours as well, if they are too young to understand a Gro clock, this clock is great for under 3s as well, click here.
Try not to stress too much, if all else fails just give yourself a couple of weeks to get back on track. Eventually we do all adjust but it’s just about how patient you’re prepared to be. The most important thing is trying to set a bedtime that is age appropriate especially if they have to get up early for school / nursery. You don’t want it to be too late that they become overtired the next day but equally you don’t want to be putting them to bed ridiculously early to the point where they are lying in bed wide awake for an hour.
Good luck and if this all seems like too much and your already tricky sleep problems become exasperated by the clock change, you can book a call with me below or join me on social media. Alternatively I have a YouTube channel with over 60 videos.