The changing of the clocks this weekend brings with it the prospect of summer on the way, but for many parents, the switch can also hugely affect their children’s bedtime,
To some, a simple switch of the alarm clock and an hour less sleep may not seem too much of a big deal. But to those with babies and young children, the change in hours can cause havoc with bedtime routines, with both mood and body clock being affected.
And so baby and parenting experts, Kiddies Kingdom, have set out how you can adjust your child’s bedtime to minimise disruption:
- Make the change gradual: Rather than expecting your child to stay up a whole hour later on Saturday, in the hope that their routine will simply switch back an hour, start the process around four days before. By putting your baby to bed 10-15 minutes earlier than their usual bedtime and increasing this by an extra 10 minutes each day, eventually your little one will be hitting the pillow an hour earlier than usual come Sunday.
- Turn the lights out: It goes without saying but darkness and sleep go hand in hand. Sunlight is a natural sleep-stirrer, and with the clock change comes an earlier sunrise. By ensuring that your little one’s room is appropriately blacked out, they’re more likely to wake up at a suitable hour.
- Stick to normal daily routine: All children are fans of routine, as routine supports a sense of security. By sticking to your child’s everyday regime, they are more likely to feel like nothing has changed. It’s important to schedule in time to wind down throughout the week leading up to the clock change, using baths and stories to signal bedtime is on the horizon, even if this is a little earlier than usual.
- Schedule nap times: It’s well known that overtired babies actually find it more difficult to get to sleep, due to the urgency in which sleep quickly becomes required. By planning appropriate nap times in the lead up to the clock change, you can ensure that your little one isn’t too tired, and fussiness should be at a minimum.
- Don’t worry: Understanding that your child’s routine and sleeping pattern will be affected over this period is important, but it’s nothing that a few days won’t settle. Don’t get too caught up in worrying about how the change in timings will affect your baby, as little ones are well known for being able to sense when you are overly tense or concerned.