Clock Changes: How To Adjust Your Child’s Sleep

Here we go again! It feels like it has come round so fast. On the last Sunday in October the clocks are going back an hour – not necessarily the best news for any early risers out there! The prospect of a 5am wake turning into a 4am wake might send shivers down your spine (Halloween mombie’s?).

While those without kids might be looking forward to an extra hour in bed, those with little ones could be up earlier than ever. However, there is hope! We have a few ways to approach the clock change to help your little one to adjust in advance.

  1. Do nothing. This is a great option if you have a baby or child on quite a flexible schedule. Just wait for them to wake up as usual, and go with the flow! Its also the least confusing!
  2. Split the difference – the night before the clock change put your little one to bed half an hour later. In theory this could be the little tweak that will help get them closer to the ‘new time.’
  3. If you have a baby on quite a regular schedule, and those who are sensitive to the clock change, I highly recommend preparing in advance. This would be a case of starting to push their bedtime back by 15 minutes each day for the few days in the lead up to the clock change. You will also need to adjust the rest of their schedule (naps, meals, feeds etc.) by the same amount of time.

If your little one does wake up extra early try to keep things dark and boring for a little while to signal that its not quite time to get up yet. They will gradually adjust with time.

We all take a bit of time to adjust to the clock change, but there are things we can do to help our internal body clocks to catch up:

  • Get lots of fresh air and natural light.
  • Eat at new times.
  • Black out those bedrooms! (it will become lighter in the morning).
  • Reduce screen time before bed.
  • Continue with a predictable and relaxing bedtime routine.

Amongst of all this it is also really important to look after yourself. Make sure you go to bed earlier than usual to prepare for the possibility that your little one might wake quite early while they are adjusting to the ‘new time.’

Remember that the effects of the clock change will be short-lived – within a week or so everyone should be back to normal. 

Want more support with your child’s sleep?

If you would like to learn more about sleep and have guidance on how you can approach achieving a predictable routine and well-rested night’s sleep then check out our online courses.

These are designed to teach you all about how your child sleeps and to provide practical suggestions for settling techniques and routines to work towards.

If you would prefer to speak with one of our consultants for a personalised plan you can find out more about our 1:1 packages here.

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