Spring Clock Changes: How To Adjust Your Child’s Sleep

Spring is here! Which means warmer weather, flowers popping up and lighter evenings – it also means the clocks are changing! This time around the clock change means we lose an hour overnight. For those of us with early risers, the clock change can mean that their super early starts feel more reasonable. However, if you’re already dealing with bedtimes that are a lot later than you would like, you might not be so happy about bedtime moving back an extra hour!

Whether you’re embracing the clocks ‘springing forward’ or feeling unsettled by it, 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 or have an early riser. 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 earlier. In theory this could be the little tweak that will help get them closer to the ‘new time’. Don’t try to put them down too early though if they really aren’t tired – capping the length of their last nap of the day can be helpful.
  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 bring their bedtime earlier 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.

It might not be perfect straight away, but don’t panic, 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 their bedroom if light disturbs their sleep.
  • 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 plan your own sleep too so that losing an hour of sleep doesn’t have too much of an effect on you too.

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.

Available from newborn to 4 years old, our courses are designed to help you learn how you can support your child to sleep better.

We share all the information you need to help you really understand your little one’s sleep and how to help them achieve more predictable naps and restful nights – all from your own computer, phone or tablet whenever it suits you.

Early Days & Foundations of Sleep: 0-5 Months

This course will teach you how you can work towards great sleep habits, without ‘sleep training.’ It provides gentle solutions for settling and works towards the end goal of a settled night’s sleep, whilst understanding and responding to your baby’s needs.

Sleep Success: 6-9 Months

This course covers a range of topics including the science of sleep, sleep associations, creating a great sleep environment, a suggested daily routine and a choice of settling methods including how to make gradual changes. The course will lead you through step by step how to create your own sleep plan to support your baby to sleep in their own sleep space.

Sleep Success: 10-18 Months

This course covers a range of topics including the science of sleep, sleep associations, creating a great sleep environment, a suggested daily routine, the transition from two naps to one and a choice of settling methods including how to make gradual changes. The course will lead you through step by step how to create your own sleep plan to support your baby to sleep in their own sleep space.

Sleep Success: 1.5 – 4 years

This course which covers a range of topics including the science of sleep, sleep associations, creating a great sleep environment, potential sleep disturbances in this age group, a suggested daily routine, the transition from cot to bed, dropping the daytime nap, early waking and a choice of settling methods including how to make gradual changes. The course will lead you through step by step how to create your own sleep plan.

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