5 tips for tackling the clocks going back this weekend
Remember those days 'pre-kids days', when this was the time of year that you could squeeze in an extra hour of sleep? and you relished in that extra hour in bed, ha! Add young kids and/or babies in to the mix, and it's safe to say that our kids won't actually be on board with that same plan to actually “sleep in”.
Here's our top 5 tips to help you out in the lead up to Sunday...
Tip 1: Know what type of child/baby you have
If you have a child where the tiniest change to routine will mess with their sleep, then it’s definitely in your best interest to take it slow leading up the clocks changing. It's also important to remember that the younger the baby, the easier your baby will become overtired, so don't push them to stay awake longer than they can manage.
So, a good rule is that if your baby is less than 6 months old, don’t do anything too drastic that will cause a lot of other issues such as irritability, night wakes, shorter naps or an earlier than normal wakeup.
Tip 2: Slow and steady win the race
To help make the adjustment slow and steady leading up to the clocks changing, you can slowly adjust your child’s daytime AND bedtime schedule a little later.
Over the course of the week, you can start shifting your child’s routine later by 5-10 minutes each day or 15 minutes every three days. Include naps and mealtimes, not just bedtimes.
By the weekend, you will be close to a new adjusted time with a later bedtime and hopefully, a later wake up, but that's a bonus. If your child’s wakeup time is becoming earlier, STOP, don’t keep shifting the schedule stay where you are or even go back for a few more days, you know your child, they will adapt over the next few days either way.
Tip 3: Go with their flow
If you have the laid back easy-going type of baby, then don’t stress the prep. You can put your child down at their normal time, when the clocks change (or just a little later) and they will most likely adjust without too much of a noticeable difference. If you think they'll not do well with change, do it bit by bit, day by day in the lead up. You know your child best!
Tip 4: Think about the light
Yes, the clocks are changing and the nights will be darker, however, don't forget that the mornings will be brighter for a little while. Put blackout blinds up at night, to help keep the room dark in the morning, you don't want the light to be the reason that your child wakes earlier. Light will also help reset your child’s body clock, so once you're all up and awake, open those curtains and crack the windows for some fresh morning air- it's great for all of us.
If your older child uses a Gro clock or alarm, remember to set the new time on the clock with the plan that they will stay in their room until the 'sun' comes up.
TIP 5: Adapt and accept
If the first day after the change, your baby/child wakes earlier, let them hang out for as long as you are comfortable. It might take a few days but by the end of the week you should be consistent with that time.
A few things to remember:
A well-rested child will best adapt to the time change.
If you do find that your child is affected by the time change do your best to get back to your normal schedule. Get out of the house in the morning to keep your child active and offer relaxing activities in the afternoon.
Take note how your child adjusts and remember it when you have to decide how to adjust in the spring. Maybe you will be the lucky one, and your child will decide to take advantage of that extra hour of sleep.
Lastly, try some Lavender spray to create a sleepy bed space, spray it on their pillow or bedding (and yours). People have been raving about Home Bargains' Lavender Pillow Spray, only 99p!
Most importantly, take it easy on yourself. It's a weird time and can be frustrating or leave you feeling anxious, it will get back to normal in a few days. Happy mum, happy baby - it's so true and easy to forget during these ever changing times. Good luck, you've got this x