For many, the clocks going back signal the start of cosy winter’s nights and that extra hour in bed in the morning. Not for us parents! For us, the clocks going back are often accompanied by some early morning starts and tired children. When the clocks go back on Sunday 30th October 2016 (GMT) and Sunday 6th November (USA and Canada) we want to help you minimise the potential disruption to your baby’s sleep and routine.
Here are our top tips for preparing and adjusting your baby’s routine for the clock change:
- Think time. Don’t confuse yourself thinking about new time/old time. On the morning of the change just think time and start the day as close to 7am as possible.
- Extend bedtime. You can either do this by making bedtime later by 10mins each day in the week leading up to the clocks change (younger babies). Or you can simply put your child to bed 30-60 minutes later on Saturday night. For babies still napping in the afternoon try to extend their nap by 20-30minutes.
- Prepare yourself for a 6am start on Sunday. For younger babies, settle them back to bed and try to avoid starting the day by keeping it dark and quiet. For older children, use simple tools like Gro-Clocks to help them understand the changes.
- It can take a few days to adjust to the time change but until then avoid getting into any bad habits like bringing them into bed with you, dawn feeds or starting the day at 6am. Longer term this could lead to bigger sleep issues!
- Adjusting their body clock. A baby has no concept of time so having a routine will help them adjust their body clocks. Using light and darkness can help make the adjustment – use bright lights when they wake up as this produces the hormone cortisol and keep things darker at bedtime which aids melatonin production. It may take a few days for them to adjust completely but be consistent and stick to their timings.
So there you have it, our guide to the clocks going backwards making sure that when you ‘fall backwards’ you don’t fall into sleepless nights!
Gemma at Baby Tech Support
6th October 2016