With the clocks set to go back on Sunday 27th March, it’s wise for parents to plan how they’re going to manage the change.
It takes a huge effort to get children into good sleep patterns so anything that threatens to disrupt their routine can feel daunting.
The extra hour tends to have a greater effect on youngsters because they go to bed and wake up around the same time every day. But the good news is that children adjust quickly, so any disruption should be short-term.
Judy Clark, a certified infant and child sleep consultant and founder of BabyWinkz, suggests using the ‘split the difference’ routine for a smooth transition.
- On the Saturday night before the change, make sure the clocks are left alone. Stick to your usual morning routine and get up at the same time. Only change the clocks after breakfast. This will lessen the impact of the change.
- Stick to your baby’s normal nap schedule but adjust it by 30 minutes for the first three days. Half an hour won’t make too much difference and allows your baby to adjust to the new time slowly rather than all at once. An hour is a lot for young children.
- Ensure food and milk times are adjusted in the same way.
- Begin your bedtime routine 30 minutes earlier, so your child goes to sleep 30 minutes before they usually would. Your child may take slightly longer to fall asleep but, over the course of a week, that will adjust.
- For children over the age of two who have a Gro Clock or similar in their room to tell them it’s time to start the day, it could be worth moving the clock back by around 30 minutes. This will mean, by the end of the week, they will sleep until their usual wake up time.
- When the fourth night arrives, it is important you begin using the actual time. This will result in your baby having their naps at the correct time during the morning and afternoon, while also going to bed at theiar usual time.
Sometimes children can take up to three to four weeks to adjust to a new sleeping pattern but, as long as you’re consistent, things will settle down.
For more sleep tips or a free 15-minute consultation, visit babywinkz.com