Clock Change - Spring Forward

It’s that time again that as parents we all dread, clock change can wreak havoc with your routine and if not handled right can result in bedtime battles and night wakes. The clocks go forward by an hour on 27th March, if you’ve got an early riser you may not be too worried about it and for you this might actually be helpful as 5am becomes 6am.

For others though you’ll want to know how to adjust your schedule accordingly so that bedtime stays on track and so do naps. You will basically be losing an hour and there are some options for what you can do. I will give you a couple now and you can choose what’s best. Some people like to be proactive and others like to be reactive – either is fine just do what’s best for you and what you’re more likely to follow through on.

To plan ahead and be proactive follow these steps….

 

Monday

Wake up 15 minutes earlier. If they normally wake at 7am you need to wake at 6.45am.

Offer feeds and naps 15mins earlier than usual.

Bed time 6.45pm instead of 7pm.

Tuesday

Same as Monday.

Same as Monday.

Same as Monday.

Wednesday

You will now wake them up at 6.30am.

Offer feeds and naps 30 minutes earlier than usual.

Bed time 6.30pm.

Thursday

Same as Wednesday.

Same as Wednesday.

Same as Wednesday.

Friday

Wake them up at 6.15am.

Offer naps and feeds 45 minutes earlier than usual.

Bed time 6.15pm.

Saturday

Same as Friday.

Same as Friday.

Same as Friday.

Sunday

7am wake up! (old 6am).

Nap and feed times now shifted onto the new clock change time.

7pm bed time again (6pm old time).

 

If you want to wait and be reactive then follow these steps…

 

Monday after clock change day.

Wake them up 15 minutes earlier so 7.45am new time.

Offer naps and feeds 15 minutes earlier.

Bed time 7.45pm instead of 8pm.

Tuesday

Same as Monday.

Same as Monday.

Same as Monday.

Wednesday

Wake them up at 7.30am.

Offer naps and feeds 30 minutes earlier.

Bed time 7.30pm.

Thursday

Same as Wednesday.

Same as Wednesday.

Same as Wednesday.

Friday

Wake them up at 7.15am.

Offer naps and feeds 45 minutes earlier.

Bed time 7.15pm.

Saturday

Same as Friday.

Same as Friday.

Same as Friday.

Sunday

7am wake up!

Nap and feed times have been pushed forward an hour to the new time.

7pm bed time.

 

Babies 0 – 5 months

For this age group, many babies won’t have settled onto a strict nap schedule yet so keep focusing on awake windows. You might want to cut a later nap so that you can bring bedtime forward. If you still haven’t established a bedtime yet you can grab my free nap guide here.

Body clock

Babies body clock rhythms are set by food and light so moving these is how we adjust their schedule. Of course the evenings and mornings are lighter now, so a good idea is to get outside when awake and expose them to lots of light! Then when they go to take a nap or bedtime the black out blinds (if you don’t use these I recommend you get some) will make a difference and help the production of Melatonin which is the sleepy hormone that will help them to feel sleepy.

Toddlers and older kids

Focus on lots of physical activity for this group to try and tire them out through the day. Start the wind down a little sooner than you normally would to get into the groove of sleepiness and use a reward chart to intensive them to come in and get ready for bed if you’re struggling to convince them it’s sleepy time.

It can be harder for this group since they notice it’s still light outside so make sure you keep communicating to them that although the sun is still up the clock says it’s bedtime. Gro clocks are really good for encouraging them to stay in bed in the early hours as well.

Conclusion

Try not to stress too much, if all else fails just give yourself a couple of weeks to get back on track. Eventually we do all adjust but it’s just about how patient you’re prepared to be. The most important thing is trying to set a bedtime that is age appropriate especially if they have to get up early for school / nursery. You don’t want it to be too late that they become overtired the next day but equally you don’t want to be putting them to bed ridiculously early to the point where they are lying in bed wide awake for an hour.

Good luck and if this all seems like too much and your already tricky sleep problems become exasperated by the clock change, get in touch to discuss 'The Dream Sleep Solution'. A whole 4 weeks of my support to remove your Childs sleep issues for good. You can email me at karen@asleepatlast.co.uk or book a call here.