Are you ready for when the clocks change?
It’s this time of the year again when the evenings draw in quicker, the mornings are darker and we see how long we can live without turning on the heating. Autumn is in full swing, and brings, along with its first frosty presents, the gift of time, namely that of an hour when the clocks go back at the end of this month.
We are told that we get an extra hour in bed, another hour of rest, 60 minutes of spare time. Whilst people with older children will rejoice, for those with younger kids the idea of an extra hour of sleep is utopian bliss. Namely, because, our kids’ internal clock won’t care what the world prescribes in terms of time.
This time of the year I also receive many emails, DMs and messages, asking me for tips and tricks on how to handle the time change with little ones best. As a parent myself, I completely understand the concern about how to deal with the clocks going back and the impact this may have on carefully honed napping and sleeping habits.
Whilst there are enough debates on how useful Daylight Changing Time is these days, for now we have no choice but to roll with it and make the best to help our kids to adapt to the new times.
And you don’t have to worry – I have a few pointers on how to handle this best:
Plan ahead for the weekend when the clocks change – a little bit of “time turning” will prepare you and your little ones for a transition to the Daylight Saving Time at the end of the month. Of course, I am not talking about magically adjusting time, but “tricking” your kids into the new time bit by bit over the next few days. Here is what to do.
Start this week as normal, and what I mean by normal is the routines for getting up, nap times, bedtime routines and bedtime itself. However, during day one, set the clocks back by half an hour. You don’t actually have to physically do this – I could imagine this would be disastrous for any appointments you have! However, turn the clocks back by half an hour in your mind, and adjust nap and bedtimes according to this “new time”. This also means that any naptime and bedtime routines, such as story time and bath time will have to start earlier, too. This of course, also includes meals and snacks if you follow a strict daily routine.
Follow this new schedule for approximately four days. Then, on either Thursday or Friday before the clocks really change, turn the clocks back in your mind by another half hour, to make it a full hour the time is set back.
It may be that your little ones adapt to the new time quickly and happily conform to the earlier times for naps and bedtime. Don’t worry if this is not the case though. Remember, you have Saturday and Sunday to get them to tune in with Daylight Saving Time.
If you find that the setting back of time by half an hour is too drastic, especially for younger babies, then you may want to ease your kids in with 15 minutes of turning back the clocks at a time. You will have to adjust the time every day then by another 15 minutes until you reach the hour
And there you have it – with a little prep and sneaky adjustment of time in advance, your little ones may just naturally take to the new timings. And who knows, maybe, just maybe, with a little bit of luck (and all that hard work you put in beforehand), you may savour that extra hour in bed next Sunday!