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 receive many emails, DMs and messages, asking me for the tips and tricks on how to handle the time change with their little ones. 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.
So what can you do to help this process?
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. However, 3 days before the clock change add 15 minutes to your babies nap times, meal times and bedtimes.
OR, if your baby or toddler is a little older you could wait until the night before the clock change and put them to bed half an hour later. Sadly this will not always mean they wake up later the next day. But with time they will adjust over the course of a week or so.
It may be that your little one adapts to the new times quickly for naps and bedtimes. Don’t worry if this is not the case though. This will be short lived and you’ll all adjust with some time so try not to worry too much.
Make sure you get plenty of daylight and fresh air too as this really helps reset our body clocks and our sleep/awake hormones. For toddlers lots of outdoor physical activity is a great idea and babies going for a walk in the pushchair also will help.
With a consistent and predictable routine this will also stand you in good stead for the clock change so try to maintain this as much as possible.
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!