Pumpkin Spice Latte and an extra hour in bed!
If you’ve been in the supermarket recently you will definitely have seen that Halloween and Christmas are just around the corner. Pumpkin spice lattes are back in the shops and the leaves are getting crunchy…it can only mean one thing… The clocks will soon be going back this Autumn/Fall.
Pre-children we would all look forward to that extra hour in bed (or maybe even an extra hour on the dance floor!), post children, it can be a very different story.
So how do we try and prevent our little ones from just waking up an hour earlier? There are two approaches you could use, a slow and steady wins the race approach, or a do it in one hit approach. Lets see how they both work:
Slow and Steady
This is a good approach for children who may be sensitive to time changes and who seem to suffer the effects of overtiredness and therefore grumpiness!
- 4-5 days before the clock changes, start making bedtime later by around 10 minutes. So if they usually go to bed at 7PM, change this to 7.10PM
- Repeat this stage every night, adding 10 minutes onto the previous night’s bed time, until they are at the adjusted time.
- If they sleep in a little longer in the morning, that’s fabulous, but if not then don’t worry.
- The night of the clock change they should be in bed 1 hour later than their normal bedtime, e.g. 8PM rather than 7PM.
- Luckily, most children find this approach really easy and they barely notice. hooray!
This approach is good for children who are usually super flexible and who may love the thought of staying up a little later one night!
- Continue with your child’s usual routine and bedtime up until the night of the clock change
- On the clock change night, try and keep them up as close to the hour as possible. If they nap during the day you could let the nap(s) be slightly longer or later than usual to help see them through.
- If they wake up an hour earlier the next morning, then keep them in the bedroom as close to the new wake up time as you possibly can, to help their body clocks to reset.
You can try a few other little tips and tricks to help them adjust to the new times
- Continue to use your consistent bedtime routine that works for you as a family.
- Plenty of fresh air and natural light during the day
- Make sure those bedrooms are dark! This is generally easier for this clock change, compared to the spring clocks going forward.
- Changing eating habits to the new times. Eating times act as a cue to our body to let it know the time of the day.
You can of course also do absolutely nothing and let things take their natural course.