This weekend it’s the autumn clock change, this is the one a lot of parents dread, as the clocks go back. What that means is that if you’ve got a little one that wakes at 6am that will turn on Sunday into 5am. 😳 Which as a parent of young children is enough to make your blood run cold!
But don’t panic, there are things you can do to prepare your little one and make the transition smoother.
What changes can I make in advance to help my baby cope? And so that I know what I’m doing timing-wise?
So when the clocks change 9 am will become 8 am. It takes a few days for our body clocks to adjust to this and babies and children are the same. it can take up to a week to adjust. To help your little one you can change your little ones naps, meals, and bedtime gradually in advance. This will make the transition smoother for both you and your little one. Here are your options;
If you can, start 6 days before the autumn clock change and move your baby’s routine by 10 minutes a day. Here’s the trick to it though- our body clocks are set by our whole routine, not just when we sleep. This means it’s best to do this with their whole routine, for it to work properly. So everything from meal times to naps, bath time, and bedtime too, all move 10 minutes later each day. For example:
Day 1 your 9 am nap would happen at 9.10 am
9.20 am on Day 2
9.30 am on Day 3
9.40 am on Day 4
9.50 am on Day 5
Then on day 6 at 10 am which will be 9 am once we’ve turned the clocks back.
If you prefer to move things a bit quicker you can adjust everything by 15 minutes a day.
So if your little one normally has a nap at 9 am you would try to put them down at;
9.15 am on Thursday
9.30 am on Friday
9.45 am on Saturday and then you’ll be ready for 10 am on Sunday which will be 9 am when the clocks have changed.
If you prefer to move slower you could start 2 weeks early. Then move your baby’s routine by 10 minutes a day as per the first example, but do this every other day.
Ok, that’s all great but it’s Saturday afternoon, the autumn clock change is tonight and I’ve only just read this! What do I do now?
If you’re able to make the changes to your baby’s routine you still can. It just means they’ll be adjusted to the new time by next weekend, no problem. Changing your baby’s routine as I suggest is good if you’re able to.
However, it can be easier said than done, especially if your little one is at nursery or you can’t change your timings because of other commitments. If not, the best thing to do on the day is to change your baby’s routine the best you can. So put them down for naps and feed them as near to the new time as possible, and wing it 😊. Getting outside in the daylight is a really good way of resetting our body clocks. Try to get outside as much as possible over the next few days. Wear them out with lots of outside fun to get them nice and tired.
Have a lovely weekend and enjoy the extra hour.