Spring Forward – A parents survival guide to deal with the clock change!
Kate Johnson, local Sleep Consultant shares her advice on how to make this weekends clock change a smoother transition for all!
This is not the Spring we were expecting, and it is quite an overwhelming time for us all….but the clocks will still change at the weekend and our little ones may be rising an hour later than usual. Now some of us will be very happy to hear this, whereas others will be wondering if that means their little ones will have a later bedtime!
This all depends on your little one and how old they are.
If you have a baby that is under 1, I would still be very driven by their ‘awake windows’ and how long your little one can stay awake for before becoming overtired. On average a 6 month old baby can stay awake for around 2 hours before becoming overtired. This increases by 15 minutes every month – if you have a younger baby then take 15 minutes off per month. If your baby wakes an hour later, then plan your day accordingly based on those awake windows inline with your baby’s age. It might be that your usual bedtime is slightly later, and you may be happy with that. If not then I would suggest taking 15 minutes off the awake window at the end of the day for 4 nights and then by the 5th night you will be back to the old bedtime!
If you have an older child then a similar approach can be taken to combat those later bedtimes. Reduce the bedtime by 15 minutes on Wednesday, another 15 minutes on Thursday, the same on Friday and Saturday and your little one shouldn’t feel the clock change at all! An example of timings below:
Wednesday bedtime 18:45
Thursday bedtime – 18:30
Friday bedtime – 18:15
Saturday bedtime – 18:00
Sunday bedtime (after clock change) – 19:00
This approach is really effective and most children don’t notice the slight shift in timings as you go through the week. However, some people (me included) like to adjust the other side of the clock change reducing bedtime by 15 minutes each night from Sunday – Wednesday!
Other children do not notice the clock change in the slightest and are guided by parents as to what time it is, so just sticking to your normal routine will be enough to settle them at a slightly earlier time.
As there are uncertain times ahead of us at the moment, keeping your normal routine with your children as best you can will reassure them of where they are in the day. This will then help to create a calmer bedtime as their usual routines will make them feel more secure. We are all just trying our best – and everyone is in this situation for the first time – so do not beat yourself up if you feel overwhelmed and just end up cuddling for a whole extra hour at bedtime ❤️
If you need any support, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am still doing 1:1 appointments via Skype and FaceTime.