Updated: Oct 25
Do you fret about the clock change, or do you forget about it every year only to panic at the last minute?
Most Mum's do not mind it so much when they hear they may gain an extra hour, but it sends halloween fear through their bones when they hear that they are going to have to lose an hour of sleep! It's not necessarily the best news to hear for those early risers.
The most asked question I get around this year is, “Will my 5am start now be a 4am start 😰?”
It really does have an effect on all of us and it can increase our sleep debt - especially in little ones who tend to be much more structured with going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning.
This is usually why people notice it the most in young children.
However, there is hope, so here it is:
So what is the best way to handle it?
Before you start, have in mind that it may take time and that they will eventually get back on schedule within a week, possibly two, and to all parents is to leave your clock alone! Ignore the automatic iPhone update!
That way it’s not as upsetting event to see your little one up an hour earlier as for Autumn the clocks “Fall Back”.
My advice is to “split the difference.”
What time will they wake up now?
I would let your little one get up a little 'earlier' than normal, knowing that by the end of the week, they will be back on track and sleep until their normal wakeup time.
Wake up Time
If they normally wake at 7am, consider morning time to now be from 6.30am.
If you have toddlers and children over the age of two you can use a sleep clock, and set the clock forward half an hour so that at 6:30am, it reads 7am.
Don't feel you have to rush in as soon as you hear your baby waking up. Keep it dark and boring so it does not signal as time to wake up. And... wait and see when they wake, you never know, they may well sleep that full extra hour.
If your little one usually takes a morning nap round 9:30am, you will adjust this to 9am for the 3 days after the time change (this will feel like 10am to your little one).
It will be a bit of a push, but not so much that it will disrupt to the days schedule.
Do the same for the afternoon nap, making it 30 minutes earlier.
On Day 4, adjust naps back to the normal time.
If you are working on a wake window stick with your normal wake windows between sleeps. This will adjust itself over the week.
Not sure when your little one should be napping? Pop over and check out my free guide to Naps in the First Year of Baby
If your little one usually goes to bed at 7pm, make bedtime at 6:30pm for the first 3 days following the time change. This will feel like 7:30pm to your little one.
On the 4th night, get in line with the new time. So your baby is back to going to bed when the clock says 7pm.
We all take time to adjust to the new time, and there are a few extra things which you can do to help;
Get lots of fresh air and natural light outside, this helps regulate our body clocks
Have your milk feeds and meals at the new adjusted times
Make sure to have your blackout blinds up, remember those mornings will for a few weeks become lighter again
Keep to your usual bedtime and nap time routines.
They will eventually get back on schedule within a week, possibly two.
Still having problems with getting back on track with the day, or finding that 5am (or earlier) is now the new norm?
Find out more about my 1:1 bespoke packages to help you reclaim yours and your families sleep.