Springing Forwards – Dealing with the Clock Change and your Routine

Heidi Skudder Baby Sleep, Parenting

The clock change is upon us once again, and for most this means longer days and Summer is on the way – hurrah! For some of us though (parents!), this can mean concerns about your child or baby’s routine and worry about how best to deal with it… Here are my top tips on helping your routine stay consistent in the days ahead…

1) Prepare your child early by slowly moving their routine backwards by small increments over a number of days.
For example, during the week days leading up to the clock change (starting on Thursday or so), move bedtime and nap times backwards by 10/15 minutes each day, so that come Sunday the 25th March, you only have 10/15 minutes to catch up on. As an example, if your baby goes to bed at 7pm, Put her down at 6.50pm on the Thursday, 6.40pm on the Friday and so on, until she is going down at nearly 6pm by the time British Summer time arrives (which would then be 7pm come the Sunday).

2) Don’t forget nap times too….these will also need to be moved as with the bedtimes, by small increments over a period of days. This might mean initially your child goes down a little less tired than usual, but 10/15 minutes shouldn’t cause too much of an issue on the first nap, and then everything else falls into place after that!

3) The timings of meals/feeds are important too….these are also best changed to meet your routine, so pushing these times back slowly too will help your child’s internal clock sync to deal with the changes.

4) Remember a blackened out room will help with early morning waking. If your baby was an autumn or winter baby, they will not be used to the light at 5am as Summer comes closer. Use a stick black out Gro-Blind to help if you have issues with early morning waking’s once the clock change occurs. My favourite is the “Gro Anywhere Sticky Black Out Blind”

5) Make sure you have an evening routine into place, as bath time and bedtime are more likely to take place now in the daylight. This might confuse your baby, so doing your bedtime/bathtime routine in rooms with curtains closed will help them have a sense of bedtime approaching. Melatonin is the hormone responsible for making a baby sleepy, and happens when a baby is in a darkened room.