Are you worried about the upcoming time change? Have you just got your child on a schedule, and now you think that it will all be ruined?
How to manage the clock change:
- Make sure you child’s room is completely dark.
- Don’t’ forget to adjust your child’s clock (if they have one) the night before the time change.
- Try to get out first thing on Sunday morning so that you can get as much natural light as possible. This will help your internal body clock adjust to the new time.
- If your child wakes up more than 1 hour earlier; try to soothe them back to sleep and if they are not asleep by 6am, briefly leave the room and then come back in and do a dramatic wake up (i.e. open the curtains and make it clear that it is morning time)
Is your child quite flexible and isn’t effected by change?
In this case, I would advise that you do nothing. Sometimes it is best to just not change anything when you have a good thing going! If you have a flexible child, then he is likely going to adjust on his own in just 1-2 days.
Is your child easily affected by change?
I know this one well; my little one is very sensitive to change. So if this is your child too, I feel your pain! But luckily there are things we can do to help the time change go more smoothly.
Here are your options:
Option 1: Gradually Shift Bedtime
This works by moving your child’s bedtime in 15 or 30 minute increments over the four days prior to the clock change.
Wednesday bedtime 7.15pm
Thursday bedtime is 7.30pm
Friday bedtime is 7.45pm
Saturday bedtime is 8pm (clocks go back during the night)
Sunday night bedtime is the new 7pm (old 8pm)
Or shift the timings the other way around
This means that you would start your day at the old 7am (new 6am) and work your way back to 7am with 15 minute shifts every 2 days.
Sunday 6am wake up – 12pm nap – 6:30pm bedtime
Monday 6:15am wake up – 12:15pm nap – 6:45pm bedtime
Tuesday 6:30am wake up – 12:30pm nap – 7pm bedtime
Wednesday 6:45am wake up – 12:45
Option 2: Push Bedtime Back 1 Day Before
You could try pushing bedtime back by 1 hour the night before the time change. If your child’s bedtime is usually at 7pm then you would put them to bed at 8 pm Saturday. If you have an a pre school age child then I would recommend helping your child have a short mid afternoon nap to help them stay awake happily until 8pm. If your child resists this then you could encourage them have 1 hour of quiet time in their bedroom. If you have a younger child or baby; add a short late afternoon cat nap so that their wakeful window does not exceed more than 4 hours until bedtime.
Option 3: 1 Quick Shift
This option is to meet half way and put your little one to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual on the Saturday night and then back to the usual bedtime on Sunday. This will help your child to move towards the new time. If they are still taking naps then it may help to shift the nap a little earlier too.