Helping babies adjust when the clocks spring forward

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

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Hurray! In just over two weeks, on 27th March, the clocks are due to spring forward an hour. Not only does this mean an extra hour of daylight in the evenings but also that us parents have a lie in to look forward to. Ok, so it’s not exactly a lie in, but it does feel like one because, with a little bit of luck, the time will start with an eight rather than seven when our little bundles come barging into the bedroom next Sunday morning.

And that’s not the only good news. Unlike when we turn the clocks back an hour, there isn’t too much you need to do to adjust your baby’s sleep pattern so that they’re not waking up at the crack of dawn. In fact, you may manage that lie in for a few days as your baby gets used to the new time.

Helping babies adjust when the clocks spring forward

Little ones adjust pretty quickly and easily to this change. All I did to help my boys was to move their afternoon nap slightly later the day after the clocks changed – if you keep it at the normal time they might not be tired enough to sleep. I would then usually let my children sleep to their typical waking time and they were still tired enough to go to bed at the usual time that evening, but you may need to adjust it slightly.

For me the trickier aspect of this change in the clocks is the lighter evenings. Soon it will still be daylight way beyond a 7.30pm bed time and the challenge is to help children understand that it is sleep time even though it is still broad daylight outside! (See here for an earlier post on why, in the winter, we should avoid suggesting that because it is dark outside it must be bedtime.)

Key is to stick to a regular bedtime routine and to make sure the bedroom is as dark as possible – block out the daylight so it feels like sleep time.

Good luck!