This year our British clock change happens on Sunday 29th March – Note it’s not on Mothers Day, like it was last year!!
Whilst the Spring clock change ultimately means an hour less in bed, there is a plus side to it. If your little one has been waking super early, this clock change can be a useful tool in shifting the body clock and getting that later wake-up time. I’ll explain…
If your baby or toddler is waking at 5a.m, on Sunday morning, 5a.m is miraculously 6a.m!
So long as you adjust right away to the new time and plan naps and meals and routine on the new time, you might just find the new wake up time sticks!
If the early waking is due to over-tiredness (which it most likely is), I highly recommend you work on overcoming that problem too and you can take a look at my blog on that topic over HERE.
How to manage this clock change…
Option 1: Cold Turkey
On Saturday evening get your little one off to bed an hour earlier than usual. So if bedtime is usually 7p.m, this is about to become 8p.m when the clocks go forward. So tonight, 6p.m is like 7p.m!
If your child usually sleep 12 hours from 7p.m to 7a.m, you’ll still get the 12 hours from 6p.m Saturday to 7a.m Sunday because we lose that hour in the night.
Option 2: Gradual Shift
If you don’t think your little one will manage to settle to sleep an hour early on the Saturday evening, you could work towards it gradually over the preceding days as follows:
Assuming a usual bedtime of 7p.m
Wednesday bedtime is 6.45p.m
Thursday bedtime is 6.30p.m
Friday bedtime is 6.15p.m
Saturday bedtime is 6.00p.m
Then on Sunday you go back to your usual 7p.m bedtime which falls at the same time as 6p.m was the night before!
Option 3: Meet in the middle
The other option is to meet halfway and just put your little one to bed thirty minutes EARLIER than usual on the Saturday night.
This helps move towards the new time and doesn’t reduce the overall night sleep hours by too much.
Then, on the Sunday you’re back to usual bedtime by the new clock time.
Confused? You’re not the only one. It’s confusing enough for me let alone a sleep deprived parent who is new to navigating this kind of thing.
Remember, it may take up to a week for your little one to fully adjust and transition on to the new time so bear with it and if s/he’s really tired, just go ahead with an early night because the last thing you want is to create a continually overtired situation.
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