The last Sunday in October the clocks go back an hour at 2am it goes back to 1am. fabulous for people without children that extra hour is welcomed ( don’t listen to them well they tell you how welcomed that extra hour will be !!), however for parents who have a baby who is already an early waker, the thought of them getting up at 6am instead of 7am ( or maybe earlier) may be worrying you.
You have probably worked very hard to get your baby/toddler sleeping soundly all night through and unfortunately this time change, will most probably be a bit of a challenge to you all.
Rest assured though, it will be just a phase and with a little bit of careful planning and continuity it will be short lived and they will adapt to the new time.
If you would like to take some steps in minimising your baby’s sleep disruption here are a few tips: This is for babies/children on a 7pm-7am routine, adjust depending on their individual routine. Older children are also affected and this works for them too.
1. Start 3 days before the clocks go back ( The Wednesday evening)
2. Put your baby to sleep 10 minutes later each night until Saturday.
3. Adapt the napping times, put them down 10 minutes later for each nap, each day. Meal times should be later too.
4. Wake them up by 7am each day.
5. On Saturday, let your baby have an energetic day with lots of fresh air, keep naps to a minimum.
6. On Saturday night, keep them up for an hour past their usual bedtime, with the slow introduction above this should be quite easy.
7. Parents, one of you should go to bed early incase your child does still wake at 6am!
8. If your baby/child wakes up early still, try and avoid going in , unless they start to cry.
9. Wake your child at the new time of 7am, so he/she is back on track.
10. On Sunday , you should beable to put them down at the new time 7pm ( or your baby’s usual bedtime)
Don’t allow the clocks going back to let you slip into bad habits. Bringing your baby into bed with you or giving a dawn milk feed to encourage your baby back to sleep may work in the short term but long term may lead to sleeping problems.