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Sleep and Time Zones

Everyone likes a fresh start come January, but my little family’s fresh start was a little more drastic than most. 

We decided to grasp life in both hands and follow our dreams by setting up a brand new life in Spain. Most families would find this far too stressful with an 18 month old in tow but we decided to get in touch with our inner hippies and offer our little man a new outdoors life in the sunshine, hoping to unleash his little hippy too!

As any mum does, I had lots of concerns for my little boy.  Will he settle ok, will he feel lonely, will he miss family and friends, will the travelling be too much, but what I didn’t worry about was how his sleep would be affected.  I was confident with all my sleep consultant skills that I would be able to tackle any issues that came my way! And plus with the time difference that would mean I could get up an hour later and start the day at 7am (much more parent friendly than the 6am start I had been suffering in the UK) Right?

My approach was to put Albie to sleep at exactly the same times as I had in the UK and he would be none the wiser that the clocks were different. I adjusted all the times in the day thinking that he would just slot into this new time zone without any problem.  Nap time started at 11am instead of 10am and all seemed breezy!

But then I started encountering issues. Albie started waking up earlier and although I stuck to my guns and didn’t go in until 7am he was then getting tired earlier than 11am and when I put him down he would only sleep for an hour and then be wide awake.  So I started implementing the early to bed strategy and before I knew it he had shifted himself back to that dreaded 6am wake up!

Two months on and life in Spain is going well.  Albie is happily waking up at 6am on the dot every morning and goes down for his two hour nap at 10am, just as he did in the UK.  We are all enjoying the outdoors lifestyle and are really glad we took the plunge and followed our dreams.

So what did I learn from my experience?  A number of things;

  • Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but some babies are just early birds, but remember any waking after 6am should be considered day time/acceptable to wake up and that’s a win!
  • All children pick up on environmental and schedule cues and adjust themselves naturally
  • If you are moving time zones try to adjust your child to the new time as quickly as possible
  • Knowledge is power, if you are moving somewhere new, always get as much information as you can and formulate a plan or strategy before you leave.

This brings me nicely onto the upcoming clock change in the UK on Sunday 29th March.  What advice can I give you on transitioning as smoothly as you can?

The trick to success is forward planning.  There are a number of approaches you can adopt for your little one.

Option 1 – The gradual approach. 

If you start on the Wednesday and move the bedtime back by 15 minutes each day, by the time you get to Saturday night they will be going down an hour early and be in line ready for the clock to spring forward.

Option 2 – The middle ground

On the Saturday night put your child to bed half an hour early in preparation for the change.

Option 3 – Cold turkey

Just put your child to bed at their normal time once the clocks have changed (so in theory an hour early)

It usually takes about a week for most children to adjust properly to the new time so be prepared for tweaks to their normal routine during the transition period. 

Good Luck!

Blog written by Certified Sleep Nanny Consultant Marie Banner. Click HERE if you want to schedule in a call with Lucy today to learn more about training to become a Certified Sleep Nanny Consultant.

Or reach out for help today, click HERE book a FREE 15 minute sleep evaluation call with Marie.

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mariesleepnanny/

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2 days ago

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2 days ago

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Are you facing the 2-1 nap transition right now? How old is your child in this transition? Comment below & tell us how it's going ... See MoreSee Less

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3 days ago

The Sleep Nanny

I'll be here LIVE tomorrow at midday (GMT London) to answer your questions about the 2-1 nap transition!! ... See MoreSee Less

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4 days ago

The Sleep Nanny

What a difference ONE COACHING CALL makes!!
Mum, Michelle says.."I felt so desperate when we spoke and when you’re in that moment, it’s so hard to see a light at the end of a tunnel. Just goes to show a few small changes and consistency goes a long way!"

Lois (age 2) was waking super early every morning and struggling to nap at nursery. The family were exhausted.

We put a plan in place and this is what Michelle said..."Lois woke up at 06:40 today! I’ve gradually increased the wake-up time on her clock to 06:30, but today she woke up a good 10mins after it! I can’t believe the difference since our call 2wks ago".

You and your family could be sleeping better too. Drop us a message today to find out how we can help you solve your sleep challenges.
... See MoreSee Less

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4 days ago

The Sleep Nanny

Is your little one resisting a second nap during the day?

If they are somewhere between 13 and 17 months then it is likely that they may be ready to transition from 2 naps to just the one.

This can be complicated and it can be on and off for a number of weeks so you need to be prepared.

Check out this weeks YouTube video where I answer the following questions;
- When is your little one ready to transition from 2 nap to 1?
- What are the signs?
- How do you navigate this when they don’t sleep at the ideal times?
- And how long will this transition take?

Drop me a thumbs up in the comments below if you think your little one is ready to drop down to one nap.
... See MoreSee Less

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2 days ago

The Sleep Nanny

Q&A on the 2-1 Nap Transition ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

2 days ago

The Sleep Nanny

Are you facing the 2-1 nap transition right now? How old is your child in this transition? Comment below & tell us how it's going ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

3 days ago

The Sleep Nanny

I'll be here LIVE tomorrow at midday (GMT London) to answer your questions about the 2-1 nap transition!! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

4 days ago

The Sleep Nanny

What a difference ONE COACHING CALL makes!!
Mum, Michelle says.."I felt so desperate when we spoke and when you’re in that moment, it’s so hard to see a light at the end of a tunnel. Just goes to show a few small changes and consistency goes a long way!"

Lois (age 2) was waking super early every morning and struggling to nap at nursery. The family were exhausted.

We put a plan in place and this is what Michelle said..."Lois woke up at 06:40 today! I’ve gradually increased the wake-up time on her clock to 06:30, but today she woke up a good 10mins after it! I can’t believe the difference since our call 2wks ago".

You and your family could be sleeping better too. Drop us a message today to find out how we can help you solve your sleep challenges.
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

4 days ago

The Sleep Nanny

Is your little one resisting a second nap during the day?

If they are somewhere between 13 and 17 months then it is likely that they may be ready to transition from 2 naps to just the one.

This can be complicated and it can be on and off for a number of weeks so you need to be prepared.

Check out this weeks YouTube video where I answer the following questions;
- When is your little one ready to transition from 2 nap to 1?
- What are the signs?
- How do you navigate this when they don’t sleep at the ideal times?
- And how long will this transition take?

Drop me a thumbs up in the comments below if you think your little one is ready to drop down to one nap.
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook
Schedule A Discovery Call

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