We have got the strategies for to help you and your little ones be able to handle the spring clock change where the clocks go forward an hour. We are going to recap my three preferred approaches that I believe can help any one of you to get your little one sleeping soundly through this clock change. Make sure you keep reading to get a plan in place to leap forward into Spring.
The first approach to managing this clock change is the gradual approach. Now, this approach is where you are going to move bedtime earlier by 15 minutes each night, starting on Wednesday. The clocks change on the last Sunday of the month at night. So Wednesday night we go 15 minutes earlier than usual, Thursday night, another 15 minutes, so we’re 30 minutes earlier than usual. On Friday night, we’re going to move another 15 minutes, so we’ll be 45 minutes earlier going to bed than usual.
That way by Saturday night we are that last 15 minutes earlier. So we are a whole hour earlier than the usual bedtime. If bedtime is normally or sleep time is normally 7:00 PM, that means that we are going to move that in 15 minute increments until we are at 6:00 PM. This is the gradual approach. Now what this means is, by Saturday night, your little one goes to bed a whole hour earlier than normal, but they haven’t really felt that great big drastic jump in change of bedtime.
Meaning they can sleep for their usual number of hours through the night, but wake up at their usual wake up time because the clocks will have moved during the night on that Saturday night into Sunday. The gradual approach is definitely the best way to go if you have a younger baby or a young child who’s very sensitive to small things. If they notice every little difference, if there’s somebody who notices difference in feel, environment, sound, little time changes, then this is going to be the right approach for them. Big change doesn’t work for them.
If you have a slightly older one or a really easygoing baby, who’s just really quite flexible, maybe they’re not quite so rigid in their timings and can manage a bigger difference without it really noticing, then you might want to take one of the next two approaches. So the second one is to meet in the middle, it’s a half an hour difference. So instead of going to bed at your usual time of let’s say 7:00 P.M. We are going to go earlier by 30 minutes at 6:30 P.M. on the Saturday night.
So you just change nothing up until Saturday night, 30 minutes, we’re going to meet in the middle with the clock change, and that way the night sleep is going to be taking us roughly to the same wake up time in the morning with that change of time in the night. It’s good for those who, the whole hour earlier to bed would be too much, but they don’t really need those tiny little changes each night from Wednesday.
The third option is the all in one go. One fell swoop, we just move bedtime earlier by one hour on Saturday night so that they sleep for their normal number of hours and wake up at the new time on Sunday. It’s as simple as that, it’s a whole hour earlier, but it’s really quite tricky to do that with a child who is just not tired an hour earlier. So this is going to work great for somebody who’s over tired, who’s really ready for sleep and could quite easily go to bed an hour earlier.
I bet a lot of you could do that. But if you have a little one who’s maybe still having a nap during the day, or they’re just not going to be tired enough to go to bed a whole hour earlier, especially little ones that are taking lots of naps still, they’re probably not going to be ready to move bedtime by a whole hour earlier, and therefore you’re going to want more of a gradual approach. It’s very different to the autumn clock change when we move the bedtime later, because it’s a lot easier to keep yourself awake longer, or to keep a little on awake longer than it is to make somebody tired sooner. That’s the big difference.
So three options for you there, or you could tweak it to fit your child. Maybe you want to do 30 minutes earlier on Friday and then the whole hour earlier on the Saturday. But on the whole this is an array of ways that could help your little one to adjust to that time change a bit more smoothly.
Bear in mind it can take up to a week to adjust anyway to something as small as one hour clock change so, give them some time to adjust into that new routine. And on the Sunday, I highly recommend that you just get into that new time straightaway.
Don’t go down the route of thinking well the body clock thinks it’s this time, that doesn’t help. Just go with the new time, put your mealtimes in on the new time, bedtime routine at the new time, and they will soon adjust and so will you.
So are you ready, and are you prepared for the clock change that’s coming up really soon?
Make sure you do things like get that routine in place to accommodate the change. So if you are going for the gradual approach, you do need to be home a little bit earlier in the evenings in order to bring all these things a bit earlier, to have meal times a bit earlier.
Consider what you need to set up in your routine and your environment, to help you to make these changes. Because if you are starting the Wednesday before you need to be ready. You need to know what you’re doing, be ready to execute that plan. I hope this has been helpful and I hope the clock change goes smoothly for you.
Why not book a free discovery call if you want to know more about getting a good night’s sleep even with the clock change.