In the UK we begin British Summertime on Sunday 25th March 2018.
Are you dreading the clocks going forward by one hour? Or are you excited at the idea of your child’s wake up time shifting from 6.30am to 7.30am?
Every time we change our clocks, parents worry about the affects it might have on their children and wonder how best to deal with the change. You have three options:
1.’Cold turkey’ just shift to the new time straight off. Many children adapt well this way and it has no effect on them. If bedtime is normally 7pm, just put your child down at 6pm on Saturday night. Great for easy going and flexible temperaments.
2. Gradually move your child’s bedtime earlier in 15 minute increments on the four nights leading up to the clock change. EG if normal bedtime is 7pm, put him down at 6.45 on Wednesday night, 6.30 on Thursday night, 6.15 on Friday night and 6pm on Saturday night. This works well for those more sensitive temperaments.
3. Split the difference and put your child to bed 30 minutes earlier. So, based on a normal 7pm bedtime, put her down at 6.30pm on Saturday night.
Here are my additional tips for handling the spring forward…
Make sure you have your room darkening shades or blackout blinds in place to shut out every last chink of daylight. With lighter mornings and evenings, our children can get confused and think it is not time to be in bed.
If you need a small amount of light in your child’s room go for a low watt, red or amber nightlight.
Go outside! Exposing your children to some natural light in the daytime works wonders for their internal clocks. If you can’t get outside, bright light indoors will do.
Don’t wait for those sleepy cues and put your child down as soon as you see the signs. These might not occur quite as you are used to with the time change so be extra vigilant.
An earlier bedtime is actually more likely to help your child sleep in longer
If your child is over-tired by bedtime, an emergency cat-nap of no more than 30 minutes and at no later than 4pm, could help them through and set them up for a better night’s sleep
A day/night clock is great for a toddler who needs to know when it is time to get up or stay in bed. Visit the Products page on my website.
Finally, don’t forget to get yourself to bed early on Saturday night as well. We lose an hour in the night and you want to be well-rested to deal with a potentially tired little one as he adjusts to the change.