Helping Children To Adjust When The Clocks Go Forward
The clocks go forward on Sunday 25th March and our ambassador, the Paediatric Sleep Expert and best-selling author Lucy Wolfe shares her top tips on how to combat any difficulties the time change might cause.
A recent online survey in the US indicated that 77% of parents are concerned with the effect that daylight saving will have on their child’s sleeping pattern and a whopping 59% of parents dread the potential disruption to their baby’s schedule more than tax return season.
Lucy is here to share advice with the Baby Elegance family on how to alleviate concerns around the clock change, with top tips for Spring Forward 2018.
- Consider adjusting your bedtime by 30 minutes on the Friday before the clocks go forward on Sunday 25th March.
- On Saturday night, head to bed 45 minutes earlier than you normally do.
- Reduce your caffeine intake this week from around 1:30-2pm each day to help with your earlier bedtime.
- This weekend, try to avoid alcohol as it can wreak havoc on your sleep.
- Set your alarm for a regular wake time no later than 07:30am so that you can make room for bedtime and keep your body regulated.
- Do your best to prepare your child for this transition by ensuring that they are well rested in the run-up to DST. Pay specific attention to daytime sleep and fill this need as much as possible.
- Make sure that you have blackout blinds and a sleep-friendly environment to help with going to sleep and to avoid unnecessary early rising.
- Consider moving your child’s schedule earlier by 15 minutes every day from the Wednesday before the time change. Adjust meals and naps times and of course their morning wake-time accordingly so that by Sunday you will already be on the new time on the clock.
- If you prefer: do nothing until the day of the change, make sure you wake your child by 07:30am “new time” that morning and then follow your daily routine, addressing meals, naps and bedtime as you always do but offering a level of flexibility, possibly splitting the difference between the old time and the new time. This means that your child is potentially going to bed 30 minutes to one hour earlier than normal, they may struggle as their inner-clock may resist this, but within 3-7 days their system will adjust and your regular timetable will run just fine.
- Bear in mind that we do not really want the time change to achieve anything, except that by the end of the week we are on the same time schedule that we have always been on prior to the spring forward. Attempting to the get time change to adjust bedtime later or create a later wake time, rarely has a positive result, often resulting in nighttime activity and decreased nap durations by day.
- Remember to wake by 7.30am “new time” each day so that the internal body clock is not interrupted disrupting your nap and bedtime rhythm.
- Treat any disruptions with consistency so that you don’t create any long-term sleep difficulties during this transition.
And remember, the right mattress from Baby Elegance always helps to give your child the soundest sleep no matter what time it is!