Spring Forward; How to prepare your little one for the Summer clock change.


The clocks are going forward one hour on Sunday 28th March at 1 am which can only mean one thing, well two…we lose an hour in bed BUT Summer is on it’s way! I just love this clock change, longer days, lighter evenings and BBQ's, hooray!

Many parents worry about the impact that a clock change can have on their little one's sleep, especially if you have been working hard on their routine recently. Well, fear not,  I have some top tips here for you on how to manage the Summer clock change and clear up any confusion there may be!

You have three options when it comes to dealing with the change:

1. Do nothing- This is great for older toddlers and children and those easy going types that adapt well to change. This approach also works well for those early risers! Here you simply do nothing and go with the flow! On Sunday you can move straight to the 'new time'! 

2.Gradual move- This is suited for the more sensitive temperaments and younger one's. The idea here is that you gradually move their whole routine including naps and mealtimes, forward by 15 minute increments for four days leading up to the clock change. By the end of the four days, you will have made up the hour that will be the difference on the day the clocks change. E.G If normal bedtime is 7pm on Wednesday put your little one down at 6.45pm, 6.30pm on Thursday night, 6.15pm on Friday night and 6pm on Saturday night. On Sunday night you can return to the usual 7pm bedtime.

3.Split the difference- This option you literally split the hour difference so you will be putting your little one down ay 6.30pm rather than the usual 7pm on the Saturday night. This helps move towards the new time and doesn’t impact too much on overall night time sleep. On Sunday you return to the usual 7pm bedtime.

Some extra tips for you….

Sleep environment- Make sure your little one’s room is dark, an 8 out of 10 with 10 being the darkest is a good place to aim for, blackout blinds are great for this. With lighter mornings and evenings your little one can get confused and think that it’s not yet time for bed. Pop up just before the bedtime routine begins and close all blinds and curtains, this will set the cue for sleepy time.

Outside time-Daylight and fresh air is a great way to help regulate their melatonin levels and set their internal body clock. This helps with sleep so get them outside on Sunday morning and late afternoon!

Routine – Stick to your normal bedtime routine, so that your little one know what to expect, same steps in the same order as before.

Overtiredness- You want to avoid this so keep an extra close eye on sleep cues and act quickly. A catnap or early bedtime can help overcome this and will set them up for a better nights sleep.

Early risers- The clock change can bring good news to those of you that have an early riser...5 am becomes 6 am overnight, yay! One word of caution though..it might be worth considering the root cause of the early rising if it starts to creep earlier again over the next few weeks. 

If you have any questions or are struggling with your little one’s sleep or behaviour then please do get in contact with me. I offer a free discovery call where we can discuss ways in which I can help you.



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