The clocks changing as a parent versus the time pre-children represents a total contrast of lifestyle. Springing forward sans kids means losing an hour of sleep in the morning but with kids, you sort of/kind of get to sleep in for an hour, right..?
Of the 2 occasions each year when the clocks change, springing forward is considered the easier of the 2 as it means a far less brutal adjustment in the morning. But what does this time change mean for our little ones' sleep, and how can we best prepare for it?
Option 1: Adjust gradually for sensitive sleepers
For some kiddos, an adjustment of 1 whole hour to their schedules really knocks them sideways and can have a major impact on the bigger picture of their sleep. For these little ones, in the week approaching Sunday the 13th of March, gradually shift each element of their schedule 10-15 minutes later each day. This includes meals, snacks, time into bed and time awake.
Our body’s are very primal and each daily process is closely connected. Shifting meals as well as sleep will help their whole system adjust!
Option 2. Go with the flow!
For some children, the clocks changing has little to no effect on them and they adjust totally un-phased. If your kiddo is generally flexible and can handle schedule adjustments relatively easily, you don’t need to change a thing! On Sunday morning, set your daily schedule to the “new” times on the clock and carry on as normal
Option 3: A sweet spot in the middle
If your kiddo is right in the middle of being time sensitive or totally flexible, make slight adjustments to their schedule in the 2 days leading up to the time change. So for example on Friday the 11th of March, adjust their schedule later by 20 minutes for each meal and sleep period. On Saturday adjust by a further 20 minutes and on Sunday, follow the “new” time on the clock for their schedule and routines.
Whether choosing method 1, 2 or 3, an early bedtime, as early as your family schedule can manage, will really help take the edge off and prevent your little one from becoming overtired!
Really, my number 1 tip for making this shift is to get outside!
As with most processes, we are totally primal creatures and our bodies are closely connected with the rising and setting of the sun. By spending time outside in the early morning and late afternoon, we help our brains interpret the sunlight and adjust their body clock according to its position in the sky. (crazy, I know!)
Own an OK to wake clock such as the hatch? Great! In the hour before bedtime and throughout their bedtime routine, set the clock to red even while reading stories. Our brains interpret red light as the sun setting so by sitting in red light, we allow our brains to adjust their internal body clock and register that the day is over, time for sleep!
If your kiddo’s sleep is totally thrown by this adjustment, don’t panic Mama. With my adaptive and bespoke sleep strategies offering in-home support, we’ll handle this together! Head to the homepage for more information on how I support local families and be sure to check out the resources page for free guides on your little one’s sleep!
Best wishes for a Jolly Good Night’s Sleep,