The clocks are changing: How to help your little one adapt with ease.

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With the clocks about to change this weekend to welcome in spring, some of us may have concerns about the effects it will have on our child’s sleeping habits.

Typical, you have just perfected your baby’s sleep routine, your little one has finally mastered the art of sleeping well, then bang, you’re hit with lighter nights resulting in a child with a confused body clock. But it doesn’t have to be like this. Below are my tips to help make the transition smooth keeping disruption to a minimum.

 

  • Alter bedtime by half an hour on the first evening, eg Saturday evening – so it’s half an hour earlier than usual. Then adjust bedtime by another half hour on Sunday evening – so you’re working to the ‘new time’.
  • If you’re altering bedtime, naps and mealtimes will need to fall in line too. Make them slightly earlier to suit your new routine.
  • Light plays an important part in controlling our internal body clocks. Try spending a little extra time outside during the day for a boost of fresh air and natural light.
  • Using black out blinds or dense curtains helps create a darker, nighttime environment at an earlier time.
  • Do a bit of extra exercise with your baby – like playing games outside – so she’ll sleep well, but don’t totally wear her out as over-tired children are harder to get to sleep.
  • Prepare yourself for an early start: While the clocks going back mean an extra hour in bed for you, your baby won’t necessarily want to stay in his cot for that hour. ‘If he wakes early (6am instead of 7am), don’t expect him to stay in bed for the full hour, Wait 15 minutes then get him up. It may take a few days for him to adjust but stick at it, it really shouldn’t cause good sleep habits to unravel.

 

The important thing to remember is to keep your child’s sleep routine as similar as possible, children with good sleep routines tend to cope better with the changes in time as they know what to expect at the end of the day ie. your normal, if slightly altered with timings, bedtime routine.

Making little rather than large changes tends to work best. Remember, even if it takes a few days, your baby will naturally settle back into a routine.

 

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