Summer nights are getting all that little bit closer – hurrah! This also means the Spring clock change is happening very soon (on the 27th March to be exact!).
For some of us, though (us parents!), this can mean concerns about your child or baby’s routine and worry about how best to deal with it… Here are my top tips on helping your routine stay consistent in the days ahead of the lead-up to the spring clock change and beyond!
Spring clock change: how to prepare your child in advance
by slowly moving their routine earlier by small increments over a number of days.
For example: during the weekdays leading up to the clock change (starting on Thursday or so), move bedtime and nap times by 10/15 minutes each day, so that come Sunday the 27th March you will only have 10/15 minutes to catch up on.
As an example, if your baby goes to bed at 7 pm, put her down at 6.50 pm on the Tuesday, 6.40 pm on the Wednesday, 6.30 pm on the Thursday and 6.20 pm on the Friday, which means that she will be in bed close to 6 pm by the time British Summertime arrives (which would then be 7 pm once the clocks “spring” forwards).
Don’t forget nap times
Naptimes will also need to be moved, as with the bedtimes, by small increments over a period of days. This might mean initially your child goes down a little less tired than usual, but 10/15 minutes shouldn’t cause too much of an issue on the first nap, and then everything else falls into place after that!
The timings of meals/feeds are important as well
Ahead of the spring clock change meals and feeds will also need to be changed to meet your routine, so pushing these times back slowly, too, will help your child’s internal clock sync to deal with the changes.
Use a black-out blind
Remember: a black-out room will help with early morning waking. If your baby was an autumn or winter baby, they will not be used to the light at 5am, as summer comes closer. Use a blackout blind to help if you have issues with early morning wakings, once the clock change occurs. Our favourite is the only non-toxic black-out blind out there, by Pure Earth Collection.
It’s worth noting that PVC blackout blinds give off hundreds of toxic chemicals into the air every second, especially when they are heated up in direct sunlight (you can actually smell the toxins coming off of them when they’re in a sunny window – which is why they come with warnings not to leave in direct sunlight). Pure Earth Collection’s blinds are made from 100% organic cotton, so they’re totally safe and non-toxic. What’s more, they’re stickier than most blinds we’ve tried on the market. This means they’re really easy to put up and they stay in place for weeks (in fact, infinitely!) without falling off.
Make sure that you have an evening routine in place
It’s important to make sure you have a good evening routine in place as bath time and bedtime are more likely to take place now in the daylight. This new lighter evening might confuse your baby so doing a bath, book, bed routine in rooms with curtains closed will help them to have a sense of bedtime approaching. Doing the same routine most nights really helps to create consistency, for example having a warm bath or massage, getting into PJs, and cuddling up to read some books together (our current favourite is Ten Minutes To Bed: Little Dinosaur. Melatonin is the hormone responsible for making a baby or toddler sleep well (and more easily), and this is created in darker environments as evenings draw in.
So, all in all, by making a few changes and tweaks in the lead-up to the spring clock change on Sunday 27th March you should manage any time changes for your little one and their routine won’t be too disrupted.
Article by Heidi Skudder, The Parent and Baby Coach.
Heidi is working with Ladybird Books on their Bed, Book, Bath campaign – visit the Ladybird website for many more tips, expert advice, and recommend reading suggestions.