Woo! The clocks are going back. That means an EXTRA HOUR in bed! Unless of course like me you are a parent of a small child, then it typically doesn’t. In fact it probably means you’ll be bleary eyed, staggering about in the dark at daft o’clock wondering what time it is!
We all know that once a year, at end of October, we put our clocks back an hour. We even get why. Harvest/daylight/yada yada/blah blah. But sadly that message doesn’t quite translate to babies, toddlers and young children. Which is why your child free friends all shout on social media about how awesome it is to get an extra hours sleep while you secretly hate them a little through sheet envy.
What a surprise that they’re up at 5am on Sunday morning, rather than 6am – because it really IS 6am. Which is exactly what I see mums and dads sharing on Facebook…
“8month old son was up for the day at 5.30!” or “Wouldn’t mind if it was the baby awake but he’s still snoozing and it was my 4 year old demanding I woke up and came downstairs at 6.45” or “My kids thought they’d be clever and get up two hours earlier”
Sound familiar? Or is this your first time as a parent so you really want to avoid this? ME TOO! I am not morning person, I’m very much a night owl and as my husband would attest to I so not like to see anything pre 7am!
So how do you prepare your baby or toddler for the clocks changing?
When should you do mealtimes? And if you’re basically living life an hour later, how on earth do you synchronise with your child so you’re not all waking at stupid o’clock until Spring?!
Of course, there’s lots of advice online and in Facebook groups about what you need to do, but just how helpful is it? I’ve seen loads of things suggested on various threads on social media any overall there is a huge amount of conflicting suggestions so I decided to ask Kate Cohen from Sleep Time Baby for her advice. Here are her top tips on how to prepare your child for the clocks going back and avoid a 4am start!
- Split the difference, if they usually got to bed at 7pm, let them go at 6.30pm for 4 nights and then on the 5th night put it back to 7pm.
- Napping – if your child usually naps at 10am, make that nap time 9.30am for four days and then change back to 10am
- Children over 2 years can use a digital clock. Put paper and tape over the minutes as they can confuse them and set it half an hour earlier, than the actual time. Let them get up a little earlier for a few days, half an hour, and then they should fall back into their usual routine.
- For babies, do not rush in as soon as you hear them wake, you will send a message that this is the new time to get up, instead go in at 10 past on the first day, 20 past on the second, by the end of the week you should be back on track.
I really hope they are of help to many of you! Good luck and sleep well! Oh and let me know how you get on! Our little ones, are bigger now but we have been there and completely sympathise.