Now that we are fully into Autumn it is time to start thinking about the imminent clock change. Although this is the good clock change for us (we get an extra hour in bed- yay!) needless to say for the bubba it doesn’t work the same way. This can be a daunting prospect if you’ve worked super hard to get your little one into a routine or have in fact been following my Sleeping Bunnies Baby Coach routines. If you have been following my routines your 7am waking baby by the clock change will be a 6am waking baby, likewise a 6am waking baby will most likely be a 5am waking baby- oh the dread!
However, there are a few little tips and tricks to keep you on track in the lead up to make sure your little one adjusts accordingly. Babies are far more adaptable than we give them credit for and we also have the dark evenings on our side so this will be our greatest advantage into keeping the body’s melatonin nice high in preparation for bedtime.
•From the morning of Thursday 25th October push out all naps, feeds, meal times and bedtime by 15 minutes. Our aim here is that each day in the lead up to the clock change you move your routine out so that by Sunday 28th Oct baby will be fully adjusted -sounds simple right!?
•This means if you are on a 7am-7pm routine on Thursday 25th October bedtime would be 7.15pm, Friday 26th- 7.30pm, Saturday 27th- 7.45pm and Sunday 28th we’d be back on track for a 7pm bedtime which would have previously been 8pm -as the clocks go back at 2am on October 28th (basically, whilst we are sleeping on the Saturday night). So from Sunday baby will be fully adjusted and their usual 7pm bedtime and wake time will be in line with the new clocks.
•There are a few different methods for older babies and toddlers and my preference for 18 months and over is simply splitting the hour into three 20 minute segments so you complete the clock change adjustment three days prior rather than four. With an older toddler/ child, splitting one hour over two days is sufficient (30 minutes per day x 2 days). If it all goes wrong with baby or toddler, never fear- it’s only one hour and can be caught up pretty quickly on the subsequent days.
•As well as moving sleep times forward, we also have to adjust meal and feed times accordingly too- this will probably be trickier than moving sleep times out so be ready for a grouchy little human the first day! Feed and meal times also ‘set’ our body clock so making sure these are moved out too is important.
•Make sure you keep to your schedule of daily activities – classes, park trips, playdates. We want baby to feel that there is nothing really that different.
•Move bedtime routine up accordingly so that you have the same fluidity as you had previously with bedtime and wind down. So if bath was at 18.15 it will now be 18.30.
•If baby is looking drowsy later in the afternoon it is really best to keep them awake. If they are under 7mths and need a 10/15 minutes power nap (maximum) then that is fine. However, if they are allowed to sleep longer than 15 minutes or past 3pm we would have alleviated more melatonin than necessary, and bedtime will be tricky.
•There is nothing like a change of scenery for baby late afternoon when their patience starts to wear thin at home (us too!) So, if you observe that your little one is tired at 4.15/30pm a quick spin around the block in the late afternoon crispy air is advisable- making sure they don’t drop off to sleep if they do not routinely have a cat nap!