This year our British clock change happens on Sunday 29th March – luckily not on Mother’s Day like last year!!
Whilst it’s unfortunate that the Spring Clock change means 1 less hour in bed, there is a silver lining to it. If your child is an early riser, the clock change can be useful in shifting the body clock and getting a later wake-up time. Let me explain…
If your child is usually waking at 5am, on Sunday morning that 5am is miraculously 6am!
As long as you adjust straight away to the new time and plan naps, meals and routine to the new time, the new wake-up times should stick!
If the early waking is due to over-tiredness (which is most common), I suggest you work on overcoming that problem as well to help make sure the later wake-up time sticks.
So… how do you manage the Spring clock change?
Option 1: Cold Turkey
On Saturday evening get your child off to bed an hour earlier than usual. So, if bedtime is usually 7p.m, this is about to become 8p.m when the clocks go forward. So tonight, 6p.m is the new 7p.m!
If your child usually sleeps 12 hours from 7p.m to 7a.m, you’ll still get the 12 hours from 6p.m Saturday to 7a.m Sunday because we lose that hour in the night.
Option 2: Gradual Shift
If you don’t think your little one will manage to settle to sleep an hour early on the Saturday evening, you could work towards it gradually over the preceding days as follows: (Assuming a usual bedtime of 7p.m)
Wednesday bedtime is 6.45p.m
Thursday bedtime is 6.30p.m
Friday bedtime is 6.15p.m
Saturday bedtime is 6.00p.m
Then on Sunday you go back to your usual 7p.m bedtime which falls at the same time as 6p.m was the night before!
Option 3: Meet in the middle
The last option is to meet halfway and just put your little one to bed thirty minutes EARLIER than usual on the Saturday night.
This helps move towards the new time and doesn’t reduce the overall night sleep hours by too much.
Then, on the Sunday you’re back to usual bedtime by the new clock time.
Remember, it may take up to a week for your little one to fully adjust and transition on to the new time so stay with it and if they’re really tired, just go for an early night because the last thing you want is to create a continually overtired situation.
If you have any most questions, please don’t hesitate to book a Free 15-minute chat to discuss any other sleep problems and how I can help you.