The dark nights are drawing in closer, the colder mornings are upon us and Jack Frost is waiting in the wings to frost up our windows and paths...
In this week’s blog I explain how you can navigate your way through the clock change going back 1 hour. I suggest 3 different options for you with detailed schedules below.
But what does all this mean for your Little Ones’ daily routine and morning wake ups? Does this mean your 5am wake up will now be 4am? Does this mean they will be ready for bed at 5pm instead of 7pm…? There goes your evenings with more wake ups and “lazy” weekend mornings I hear you say…
I say, “NOPE, Not at all”!
Falling back into winter can actually be a positive and give you one more extra hour on the clock to work on teaching your baby independent sleep skills and they get more time to “study and learn” these new skills! It’s all going to be fine…you will see. And it is EASY!
There are some adjustments you can do in preparation of the new Winter Time. Below I explain 3 different options you may like depending on what you feel suits your child best.
Read on to find out how this can work for you and see some example schedules…
Remember, our bodies are regulated by 3 things...
So, if we alter the timings of these 3 activities during the day, slowly your baby should fall into the new time change quite easily and without too much bother. It can take 1 – 2 weeks for your child to fully adjust to the new time so do be patient and be consistent. Every. Single. Day. And of course it does help if your child has the super skill of settling themselves and falling asleep independently of you.
Remember exposure to light be it natural or artificial will aid your child’s circadian rhythm to adjust so get outside for a walk, even a walk around the block will help , and if it is raining, adorn those welly’s and go splash in the muddy puddles…last time I check puddles were a lot of fun!
Below are some sample schedules to help guide you and your family into the new clock change.
Essentially you will be moving your child’s schedule 15 minutes later every 2 days, including feeds and solids. This will give time for your child’s body to readjust slowly without sending their circadian rhythm into shock!
Do remember that if your child is under 18 weeks your days may already be very unpredictable and you may not have a schedule in place. Therefor you just need to maintain your baby’s awake windows appropriate to their age. If you are not sure what their awake windows are, do see my blog on appropriate awake windows for different age groups. https://www.rachaelwilsonsleepconsultant.com/blog/how-much-sleep
Now, here’s the good bit…
Going Back 1 hour BEFORE time change
Start this 1 week BEFORE the clocks change.
Of course not all of us have the “luxury” to be able to wake our child up later because they are already an early riser. In this instance it may be more beneficial for you to adjust their schedule AFTER the clocks have changed. See example schedule below.
GOING BACK 1 HOUR (After time change) 7-7 routine
Another option to navigate through this is to extend your child’s awake windows by 5 – 15 minutes the weekend of the clock change. Now this has to be treated with caution as you do not want to send your child into a frenzy of overtiredness, this just merely extends their circadian rhythm a little longer to get to the end of the day and adjust before the new time actually arrive.
Then Monday morning you are back on track with your usual timings.
Example schedule below for a baby with a 2.5 hour awake window on 2 naps a day
By extending the awake window gradually this will help your baby fall back into the new time on Sunday when it arrives.
REMEMBER…This is just guide and if your child shows sleepy signs you must pop them down to sleep. If you do not then you will risk running into overtired territory and then you will have a new ball game to play with!
Don’t forget to share this with a friend you know out there who is wondering how on earth she is going to cope with the clock change and potentially 4am wake ups….!
If you feel you would like some more guidance on this adjustment do get in touch, drop me an email and I can help guide you through this!
Take care guys, and sleep well...