You’ve just settled back into a nice routine after the Back to School drama and then, bang! The clocks are going back again! Thanks a million, daylight savings! As if life in a time of Covid wasn’t hard enough!
This one can be a tough one for kids/parents of kids who are already early risers or those who you have struggled with in trying to get them to sleep at all! This year it will happen on the night of Saturday 24th October 2020.
Clocks going back – What can we do to make it easier?
- The best option, and the one I would recommend seeing as we are a good bit ahead of the game and you have a little bit of time on your side, is to slowly change your child’s schedule over the course of a week before the time changes. Each night, a week ahead of time, move their bedtime to 5 mins later each night.
- Or if you are reading this in a panic a few days before the 24th, on the Wednesday prior to the time change, put your child to bed 15 minutes later than normal. Whether a week or a few days out, this is done with the hope that they might wake 15 mins later than normal but it mightn’t happen. It’s a body clock thing! Offer any napping child, their opportunity to snooze 15 minutes later the following day. For the next few days put him to bed another 15 minutes later each night (and nap 15 further minutes later) until the night of the time change and you will be back to your normal schedule.
And it’s never too late…
- Or, you could throw caution to the wind, stick to your normal schedule up until the time change and once it kicks in, be flexible and change as much as your child can handle.
For those of you reading this in a complete muddle after the clocks have already changed, it’s not too late! It will settle down and even for the most adaptable little ones, the change of a simple hour can cause a few issues for a week if not longer.
Best way to approach it is without fear and apprehension….as adults, we become obsessed with the amount of hours sleep we get. Infants and young children are reliant on our guidance and don’t get much of a say in the matter! By making the change gradually, come Saturday night, your little one will be going an hour later than at the start of the week.
There’s no point keeping them up too much later than their normal bedtime, because quite often they will be overtired and the wheels fall off!!!
Luckily enough, in terms of older children, they will probably be on their (hopefully short!) midterm holidays and their normal day to day routines will be a little all over the place. Wake them at their normal wake up time in order to keep some sense of routine for them. It probably won’t happen, but no matter their age, try not to let them lie in (particularly babies and toddlers).
Not trying to scare you by the way! I’m simply letting you know in advance – so don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Cheers Niamh. Great advice as always!