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by Emily Whalley, Child Sleep Consultant, Fox and The Moon Infant Sleep Services

There are memes about it, blogs about what to do about it are EVERYWHERE and parents dread it. What is it? The dreaded Day Light Savings Clock Change.

I will not bore you all with how annoying I find it personally or why I simply don’t understand it but I will do is give you a no nonsense approach about how to survive it.

There are a few different options depending on the parent you are and what type of child you parent!

Option Number One:

If you have a “clockwork” baby, i.e. one that naps and goes to bed at the same time everyday then you may find these children are more sensitive to the clock changes. The best way to deal with the clocks going back this October is to slowly push your naps and bedtime back by 15 minutes every other day until October 31st. What this will mean is that by the night the clock changes your little one will be going to bed an hour later than usual meaning that they should wake up at normal time the following morning.

So if your baby, for example, takes two naps a day, one normally at 9:30am and one at 1:30pm then you would just make these naps slightly later each day until they are around an hour later by the time the clocks go back. This will not work however if your baby, well, behaves like a baby and wakes very early one morning. If that is the case, then an earlier nap will be needed and this will throw the whole plan off course. That is where it gets stressful, and it really doesn’t need to be (see option 2)

I do, however, find this a little stressful to manage, and if you have other children and a busy life then it could just get a bit messy so, please do not stress if you do not manage to achieve this! It is not a fool proof way of your baby adjusting faster than any other.

Option Number Two:

Do nothing, yes, nothing. If you’re baby’s naps and bedtimes are always a little bit different then they are likely to not even notice the clock change. If they normally go to bed around 7pm then doing an extra cat nap and putting them to bed for 8pm may just work, if you don’t manage it and they go to bed at normal time then the likely hood is they will wake an hour earlier. That’s okay! You will be able to claw this back at nap time and doing a slightly earlier bedtime the next night will ensure everything just falls into place over the course of a few days.

Say for example your baby is 18 months old and normally wakes at 7am, takes a nap at 12 noon and then goes to bed at 7pm then it may be that on the night the clocks change, your baby wakes at 6am, takes a nap at 11am and then goes to bed at 6pm. Yes, this could mean a few 6am starts but they will soon get back into the swing of a later bedtime and a later nap as they adjust to the clock change.

What about younger babies?

If you have a baby who is under 6 months old, then I really would not even worry about the clock change. Why? Because babies of this age are yet to have a fully mature circadian rhythm and they tend to nap frequently throughout the day still. What this means is that it will be easier to do a slightly later nap, or an extra nap to get them through to that slightly later bedtime. The good news is, the clock change is unlikely to disturb them!

I can highly recommend the Rockit Zed for those overtired babes who just need that help to drift off into a slumber, if you do try and push your child’s awake times to achieve the clock change bedtime then it can be a lovely tool to help them regulate the help of a loving parent or caregiver and help them drift off into a lovely deep sleep.

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