As I sit and write this, there is blue in the sky, the sun is shining and the daffodils are beginning to make an appearance in the garden. Could this be the start of spring?
Another sign is the clock change that will take place on 28th March 2015 with the start of British Summer Time.
With a bit of forward planning it is possible to make this change as smooth as possible, with hopefully very little affect on your baby or child’s sleep.
It is worth considering what the affects might be if you do not make any changes – your baby or child might struggle with going to sleep at their “new” bedtime, often lying in bed awake for an hour or more. Then in the morning, they are tired and unwilling to get up at their “new” wake up time.
By making gradual changes over the next few weeks, it is possible to minimise the disruption to their sleep. Try putting your baby or child to sleep 15 minutes earlier every three or four nights, gradually building up to them going to bed a whole hour earlier. You will also need to wake them up 15 minutes earlier each morning to compensate for the change to their bedtime and to help their body clock adjust.
This is also an excellent time to consider investing in some black out blinds for your baby or child’s bedroom, to assist with the lighter mornings and evenings. Research has shown that a trigger for the release of Melatonin, the sleep inducing hormone, is dim light, therefore it is a good idea to use black out blinds and dim the lights at the beginning of your baby or child’s bedtime routine.
However, it is not just bedtimes and waking times that need to be altered, but also nap times (if applicable) and meal times, as these are also affected by the clock changes. I find it is often helpful to create a chart or “timetable”, as during a busy day, it is often difficult to remember all the changes that need to be made, and when they need to be made! Here is an example of how to change a typical routine for a 9 month old baby, starting 9 days before the clocks change.
|Current Routine||Wakes 6.30am||Breakfast7.30am||Nap
|Day1 – 3||6.15am||7.15am||8.30am||12.15pm||1pm||5pm||6.15pm||6.45pm|
|Day4 – 6||6.00am||7.00am||8.15am||12 noon||12.45pm||4.45pm||6pm||6.30pm|
|Day7 – 9||5.45am||6.45am||8am||11.45am||12.30pm||4.30pm||5.45pm||6.15pm|
|CLOCKS CHANGE 28TH MARCH – MOVE CLOCKS FORWARD BY ONE HOUR|
Images courtesy of winnond and dan at freedigitalphotos.net