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Adjusting to the Clock Change

It's that time of year when the clocks are changing so we have to do all the mental maths to adjust the sleep schedule so our little sleep thieves don't wake us up even earlier. In the past you probably were excited by the prospect of 'an extra hour in bed', but if your baby was already waking at 6am, then that wake up then becomes 5am.

If you're like me, you're probably confused about which way the clocks change and when the clocks go back by an hour on Sunday 29 October 2023. It happens at 2am where, in essence, you basically live the same hour twice.

The first thing I want to do is reassure you that you don't necessarily have to do anything much and eventually things will fall into place as their body adjusts to the new timings, but I know for a lot of you a plan is helpful.

So here's some options for how you might want to manage the clock change.

Option One

During the week prior to the 29th, move your little one's routine later by 15 minutes every couple of days. This means moving your morning awake time, feeds, naps, bedtimes. It's easiest to start with the first nap of the day, extend the wake window before that nap by 15 minutes in the hope that pushes the rest of the daytime routine as a consequence. This option is probably best for those weeny babies, where wake windows are very sensitive.

This is how it would work, if your child usually goes to bed at 7 pm:

Sunday 22nd: 7:15 pm

Tuesday 24th: 7:30 pm

Thursday 26th: 7:45 pm

Saturday 28th: 8:00 pm

Option Two

The night before the clocks change, put your child down to bed half an hour later.

This may not guarantee a later wake-up but it can help somewhat with the body’s adjustment.

Option Three

Just wing it! Just pray they will wake up later. This is the option I will probably follow. I know with my own children if the house is silent they are less likely to wake - but I know we are in the minority.

But the biggest advice I have is to have a consistent wake-up time that is always after 6am, but it's a realistic time you know your child is capable of, and make sure they remain in their bedtime environment until that time. If they wake before that time and they are upset, commit to resettling them, if they are awake but not upset, just leave them until your desired wake up time.

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