Tips to Parents from Parents: How to Face the Turning of the Clocks

If you are a parent than the clock going back an hour may not be a reason for excitement as it is for everyone else. Especially if you are a parent of a baby or a small child.

Here, we worked with our friends over at Happy Beds, who understand how having your children adjusting to the changing of the clocks may be a cause for concern as no parents wishes for havoc to play a part in their day to day routine. So, as a result, here are some useful tips tried by other parents, which may very well be of good help to you this autumn.

1. Plan days with heavy activity in the morning, particularly physical activity, and then a more relaxed and calm afternoon for the days on which you are putting the bedtime later. If your young baby is particularly sleepy you may even need to introduce an extra power‑nap in the late afternoon.

2. During the transition, keep lights bright and curtains open a little longer to encourage children to stay awake for longer. Make bath time a little longer to help stretch out the time.

3. Be sure that windows have black‑out shades for the morning time so the light is blocked out and children are not woken up earlier than they should be.

4. Over the days if the bedtime changes are gradual ‑ say 10 minutes over 6 days ‑ then change the other activities by 10 minutes as well (bath time, nap time and mealtime to match the new routine).

5. If you have a child who wakes up early naturally, then you may need to look at adjusting the bedtime over a longer period to ensure the extra hour is fully accounted for. Or if your child is a late sleeper, and you need more time to get ready in the mornings, then you may find moving the bedtime back a half hour will help.

6. If your child is older, you can offer rules that support the change in routine. Some use clocks with a sun and moon as this as a way of reinforcing that certain times are for playing and others for staying cosy under the blankets.

7. To ensure a calm and peaceful bedtime, always be careful what your child eats close to going to bed. Do not allow children to have drinks that contain caffeine and or food and drinks that contain lots of sugar, especially late in the day, as they can effect the ability to fall asleep.

Amy Smith

Amy is a London-based art, travel & wellness writer.

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