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How to help your baby adjust to the clock’s changing

We will loose an hour when the clocks go forward at 1am on Sunday, 31st March and for parents of little ones the start of Daylight Saving Time can disrupt your baby or toddler’s sleep and potentially throw off their entire day’s schedule. But with some preparation (and a little patience!), you can help them adjust. Here are some tips to manage the clock change this spring for babies and toddlers:

  • Gradual Adjustments:
    • Start adjusting your child’s bedtime and wake-up time gradually in the days leading up to the time change. Shift their schedule by 15 minutes later each day until you reach the new time.
  • Use Natural Light:
    • Expose your child to natural light in the morning, as this can help reset their internal body clock. Open the curtains and go outside for some morning sunlight.
  • Stick to a Consistent Routine:
    • Consistency is key for young children. Maintain their regular sleep and nap routines as closely as possible. This will help them feel secure and make the transition smoother.
  • Offer Comfort:
    • Expect your child to be a bit out of sorts during the adjustment period. Offer extra comfort, cuddles, and reassurance as needed.
  • Keep the Bedroom Dark:
    • Make sure the bedroom is dark during your child’s bedtime and naptime. Consider using blackout curtains to block out any extra daylight.
  • Be Patient:
    • It may take a week or more for your child to fully adjust to the time change. Be patient and understanding during this period.
  • Adjust Meal Times:
    • Gradually shift meal times to align with the new schedule. This can help signal to your child’s body that it’s time for various activities.
  • Limit Screen Time:
    • Reduce screen time, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime, as the blue light from screens can disrupt sleep patterns.
  • Stay Active:
    • Engage your child in physical activities during the day, but avoid stimulating activities too close to bedtime.
  • Maintain a Calm Bedtime Routine:
    • Create a calming bedtime routine that includes activities like reading a book, taking a warm bath, or gentle rocking. This will signal to your child that it’s time to wind down and sleep.
  • Offer a Comfort Object:
    • If your child has a favorite stuffed animal or blanket, make sure it’s readily available during the transition period.
  • Go easy on yourself:
    • The clocks changing is a pain and most of us are just trying to wing it and deal with it as it comes! So don’t stress if your child struggles, we’re all trying to do our best and you are a good parent.

Remember that every child is different, and what works for one may not work for another. Be flexible and willing to adjust your approach based on your child’s individual needs. Over time, most babies and toddlers will adapt to the new schedule, and you’ll both settle into a new routine.

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