In case you'd forgotten (don't worry, we did too), the clocks are going forward because of daylight savings. Here's how to cope if you're worried it will affect your baby's bedtime and sleep routine
If you're worried that the clocks going forward tomorrow will affect your baby's sleep routine, find out how to tackle it.
1. Make change gradually
Many parents have found success changing bed time over the course of two weeks, a week, or a weekend, depending on the age and temperament of your little one. 'For young children, it's often easiest to change the bed time in 15 minute increments over a long weekend,' says Dave Gibson, a Naturopath and sleep advisor for Warren Evans bedmakers. 'If there is adjustment, then it won't interfere with waking up for nursery.'
2. Tire them out
'Plan days with heavy activity, particularly physical activity, for the days on which you are putting the bed time earlier,' says Dave. 'Naps will be easier to move back, too, when children are more tired.'
3. Have a bed time wind down
During the transition, at night dim the lights and close the curtains a half-hour or an hour before bedtime to encourage a sense that bed time is coming. 'Be sure that the windows have black-out shades as evenings stay lighter later,' says Dave.
4. Adjust other activities
Over the days you change bed time, be sure to also change bath time, nap time and meal times. 'If the bed time changes are gradual - say, 10 minutes over 6 days - then change the other activities by 10 minutes as well,' says Dave.
5. Practice what you preach
'Be sure to adjust your own schedule in the same way you change your children's,' says Dave. It will make the routine move more easily for everyone.
6. Altering waking time
If you have a child who wakes up early naturally, and you'd like a later morning, move the bedtime back a half hour rather than an hour. 'Many children have internal clocks and won't adjust to a full hour change, but you might get them to sleep an extra 30 minutes,' says Dave.
7. Eat right for sleep
Always be careful with what your child eats close to bed time. 'Milk contains tryptophan which increases the amount of serotonin a natural sedative,' says Dave. 'A banana with milk provides vitamin B6 which helps convert the tryptophan to serotonin. Another fruit to consider is cherries which contain melatonin which the body produces to regulate sleep.' Remember, any disruption to your baby or toddler's body clock tends to be temporary. Most children get back on schedule within three days.
What tips do you have for surviving the clocks changing? Let us know below