HOW TO KEEP YOUR BABY'S ROUTINE WHEN THE CLOCKS CHANGE
Do British Summertime like a boss...
So here we are in March and Mother’s Day is fast approaching, writes Heidi Skudder. One gift new mothers do not want to get this year is an extra early wake-up call, which is a possibility because this Sunday is the day that British Summertime begins, and the clocks go forward. This is always the preferred clock change, as the clocks going back and early morning wakings in the winter can be depressing, nevertheless you may still find your routine suffers a little but there are various things you can do to help with this...
1. Prepare your child early
Slowly move their routine backwards by small increments over a number of days. For example, during the week days leading up to the clock change, move bedtime and nap times backwards by 10/15 minutes each day or two, so that come Sunday, 26 March, you only have 10/15 minutes to catch up on. As an example, if your baby goes to bed at 7pm, Put her down at 6.50pm on the Monday, 6.40pm on the Wednesday and so on, until she is going down at nearly 6pm by the time British Summer time arrives (which would then be 7pm come the Sunday).
2. Don’t forget nap times too
These will also need to be moved as with the bedtimes, by small increments over a period of days. This might mean initially your child goes down a little less tired than usual, but 10/15 minutes shouldn’t cause too much of an issue on the first nap, and then everything else falls into place after that.
3. The timings of meals/feeds are important
These are also best changed to meet your routine, so pushing these times back slowly too will help your child’s internal clock sync to deal with the changes.
4. Black out the room
Remember a blackened out room will help with early morning waking. If your baby was an autumn or winter baby, they will not be used to the light at 5am. Use a stick-on black-out blind to help if you have issues with early morning wakings once the clock change occurs. My favourite is the Gro Anywhere Sticky Black Out Blind.
5. Keep the evening routine
Make sure you have an evening routine in place, as bath time and bedtime are more likely to take place now in the daylight. This might confuse your baby, so doing your bedtime/bathtime routine in rooms with curtains closed will help them have a sense of bedtime approaching. Melatonin is the hormone responsible for making a baby sleepy, and it’s released when a baby is in a darkened room.
:: Heidi Skudder runs the baby sleep consultancy the Parent and Baby Coach. She is also one of our parenting experts in the Parenting Brain, so if you have a question about baby sleep, head over there and ask!