On Sunday 31st March in the UK, Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) will become British Summer Time (BST). The clocks will go forward by an hour at 1am, meaning we lose an hour… cue comment about the cheek of this being on Mother’s Day…
This has drawbacks and potentially some bonuses for parents out there. You lose an hour of sleep but if your child is an early riser, they could end up waking an hour later and the habit might just stick. *To make it simple, could your child manage to go to bed earlier?* YES - then bring the bedtime forward on the Saturday night (see below options)
NO - then they might sleep an hour later on Sunday morning, and you would have to judge when to put them down for their naps etc. and keep their bedtime as normal going forward.
To put them down for bed earlier…
OPTION 1 – Cold turkey
Bring the bedtime an hour forward on Saturday evening, so if your child normally hits the sack around 7pm then bring that forward to 6pm. So give an earlier evening meal, bath etc. and in bed an hour earlier. Most children won’t know the difference if you do the same things in the same order.
This option might be better for children who are struggling with their sleep generally, waking up at night, rising early, as they will be overtired generally and a super early night will do no harm. Bedtime should be flexible anyway, bearing in mind how they slept the night before, what time they woke that morning and how much daytime sleep they got.
OPTION 2 – Gradually
Better for children who sleep well and through the night. Try an earlier bedtime of 15 minutes per evening, starting from Wednesday night, so by Saturday night bedtime is an hour earlier than usual.
You could also bring bedtime 30 minutes earlier on Friday night and then an hour earlier on Saturday night.
This stuff can be very hard to get your head around, so please PM me with any questions. Always bear in mind that these little humans can be unpredictable, and it can take around a week for children’s body clocks to adjust.
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