Fall Back! The Clocks Are Changing, Will We Ever Sleep Again??!
It’s that time of year again, it already seems darker in the evenings and it’s definitely feeling a bit colder. It’s time to change the clocks and in the autumn they go back an hour. In your pre-baby life this was probably a favourite weekend – an extra hour in bed!
Unfortunately babies aren’t really all that great at appreciating a lie in and a lazy morning. Chances are they are going to sleep for their normal time and wake up as usual. If you already have a bit of an early riser this means a very early start as 6am becomes 5am and (whispering) 5.30am becomes 4.30am. Not a time any of us choose to be up for the day.
So what can you do to prepare?
Firstly don’t panic. If you are already feeling stressed about your baby’s sleep because they don’t really have a routine and they wake pretty frequently (all normal!) then you might not actually have too much of a problem adjusting to the clocks changing.
If you have found a really good routine that is working for you and your baby tends to be keeping to times for feeds and sleep it might be quite worrying to have that all disrupted. Still don’t panic it might take a few days to reset but you will get there.
There are a few different options you might take.
Just go with it. Just change the clocks and try and adjust the day to suit the new times, you will probably be adjusting your day so just let theirs flow with yours. If your baby needs feeding you need to go with it and not delay too much. Try and do your bedtime at the ‘new’ time although if they are showing all the signs of tiredness you might need to do it a little earlier.
If your routine is good you might not feel going with the flow is a good choice! You can try and gradually shift their timings over a few days, starting before the clocks change try and bring everything forward by 10-15 minutes so that when you hit Sunday morning you are all adjusted and ready. You need to try and move feeds, naps and bedtime a little bit at a time.
How about a later bedtime? Maybe you can just put your little one to bed a bit later on Saturday night. This might work, or you might find they wake up at their usual time. You’ll only know if you try! If you are up at the usual time, find your 'roll with it mode' and see how it goes.
Or, stealing from Sarah Lewis who was also Daisy teacher, don’t change your clocks! Of course you need to change them at some point but if waking up and seeing far too small a number on your clock is terrifying you, don’t change them. Wait. Go about your day and when you reach at point where you wish you had got more done – change the clock. 11am becomes 10am. Much less scary than 5.30 becoming 4.30.
Whatever you decide to do the chances are any disruption will only last a few days and you will back on track – or at least back to where you were!
Make sure you are sticking to all the things that contribute to good sleep hygiene.
Keep baby’s room dark at night time, don’t let the lighter mornings disrupt things.
Stick to a loose rhythm of feed and sleep in your day. Routines work for some but not everyone. If you and your baby don’t work well with strict timings you will still probably find there is some consistency in sleep/feed/awake intervals.
Get out and about. Fresh air and daylight is great for resetting your body clock.
Stick with your bedtime routine. A calming, safe wind down at the end of the day gives your baby the cues that it is time to sleep.
And above all don’t overthink it. It might cause a bit of disruption for a short time but as you naturally adjust your day with mealtimes, bedtime and wake up time, your baby will flow into their new timings too.
Do you have some top tips to share? Let us know!