The clocks go forward on Sunday 27th March 2011, which means more daylight for us at the end of the day. But if you have little ones remember that they can’t just glance at the clock and make a mental note of the time. Their internal clocks will tell them when they’re ready for sleep and this just might mess up a good nap and sleep time routine that you’ve been working hard to establish!
Fear not though because a little planning now should mean everything goes smoothly. Between now and Sunday 27th, start to put your baby to bed a little earlier each night. So if your baby normally goes to bed at 7:30pm, move bedtime forward to 7:25 tonight, 7:20 tomorrow night, 7:15 on Saturday night and so on. After the clocks go forward, you can continue to move bedtime forward in 5 minute increments each night until you reach the perfect bedtime for your family and your baby.
Do the same thing at nap times and your baby’s wake times should automatically adjust themselves. If they don’t, then you may need to wake your baby a little earlier in the morning and at the end of each nap to help her adjust her sleep schedule. The clocks going forward is often a good time to fix any issues you may have with your baby waking too early. If you have a baby who goes to bed at 7pm and wakes at 6am, you may be happy with an 8pm bedtime in return for a 7am start! Alternatively, you could bring bedtime forward a little so that your baby is going to bed at 7:30pm and waking at 6:30am. The important thing to bear in mind is that babies have no idea the clocks have changed.
Babies need their body clocks adjusted and it’s much better to do this over a few days than all at once or your baby’s sleep could get in a bit of a muddle. Also keep in mind that you will be putting your baby to bed when it’s as bright as day outside and she will soon be waking up with the sun shining into her bedroom at 5am. To make things easier for you both, you may find nursery blackout blinds help.