With nationwide lockdown, working from home and educating the kids, the springtime clock change on Sunday 29 March is literally the last thing parents need right now. Ok, yes, we're loving the lighter evenings and the kids being able to play in the garden again but that hour time change can really interfere with up the sleep routines of little people, not to mention us tired parents losing an hour in bed. Thankfully, we've got some super helpful tips from celebrity sleep and parenting consultant ‘The Parent and Baby Coach’, Heidi Skudder, to make the process that bit easier. Heidi has worked with former Made in Chelsea star Binky Felstead and her daughter India, so we're in good hands. Read her tips here…
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Prepare your child in advance
"Slowly move their routine backwards by small increments over a number of days," suggests Heidi. "For example, starting on say, the Thursday before the clock change, move bedtime and naps backwards by around 10/15 minutes so then you only have 10/15 minutes to catch up on. So if your little one usually goes to bed at 7pm, put her down at 6:50pm on the Thursday, 6:40pm on the Friday, 6:30 pm etc until she is going down at nearly 6pm by the time British Summer Time arrives (which would then be 7pm on the Sunday)."
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Don’t forget nap times
"Naps will also need to be slowly moved, like with bedtime in small increments over a period of days. This means your child might be slightly less tired than usual but 10/15 minutes shouldn’t cause too much of an issue and everything else falls in place after."
Binky Felstead with her daughter India
Meal and feed timings are important too
Heidi recommends thinking about meal times in the same way as nap and sleep times. She says: "Pushing these times back slowly will help your child’s internal body clock sync to deal with the changes."
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"A black-out room will help with any early morning waking. It can be confusing for babies and toddlers to understand it’s still night time if it is light outside. You can get all sorts of blackout blinds - the ‘Gro Anywhere Sticky Black Out Blind’ is very effective, portable and easy to adjust the sizes."
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Keep a consistent bedtime routine
"Make sure you have an evening routine in place as bath and bedtime are now more likely to happen in the daylight. The new lighter evening might confuse your baby so doing your usual routine with curtains drawn will help them have a sense of bedtime approaching. Melatonin is the hormone responsible for making baby sleepy and darkness helps its production. By making a few tweaks in the run-up to Sunday 29th March you should manage any time changes for your little one and their routine and consequently your sleep, shouldn’t be too disturbed."
The Parent and Baby Coach, Heidi Skudder
Visit theparentandbabycoach.com for online versions of Heidi’s Baby Sleep & Routine course, Toddler Sleep Course and Managing Toddler Behaviour, priced £48.