Helping your children adjust when the clocks change


One hour. That’s all we lose when the clocks change but as us parents know, any disruption to your child’s bedtime routine can have a big impact on sleep for the whole family.

We invited mum of two Karen Langridge from Missing Sleep to share her experience of how the clocks changing has affected her kids and give you some handy tips to keep your kids sleeping soundly.

Followed by the lovely Mandy Gurney's essential guide to a good bedtime routine.

Karen - Missing Sleep

If I am honest I always dreaded this time of year with the boys, it used to cause havoc with their sleeping patterns. It’s surprising how one little hour can get them completely out of sync and cause so much chaos to sleeping patterns!

When they were smaller the change was more noticeable now they are six and seven it is easier to manage thankfully.  I think this is because there is generally more flexibility to their bedtime routine that was pretty rigid before.  Nowadays bedtime does alter depending on the time playdates, parties and other special occasions finish, whereas when they were tiny bedtime was 7pm (or earlier) without fail.

Back then I found we did adjust eventually but gradually over a few days, I would put

them to bed a bit earlier and then try and recoup the lost hour over time.  The only thing with small children is it never quite goes to plan!  Naturally with a blog called Missing Sleep you can imagine my main issue was lack of sleep.  But through trial and error you can find a happy medium and learn to cope with the clocks changing.

I try and get them as active as possible if I want them to have an earlier bedtime.  We tend to head outdoors in the fresh air, running around or going on a long walk, daylight really helps body clocks adjust.

Limit screen time as that can make it harder for your children to go to sleep.  Use black out blinds if it’s still bright so they get the correct prompt that it is time to nod off.  We also invested in a clock for their room so they knew what time it was, it also had images of sunshine then moonlight and back again so they could easily tell (from even a very young age) when it was time to wake up.

Stick with a relaxing bedtime routine; a bath and, depending on the age of your child, a baby massage can work wonders. You want to give all the right cues that sleep is on its way especially if you are adjusting the time you would normally put them to bed.

Prepare yourself for a tough few days, your child might be overtired and grumpy, get to bed earlier yourself so if they do get up at the crack of dawn you’re in a better frame of mind to cope.  But remember although it seems these tiring times of coping on little sleep last forever, they do pass, hang in there, I promise there is light on the other side!

Mandy’s guide on routine has proved over and over an essential recipe for a good nights sleep for you and for your toddler.

Let us know what tricks and advice you have for helping your child to settle into a sleep routine after the clocks change? You can share your thoughts with us on either Facebook or Twitter