So this weekend is the dreaded end of daylight savings for another year! I always find this a disappointing time of year because it signals the end of the lovely summer weather and the start of the winter darkness. There is the added bonus that we do get an extra hour of our weekends though!
As well as the end of the glorious long summer days, the end of daylight savings brings some other challenges too, changing sleep patterns for little ones.
We all know that any knocks in a sleep routine can mean trouble, especially in babies and young toddlers. Older children tend to cope slightly better, but it can still be rough for a couple of days. It is vital that children get a decent amount of sleep so they have the energy to tackle the following day without getting cranky or overtired. And in my experience, cranky and overtired children generally result in cranky Mummy’s and Daddy’s too!
The end of daylight savings is not as difficult to adjust to as the start of daylight savings of course. The nights will get darker and colder, making it more attractive to get into a warm snuggly bed for a story and a sleep. But it will get lighter earlier in the mornings which might mean your little ones will be keen to get out of bed earlier than normal. They may not be losing precious sleep time at the start of their night’s sleep, but they might lose it at the end when the sun comes up earlier than they are used to.
But not all is lost Mamas, you just need a plan to combat this change!
Here are a few of our tips to surviving the end of daylight savings relatively unscathed!
As it will start getting darker earlier, children may not be used to going to sleep in the pitch black. A nightlight can ease this problem by providing gentle lighting, just enough to let them make out all the different things in their room.
Blackout curtains or blinds
These block out the morning light so that your little ones don’t realise that the sun is getting up earlier! They will block out the light allowing the kiddies to sleep longer.
Toddler Wake Up clocks
These are great for older children as it helps them to know when it is alright for them to get up. The GroClock from The Sleepstore is a great example of a Toddler Alarm Clock…
It has a cute star image when it is night time that changes to an image of a sun when it is time to get up.
You do not need to spend large amounts of money on a fancy clock product if it’s just not in the budget. It is very simple to make your own version of a wake up clock, all you need is a couple of Sharpie markers and a standard clock like this awesome one from Poole Mama...
Red: Don’t get up yet
Yellow: Play quietly in your room
Green: Safe to get up
Like in this example, if appropriate you can have a certain time when they are allowed to get up and play quietly in their room so that they don’t wake other members of the family too.
Take Some Time to Adjust the Sleep Routine
This is probably the most important thing that you need to do to prepare for Daylight Savings, all the other items are nice to have, but not necessary. If you would like to have a relatively seamless transition then you will need to take a few days to adjust your little one’s sleeping routine.
The best way to do this, is to gradually shift your child’s bedtime in the week leading up to daylight savings. Here is your plan for the week (assuming usual bedtime of 7pm and usual wake time of 7am)…
Delay your bedtime and wake up routines by 15 minutes every couple of days.
Monday and Tuesday: Bedtime would be at 7:15pm and the first morning feed/wake up time would be at 7:15am instead of the usual 7am.
Wednesday and Thursday: Bedtime would be at 7:30pm and the first morning feed/wake up time would be at 7:30am.
Friday and Saturday: Bedtime would be at 7:45pm and the first morning feed/wake up time at 7:45am.
Sunday: Bedtime will be back to 7pm on this day as the clocks have now changed.
If your little one is not able to delay their first morning feed then do not force it, simply try to adjust the remaining feeds in the day by 15 minutes.
Did you find these tips worked for you? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook or Instagram pages.
Gemma is a kiwi Mum of one and is the Editor for The Baby View. She also works with preschool children, loves cooking, loves sunshine, loves chocolate and loses countless hours at a time looking at cute baby pictures on Instagram!