Fall Back – Prepare your baby/child for the clock change

Are you freaking out about the clocks going backwards this weekend?  

The end of British Summer Time (BST) is often thought of as a gift, because when the clocks go back, it gives us an extra hour in bed.

The bad news is of course that for many of you, this autumn time transition won’t be very welcome, as your baby will wake at the usual time and you will miss out on the extra hour.

Your baby who was once waking at 6am, will now be waking at 5am!  Great!!

So how will “Daylight Saving Time” affect you and your baby/child’s sleep schedule?

The small time change of 1 hour may take a few days to work though as it can affect your baby’s circadian rhythms (physical, mental and behavioural changes that follow a 24 hour cycle), setting them off track and throwing out their body clock.

For those children, i always think that it is best to be prepared!


Below are my top tips on how to transition:-


Babies/Child who sleeps in the daytime – The Quick Approach

• Begin with the first nap, by putting them down 15 mins late. 

• Make feeds/lunch forward and all other activities later by 15 mins

• Second nap by another 15 mins.  (you are now 30 mins late).

• Take them out for some fresh air and exercise to keep them awake if necessary.

• Late afternoon feeds/meals are now 30 mins later than normal.

• Begin the bedtime routine 30 minutes late.

• Put them to bed 30 mins later.

Depending on what time your child wakes up, you may or may not need to carry on with the schedule.

If they wake up and start their day at the new time automatically, then you are sorted and can carry on with your normal routine.

If there is still some adjustments to make, then beginning 30 mins later than normal, repeat the schedule by adjusting the two naps for 15 mins each.

Take them out for some fresh air and exercise the following day and put them to bed at the new time (you have now brought their sleep backwards by 1 hour).


Children who don’t sleep in the daytime – The slow approach

Spread the change in sleep times over 4 or more days by starting the bedtime routine later by 15 minutes each day.

All screens including the tv needs to be switched off at least one hour before the bedtime routine begins.


Children who don’t seem affected by change – The No Hassle approach

If your child is not overly sleep sensitive, they may slip into the new times with no issues whatsoever.

In this case you can just go straight into the “Cold Turkey” approach and put your child to bed one hour later than they went the day before.  You could do this on Saturday or Sunday night.


Any approach you take should be done calmly and without overly worrying. Whatever you do, be consistent and relaxed in order to transition your child through this “Daylight Savings” clock change with no fuss.


If you would like any guidance with your baby’s/child sleep habits, please feel free to get in touch for a sleep consultation. https://www.birthability.co.uk/sleep-consultation/

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