The clocks will be going back on Sunday 25th October this year, which is something many adults look forward to but when you have a toddler, it can mean they will wake you up an hour earlier than normal. The change certainly has the potential to throw your toddler’s routine off course so here are our top tips for making the transition smoother.
Adjust their bedtime gradually: Move their bedtime back for ten minutes each night in the run up so that when the extra hour kicks in, it won’t feel like a huge adjustment. If you do everything as you normally would- like bath time, reading and snuggles, they won’t know the difference.
Make sure their curtains are drawn the night before: And their room is dark. The clocks going back generally means lighter, brighter mornings, so if it’s a nice day, a dark room will stop them from rousing too early.
Put back their meal times too: Delay each of their meals by ten minutes each day in the run up to help them keep to their existing routine once the clocks change. Parents know all too well that little bellies have their own alarm clock so suddenly moving their mealtimes back a whole hour will feel like an age to them and they will have no problem in telling you so. Small, regular shifts in time are likely to pass them by.
Keep them warm: As we are at the beginning of autumn, the colder weather can cause disrupted sleep patterns and you don’t need another reason for a potentially bad night. So, it’s a good idea to put your toddler in their warm PJs (ones with long arms and legs) and put their capped sleeve and short sets away for next year. You can also invest in winter sleeping bags that are specifically designed for toddlers if your little one tends to kick off their duvet. This is less of a concern in the summer months but an age appropriate sleeping bag will ensure that your little one’s toes are kept snuggy all night long.
Keep them in their bed for ten minutes longer each day in the run up: This is easy when they are still in a cotbed, you can leave them to have some extra time to pull around. However if you have moved them to a toddler bed, they will likely get up and out an hour before you want them too. In which case, get them to snuggle in bed with you for an extra ten minutes in the morning and build it up. They are unlikely to go back to sleep however it will signal to them that it’s not time to get up just yet.
Read them a sleepy book: If by the time you come to put your child down on Saturday night and they are still full of beans, a sleepy book might help to relax them. There are many books out there for toddlers on the topic of going to sleep, so if you don’t have one there is still time to order one. Bundle them up and read this in your softest voice to help them to get in the mood for some shut eye.
Let them naturally adjust: You could keep everything the same as you normally do and simply accept the fact you will have early mornings for a few days after. If you lose out, simply go to bed an hour sooner than you normally would to make up for the earlier starts. Their bodies will eventually adjust just as yours will, it all depends if you want to put in the work before or after the big day.
Best of luck to all the parents of toddlers for when the clocks go back!
If you slept through an alarm in your waking life, which led you to miss out on something important like an exam or an interview, consider why your dream is reminding you of this… to read more click HERE