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  • catherinejforrester

Clock changes and baby's sleep

Reminder: the clocks go back on the 31st October!

Until you had a baby, the Autumn clock change was the good one: a whole extra hour in bed in the morning! For free! I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but for your baby, it just means waking up at the time they're used to, which is now, according to the clock, an hour earlier. Bummer.

Here's how you can prepare if you want to avoid the dreaded early start: if your baby has a predictable schedule, start nudging it forward now by 5-10 minutes every few days, until by the time the clocks change everything is happening an hour later. On clock change day, their regular schedule will, in theory, re-emerge as if by magic. This does rely on your schedule having the flexibility for an hour's later start in the week before clock change, so might not be ideal if baby is in childcare and already gets up close to the time you need to leave the house.

If your baby is not one of the unicorn predictable types, then think about just nudging things (nap timings, bedtime) gently later in general. This will take the edge off the earlier start when it comes, and from there you can continue gently nudging things later until you're back to a rhythm that suits you both.

Or (and this is always a very real possibility) you can just wing it and see how it goes. Babe is likely to wake up earlier than usual, but you can nudge things later from there over the following weeks.

If you don't make any changes before clock change time, know that if baby wakes earlier they will also be ready for naps and bedtime at an earlier time so respect that, adjust timings accordingly, and make the changes gradual.

Whenever you're thinking about making changes to sleep timings in general, always go gradually. Change things 15 minutes at a time, and give their body clocks a few days to adjust before changing again if you need to.

Good luck, my loves. If it's tough, just look forward to the lie-in that the Spring change will bring!

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