Coping with the change in the clocks and your baby’s routine

Sleep consultant Karen Bramall from gives her advice on dealing with the clock change

My recommendation to all parents is that they just leave their clocks alone so it’s not a psychologically upsetting event to see your little one up an hour earlier. Just get up at your usual time and start the day. After a cup of coffee and a bit of breakfast, then you can go around changing the clocks. It will feel much better this way, trust me!

Then if, for example, your little one usually takes a morning nap round 9:30am, you will adjust this to 9:00am for the 3 days after the time change (this will feel like 10.00am to your child). It will be a bit of a push for your child, but not so much that it will cause much damage to her schedule. Do the same for the afternoon nap.

Let’s say your child usually goes to bed at 7:00pm, I recommend putting them to bed at 6:30pm for the first 3 days following the time change. (This will FEEL like 7:30pm to your child.) On the fourth night, just get in line with the new time so that your baby is back to going to bed when the clock says 7:00pm, and adjust naps to the correct time on day 4 as well. It will take your baby about a week to get used to this change.

If you have children over the age of two you can use a sleep training clock, one of my favourite tools as anyone who has worked with me will know. I would just set the clock forward half an hour so that at 6:30, it reads 7:00 and I would let them get up a little earlier than normal, knowing that by the end of the week, they would be back on track and sleep until their normal wake up time.

If you are dealing with a baby, you cannot do that. Do not rush in as soon as you hear your baby waking up, because you do not want to send a message that getting up at 6:00am is okay now. So if she normally wakes at 7:00am, but is now up at 6:00am, you will wait till ten after on the first day, and then twenty after the next, then 6:30am the next day and, by the end of the week, your baby’s schedule should be adjusted to the new time and waking up at their usual hour.

Give it time and they will eventually get back on schedule within a week, possibly two.