Just when you thought you had mastered the art of the baby sleeping pattern, British Summer Time has once again crept up on us, and the clocks will be springing forward on Sunday 31st March. Originating way back in 1916, the switch from Daylight Saving Time (DST) to British Summer Time (BST) has long been in effect, yet many people are still caught out by the change.

For those of us with babies and young children, the change in hours can have huge, and often difficult to navigate effects on our routine, with mood and body clock both affected. Because of this, it’s extremely important to make sure that we are considering preparing to alter routine at an early stage, that way we can ensure minimal disruption come the weekend.

When the clocks move forwards, there is a switch in daylight timings, meaning the evenings will be lighter than usual and for a while, the mornings a little darker. For those of us with toddlers and babies, the lighter evenings can play havoc with bedtime routines and you can be sure many of us will have to put up with a strop or argument or two come bed time. Our little ones may well find the lighter evenings confusing, as to them they simply expect that it’s not bedtime. By sticking to their usual routine where possible and preparing your little one for this big switch in slower, smaller increments, you can reduce the negative effects of this all-important clock change.

To help you prepare for the potentially restless weekend ahead, baby and nursery retailer, Kiddies Kingdom, outline their top tips for helping your child adjust their bedtime.

  1. Make the change gradual

Rather than expecting your child to stay up a whole hour later on Saturday, in the hope that their routine will simply switch back an hour, start the process around 4-6 days before. By putting your baby to bed 10-15 minutes earlier than their usual bedtime, and increasing by an extra 10 minutes each day, eventually your little one will be hitting their slumber an hour earlier than usual. This means that come Sunday, there shouldn’t be too many issues.

  1. Keep the light out

It goes without saying but darkness and sleep go hand in hand. Sunlight is a natural sleep-stirrer, and with the clock change comes an earlier sunrise. By ensuring that your little one’s room is appropriately blacked out, they’re more likely to wake up at a suitable hour.

  1. Stick to normal daily routine

All children are fans of routine, as routine supports a sense of security. By sticking to your child’s everyday routine, they are more likely to feel like little has changed. It’s important to schedule in time to wind down throughout the week leading up to the clock change, and baths and stories can be utilised to signal bedtime is on the horizon, even if this is a little earlier than usual.

  1. Schedule nap times

It’s well known that overtired babies actually find it more difficult to get to sleep, due to the urgency in which sleep quickly becomes required. By planning appropriate nap times in the lead up to the clock change, you can ensure that your little one isn’t too tired, and fussiness should be at a minimum. This could well mean that you need to be prepared for nap time whilst on the move, so it’s important to have the necessary travel equipment. Investing in one of the quality car seats for sale from Kiddies Kingdom will prepare you for all eventualities.

  1. Don’t worry!

Understanding and expecting your child’s routine and sleeping pattern to be affected throughout this period is important, but it’s nothing that a few days won’t settle. Don’t get too caught up in worrying about how the change in timings will affect your baby, as little ones are well known for being able to sense when you are tense or concerned.  

So, there you have it! Some useful tips and tricks to hopefully help your little one settle in preparation for the clock change this Sunday, 31st March. Let us know if you give these a try, and hopefully the early start isn’t too trying!