Every parents nightmare clock changes! It can cause havoc on babies and toddlers sleep routines!
Fall back and gain an extra hour!
When the clocks fall back it means we gain an extra hour of sleep, except babies don't quite understand this!
It normally means baby is likely to wake up on time, meaning the usual 7 a.m. (if you're lucky) is now 6 a.m., ouch!
But don't panic you can avoid problems - try putting your little one to bed 10 minutes later each night; it may take up to six nights for them to adjust to this change, but with patience and persistence it will happen.
Where as in the summertime you find you may need black out blinds or heavy curtains in their room to block out the light mornings and evenings, you will now find winter times are on your side. You often find little ones sleep better during the winter months because of the dark mornings and the earlier dark evenings.
For older children, if you are not already using one, a sleep clock is a fantastic product and really helps them to know when it's ok to get out of bed. With a sleep clock all you have to do is simply change the clock's wake up time and your toddler will start to to adjust to the time change.
How does a sleep clock work?
It's simple; they have to stay in their bed until they see the sunshine on the clock face. When they see the stars it means sleep time.
Parents have to be consistent with their toddlers and reinforce that they need to stay in bed until the sunshine appears on the face of the clock and when they see the stars they have to stay in their beds. Also the stars countdown during the night, so if they are old enough they can count how many more stars till the sunshine arrives!
Many parents find the Gro-clock is a great success with older children. Your child may not be able to read a clock yet, but they can understand visual prompts or you may want to chose an alarm clock so they can only get out of bed when they hear the alarm go off.
There are many toddler clocks on the market, the Sleeping Bunny becomes the Running Bunny when it's time to get up! - choose which ever suits your situation best.
You need to give enough preparation time: explain to your child what you expect; then be consistent with your toddler or child. Carefully and gently reminding them every day, as you need to be patient and consistent. Most toddlers very quickly get the idea.
If you are finding your child is waking up to too early in the morning and you want them to wake up an hour later then you need to gradually re-set the clock 15 mins later each day. Don't expect too much in too little time or you will loose the effect.
Don't forget lots of praise when your toddler stays in their bed, sticker reward charts can work well for an older child.
You may find your baby is unsettled for a week or so after the clock changes; this is quite normal, but they will settle down into the new time zone, you just need to be consistent with their bedtime routine and you will soon have a happy sleeper once again!