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Did you know?
Every year, at the end of October, the clocks are turned back by 1 hour. This means that sunrise and sunset will be about 1 hour earlier. Lets not forget, the most amazing thing about this…a whole extra hour in bed! Amazing right?
Wrong! This also means that there will be more light in the morning, and a cue for your little darlings to get up earlier than usual. So if they usually get up at 6am, now it will be 5am…not a good start to the morning.
Here are some tips that will help make the transition smoother, for both you and your babies sleep.
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Tip 1- Delaying bedtime
The idea is to start this process a few weeks before the clocks change. If your baby goes to sleep at 7pm, you delay the start of your babies bedtime routine by 15 minutes than usual, every few days. So, their body clock adjusts to an 8pm bedtime.
This way, when the clocks go back, they will automatically be ready for a 7pm bedtime. If your baby has naps in the day, then you will need to adjust the timings in the same way, along with their meal and milk times.
Tip 2- Have the right sleep environment
This one has been a game-changer for my two children. I strongly believe that a dark room that is quiet and at the right temperature helps them sleep well.
For me, having the easy blackout blind kit, still works perfectly at blocking out light. It’s really easy to fit (put the tape on the plastic frame of your window and stick on the blind fabric). They are super versatile; you can quickly pop up the fabric at night and pull it away in the day. I already have fabric curtains in place, which provides an additional layer for complete darkness-perfect in the summer.I would not use this blind for travelling as it is difficult to remove the Velcro tape. For travelling, I use the Gro Anywhere portable blackout blind. The perfect temporary solution as it folds up easily and is super easy to use (basically suction cups that stick to the window).
Tip 3- Regular sleep-wake up times
I have always strived to achieve a 7pm-7am sleep-wake schedule, with a little flexibility over the weekends. This makes it easier to manage the clock changes.
I love the Groclock, as I can set the wake up time and it allows my daughter to learn to do this on her own. I found that 2.5 years was the ideal time to introduce it, as she understood the concept.
Tip 4- Wind down time
I always encourage my children to do something relaxing in the half hour before we go upstairs for bedtime. Usually, I like to read them both a story. I really like the Read it yourself books. A fantastic price for so many books and they are levelled, so encouraging your children to read independently, as they get progressively more challenging.
It’s a mix of stories, from classic fairytales to modern characters, like Peppa Pig.
Tip 5- Have a consistent bedtime routine
I feel that this is the single most important aspect of making bedtime less of a battle. Children strive on consistency, they feel secure when they know what is coming. I have always carried out the same series of steps every night, about 30 minutes before bed time:
- Dim the lights- This helps with the production of melatonin- the all important sleep hormone.
- Change in to pyjamas’, whilst having milk.
- Brush teeth (once teeth come).
- Read one story.
- Say goodnight to the sun and turn the Groclock to night time mode.
- Goodnight kiss and cuddle, then leave the room.
- Both asleep within 15 minutes.
All of the above, are done in a quiet, relaxed manner to signal that it is bedtime.
Tip 6- Praise
Reinforcing positive sleep behaviours works brilliantly with my daughter.
I have a sticker chart in her bedroom, and every morning she puts on a sticker when she sleeps the whole night and wakes once the sun wakes up on the Groclock. Once she gets 7 stickers in a row, she gets a treat of some form.
Now it’s your turn- tell me your experiences and what worked for you.