How to help your baby adapt to the clocks going back

It’s only an hour’s time change (and for many, a blissful lie-in) but for those with babies, the clocks going back can be quite a challenge.

Your baby won’t know the clocks have changed, so he’ll probably wake at his usual time, which (if he’s sleeping through the night) will be around 6am on the new timing.

READ MORE: Alison’s amazing baby sleep advice articles 

My advice is to leave your baby in bed for as long as you can in the morning and get him up as close to the “new” time as possible.

By leaving him in bed – even though it’s likely he’s awake – and not getting him up until close to 7am on the new time and carrying on with your normal daily schedule, his body clock, within a matter of days will have adjusted itself and accept the new time fairly easily.

Some people advise to try and adjust to the hour change by altering bedtime and putting baby to bed either earlier or later depending on which way the hour is changing, but I have generally found it much more effective to adopt to the new time by using the start of the day as above rather than bedtime.

Of course if your baby at three months or older, is not yet sleeping through night then I would advise the use of the reassurance sleep training technique as detailed in my book The Sensational Baby Sleep Plan.

When a baby is properly sleeping through the night it’s much easier to alter his body clock whether it be to accommodate the hour change or due to time zone travel, by extending or shortening either his 12 hour day or his 12 hour night.

His system is naturally programmed to understand that night time is for sleeping and daytime is for feeding and it therefore makes it a much easier process to adapt to time changes.

For babies still having night time feeds and are under three months it’s quite easy to adapt to the change and just ‘soak up’ the extra hour within the first day by switching to the new timing and resetting your daily schedule accordingly.

Happy sleeping!

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