Yup, we’ve nearly hit that time again. The clocks are going back. Hello darker, colder evenings. As parents, this time of year makes us feel a bit, well nervous. Because let’s be honest, their bedtime antics are already fragile enough. So we thought we’d share our two cents on how to keep the routine intact and just generally avoid any bedtime chaos. Because let’s face it, no-one likes being up at the crack of dawn.
Here’s some tried and tested tips to help you out.
Ruin the routine
Yep, we said it. But, wait, there’s a good reason behind it. Starting your kids bedtime 15 minutes later a few days before the big clock changing event means you're easing them into a new bed and wake time. So for example, if baby goes to sleep at 8pm, put them down at 8.15 pm on Thursday, 8:30pm on Friday, 8:45 pm on Saturday. This means that at 7pm (new time) on Sunday, they should just, well go down. And, wake at their old time in the morning.
Avoid hangry kids
Here’s one if you have a toddler (guilty). If you’re planning to change up their sleeping routine, don’t forget to move around the rest of it too. That means moving their mealtimes forward in 15 minute intervals too. It means you’ll avoid the hanger first thing in the morning and they won’t be too full up at bedtime.
I will leave the light on
Invest in a nightlight that can be taken to bed. These cool pieces of kit don’t get warm so are safe for all night comfort. We love these Olala Boutique Nightlights which come in a set of three. Number one in the Independent’s pick of the 15 best nightlights, we also think they’re great. If one gets chucked over the cot there means there's still two to give kids light. My 2 year old also spends at least half an hour pretend playing with them in the morning. It means I get extra time in bed, even though I can hear her stories through the baby monitor! 🤣
Black it out
It may be easier getting them down in the darker eves, but lighter mornings may mean kids are confused into thinking it’s much later than it is. Help your sanity by investing in a blackout blind, which will, well, hopefully trick them thinking it’s still nighttime. 🙏
If kids are older then you may want to go down the educational route. A sleep trainer is a great idea here. The Zazu Sam the Sheep Sleep Trainer is in the shape of a sheep and helps kids know when it's time to wake up by opening his eyes and glowing green. Eyes closed and glowing blue means it's still night time. There's also a clock and alarm to help older kids wake up - like they’ll ever need that!
Colder nights mean they may need more layers. But when it comes to this, we take the advice from the Lullaby Trust. It advises that a room temperature of 16-20°C – with light bedding or a lightweight, well-fitting baby sleeping bag– is comfortable and safe for sleeping babies. If you’re using a blanket, make sure it’s tucked down at the foot of the mattress. And don’t forget those winter pyjamas.
Leave it be
Not a fan of changing it up? No worries! Sleep experts claim that your kid will eventually settle their own body clocks into the new routine. It may take up to a week, but they’ll get there. Until then, get the coffee on…
So there we have it, just a few tips to give you a hand. And you’ll find some handy products below. Goodnight and goodluck.