Yup, it's that time again. The clocks are going back. Hello darker, colder-seeming evenings. As parents, this time of year makes us a bit, well nervous. Because, let’s be honest, their bedtime routines are fragile enough. So we thought we’d share our two cents on how to keep tempers intact and avoid bedtime chaos.
Ruin the routine
Yep, we said it. But, wait, there’s a good reason behind it. Starting 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
Darker nights mean more cries of ‘I’m scared of the dark.’ So stop them in their tracks with a nightlight. Pick a fun and friendly table lamp or make more of a feature with cool wall and string lights.
Invest in a nightlight that can be taken to bed. We stock loads of options that don’t get warm, so they're safe for all night comfort. We love these Liewood Nightlights which feature in the Independent’s pick of the best out there. My 2-year-old also spends at least half an hour pretend playing with her Jabadabado Elephant Nightlight 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. Save 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. PurFlo's Snoozee Sleep Trainer & Clock has a moon to show them it's sleep time and a sun when it's time to get up. 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. This article from the SleepAdvisor site also has some helpful guidance. Last of all, don’t forget those winter pyjamas.
So there we have it, just a few tips to give you a hand. Goodnight - and good luck!