Spring is (apparently) on its way. Take a hint snow. How do we know? Well, this weekend the clocks go forward an hour, marking the beginning of British Summer Time. Hello lighter mornings and nights, al-fresco dining, late eve walks (you get the idea). However, when you’ve got kids, adjusting to losing an hour as soon as BST hits can be a bit tricky. Especially with daylight pouring through their windows at 5am making them think it’s time to get up. Yawn. So, to help keep them asleep, and mark the start of this season, we’ve put together some tips to help make the daylight saving switch easier.
Sit back while we enlighten you 🙈
1. Lights out, ALL out
So, we know how it goes. Brighter mornings mean early wake ups, and lighter evenings mean babies and toddlers may not settle. The answer? Create a total blackout. Pick up a range of blinds or curtains that are lined with blackout material. Or, keep it simple with a blackout blind that can be easily put up to block the light. We bought this Koo-di Black Out Blind for our baby’s nursery last year and it’s been a godsend. Constructed from a blackout fabric, it quickly suctions on to fit most windows up to 140cm high x 200cm wide. And it’s great for travel too. Just take it down and pack it away into the integrated and lightweight pouch for sticking up on those hotel windows. Double duty!
2. Mess with the routine
Yep, we went there… but here’s why. It can take adults up to a week to adjust to the new timings, so your baby may not get the hang of BST hours straight away either. However, there are some things you can do to help them get into the new routine. Sleep experts swear by the 15 minute rule. Basically, what this means, is adjusting their sleep pattern by 15 minutes for four days leading up to the time change. For example, if baby goes to sleep at 8pm, put them down at 7:45pm on Thursday, 7:30pm on Friday, 7:15pm on Saturday, and 7pm (8pm new time) on Sunday.
3. Dim down
While blackout blinds are a good way to make sure they aren’t directly disturbed by the light when they’re sleeping, babies can be disturbed by this new brightness even before you get them down for bed. In this First Time Dads Podcast titled, ‘So...everything you think you know about baby sleep is pretty much wrong,’ sleep guru Sarah Ockwell-Smith recommends using red or pink toned bulbs to soothe babies. And it’s not just for their bedroom. If you do bathtime as part of their bedtime routine, go one step further and place one of these bulbs in the bathroom. It means babe can have a relaxing bath before bed.
4. Get sneaky
Got a pre-schooler who’s up, well, when the sun rises? BST isn’t going to be your BFF. Unless, you think smart. Invest in a sleep trainer that tells them when it’s ok to get up. This PurFlo Snoozee Sleep Trainer & Clock is perfect for kids who can’t tell the time. With an easy to understand display that has a moon to show them it's sleep time and a sun when it's time to get up. You can also set it to whatever time you like… we’re thinking 10am isn’t unreasonable right? 😉
5. Tire them out
If you’re gonna try getting them down early on that first day of BST then you’re going to have to make sure they’re ready for their bed. It’s a proven fact that fresh air makes them sleepy. So get them out and about. Just don’t forget those wellies or that pram rain cover if the weather decides to throw a strop. Too cold? There’s a solution for that too. Stimulate and tire out their brains. Read books or play games with a baby, or let your toddler dress up and run around. It’ll all be worth it when they’re asking for bed at the (new) 7pm.
6. Prepare for summer warmth
With British Summer Time on its way, now’s the time to start thinking about lighter baby bedding, whether that’s 1.0 tog sleeping bags or summer toddler duvets. However, given the current weather, you’ll be forgiven for not wanting to rush out and grab these right now. But there’s a way to beat the rush. Pick a sleeping bag that doubles up as a 2.5 and 1 tog. Yes, they do exist. This Mama Designs Babasac Sleeping Bag has inner layers that easily zip out, creating a 2-in-1 multi tog sleeping bag. It means the days of having to buy separate summer and winter bags are over.
So there you have it, a quick guide on some great ideas to help babies and toddlers adjust to the clocks going forward. We’ve also listed some products below that may just help you out.
Remember, it may not happen straight away, but if all else fails, there’s always coffee...lots of coffee. Good luck guys.