‘What time should I put my child down to sleep in the evening?’
‘What will happen with naps?’
We know it’s going to happen yet for some parents it can cause mild panic at the thought of the disruption to their child’s sleep patterns. First of all, try not to panic!
A few different approaches to the impending hour change…
Starting this Tuesday, 25 October, put your child to bed 15 minutes later than normal at bedtime, shifting nap times 15 minutes later too. Keep moving bedtime and nap times 15 minutes later every few days until you get to the hour later. This will help them adapt gradually to the hour change.
Move bedtime half an hour later for a few nights before the hour change and after the hour change, return to the original bedtime.
From Monday, 31 October, switch immediately to the new time and keep naps at the same time. For example, if you usually put your child down for a nap at 9am, on Monday morning, put your child down at 9am, new time.
Ensure your child has playtime outside in the afternoon as production of melatonin, the natural sleep hormone is triggered by sunlight.
Your child may wake up a little earlier or later for a few days but it doesn’t take long for children to adjust to the new time.
As with all elements of encouraging good sleep habits, staying consistent is the key.
"Why Does My Child Wake Up In The Night?"
We are all wired to wake during the night as we transition between our sleep cycles. However, the problem is not the waking but not having the ability to settle back to sleep independently. Our child sleep guide can help you tackle the causes of these wake ups.
Maryanne established The Sleep Works in 2010. She is a qualified and experienced Sleep Consultant who has helped hundreds of parents with their children’s sleep problems. She also works with adults to educate, support and motivate them to improve their sleep. She gives many talks and workshops on child and adult sleep, has written numerous articles, and has appeared on Channel 4's 'Born Naughty?' show. Find out more about Maryanne and The Sleep Works.