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Spring Clock Change - Tips for Baby Sleep

Updated: May 15

Here in the UK, the Spring clock change is upon us. And it can often be the hardest of the two! Why? In Autumn when the clocks go back, it's easier to delay sleep and keep them up longer to manage it. In the Spring when the clocks go forward, it's harder to make them fall asleep an hour earlier!


How does it affect our child's sleep?

We all are guided by our circadian rhythms. This is how our bodies define wake and sleep within a 24 hour period. So when there are changes to this, like a clock change or travel time difference, it impacts when we naturally feel awake and sleepy. And same goes for our little ones too!


When we are born, we aren't born with any circadian rhythm and it becomes more defined around 3 months! So if you have a new born - don't worry too much!


Why make changes to support their sleep?

Most children are really sensitive to the timings and the change and the impact on their circadian rhythm. It naturally affects bedtime and all other sleep times of the day!

But this guide will help in how you manage this!



White clock on a white wall
Spring Clock Change

  1. Staggered Approach

This is where you stagger the time change incrementally in the lead up to the clock change. This works best for babies, those on multiple naps and little ones who are more time sensitive.

Start on the Wednesday, and change everything by 15 minutes (including naps, feeds etc). You can also go this after the clock change too if needed.


2. Meet in the Middle

Where you move everything by 30 minutes the day the before, and make up the 30 minutes the day they've changed! Best suited for toddler ages and above, and little one's who are less time sensitive. Again, move meal times and naps alongside this too. It may be you need to cap the naps as well to ensure they have the sleep pressure in the evening to get them through.


3. Do Nothing

You can absolutely do nothing and let it be! Or make tweaks on the flip side. Put them to bed at their normal time, be mindful they may have a bit more energy the next night and adjust as you need to.


Remember, it can take a week or so for them to fully adjust, so do give it some time.


Other tools you may want to consider during the Spring & Summer seasons:

  • Black Out blind. As much as we often have blackout blinds/curtains, they don't always do the trick! I highly recommend the Tommee Tippee portable blind, and it's handy for travelling too!

  • Wake/Sleep Clocks - to help your toddlers with the adjustment and encourage quiet time/wake times. This often works well with routine charts!


Now - the good news is, if your little one is already waking early, that 5am instantly becomes 6am!! However, it's also important to get to the root cause of the early rise. Otherwise in time, that 5am will very likely creep back in! If you need support in navigating this, be sure to reach out.






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