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Daylight Savings & Your Child's Sleep - Springing Forward

Daylight savings changes in relevant states and territories in Australia in October (October 1 for 2023) and New Zealand (24 Sep for 2023) where 2am will become 3am. This time change can create worry and even dread for many parents so here's some ideas around supporting your child's sleep through this change. Firstly, please remember to be patient with yourselves and your little ones, some are more affected than others. There are different ways you can approach the time change:

  1. Adjust timings ahead of the change in a structured way (uncommon for this spring forward change but sometimes relevant)

  2. Adjust timings after the change in a structured way

  3. Wing it

Each approach is valid but the good news is that even if you don't actually do anything in particular, we all adjust over time. If you take want to take a structured approach then it can depend on what is happening right now. Scenario 1: Your current routine with your children is great and you want to bring things back by one hour Scenario 2: Those of you with early risers (or they started rising early recently with light changes) and perhaps you’re counting down the days until the time change occurs SCENARIO 1: Bring things back by an hour

· You are going to move the day back by 1 hour in small increments.

· How big/small the increments are will depend on your child, their temperament, how long they are typically awake for, how many naps they are having and what you think they can manage.

· Exposure to morning light when waking is very helpful and then the dim light ahead of bedtime.

· Basing example on 15 mins

Step 1: - Let them wake naturally (some parents prefer to wake their child earlier on the first morning). Bring the whole day earlier by 15 minutes for each nap, meals, feeds etc

Step 2: - Wake them another 15 minutes earlier in the morning the second day or after a few days so now 30 mins earlier. The aim is now you are now pulling the whole day back by another 15 minutes. This includes everything with meals and feeds too - Bedtime is 30 minutes earlier

Step 3: - Wake earlier again by another 15 minutes the next day or after a few days and pull everything through the whole day and bedtime again by 15 minutes - You’re now at 45 minutes earlier

Step 4: - Wake earlier again by another 15 minutes the next day or after a few days. You’re now back to the same time for morning wake up as before time change - The whole day is pulled one hour earlier so flows through to naps, meals and bedtime - Keep going and give then rhythm time to adjust to the change SCENARIO 2: Early risers The only key thing to remember here is that the whole 24-hour period shifts for you with your child. Naps, meals. This might seem obvious but sometimes it's important to just have this reminder because as parents we can get accustomed to things being around a certain time with our own routines.

Got questions? Why not join me on my Instagram page for the fortnightly Q&A's or the Baby of Mine Sleep Village Facebook group:

Always love,

Annie x

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