26 Mar Tick Tock
Happy Mother’s Day and your gift? 1 hour less sleep!
This morning we have been deprived of 1 hours less sleep. In favour of longer summer evenings (in my case with wine) British clocks shifted forward by one hour. Why? Back in the 1900s a golf fanatic from Bromley (William Willett) became a passionate advocate for having that extra hour in the evening of light (so he could presumably play more golf) and here we are – battling a baby or toddler to bed when it is still light.
Being the sleep obsessive that I am (my 1 year old Joseph is undergoing sleep bootcamp see here) instead of focusing my post solely on Mothers Day – I thought I would lay out my top tips for adjusting your little ones to this time change.
If you have a night-time routine then stick to it! Here is mine. If the clocks are changing or I am travelling – I tend to jump in feet first and embrace the change. Yesterday my children were run ragged (rugby tots, swimming, walked everywhere etc) in the day and then cajoled, bribed, forced into bed an hour earlier than they were used to. It was not without issues – the 1 year old sparked out due to exhaustion (yey) but my 3 year old stayed up for hours chatting, singing, asking for a wee, then a poo, then to remind me that I had forgotten to clean her teeth and finally fell asleep through hysterical crying. Dreamy right?
If you appreciate a bit more order to your life, I would recommend that if your child is still having a daytime nap – you reduce the amount of time they sleep. Just for a few days. This will make sure they’re ready for bed until their body clock adjusts.
Another trick is to gradually bring your child’s bed time forward by 15 mins at a time. So for example if your child normally goes to bed at 7pm – they will be ready for bed at 8pm in the new time. Try putting them down at 7.45pm on the first night and reducing it by 15 mins over the next few days.
I always give this advice to friends of mine who are travelling and dealing with multiple time zones – be prepared to have a few bumpy nights. Try not to organise too many nights out for yourself and therefore leave the babysitter on the front line. Spend a few days settling them into the new hours. Rest assured – our little beauties do transition incredibly quickly.
Black out curtains are key.
Start your wind down time 30 minutes earlier than you you usually would. I am going to increase the bath time, turn off the TV 30 minutes earlier and try reading more stories instead of my usual 2. Initially the kids will be feeling very awake and hungry for stimulation but i’m hoping they’ll feel sufficiently tired after a daytime of forced activity.
My 3 year old has been waking up incredibly early due to my 1 year old’s wake up screams. I realised that this was becoming a bit of a habit. I now bribe/reward her with stickers and marbles for her jar to stay in bed until ‘mummy and daddy’ are ready to get up. It is working! You could use this as a method to keep your little one in bed for a bit longer.
I hope you find these tips useful and i would love to hear your thoughts and experiences of how your little ones have been adjusting.
Chances are in my household – Ella and Joe will go to bed whenever the hell they like and i’ll have to adjust my clock accordingly.
Finally – I wanted to wish all of you mothers a Happy Happy Mother’s day. Here is a video of my 3 year old Ella giving me a Mother’s day message.
“I love my Mummy and I cuddle her lots. I am drawing letters and I am drawing a picture for my mummy. She teaches me writing letters and drawing nice pictures and that’s it! Can I see the video granddad?”