How to deal with the beginning of Daylight Savings – By Jo Ryan

Daylight Saving starts in NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and the ACT on Sunday 7 October. I bet if you have small children then you know it is coming. How about those 4.30am wake-ups? Not fun!

One of the advantages of moving the clock forward means that it is darker in the mornings, which can help with those early morning wakes.

As with anything regarding sleep and children, it is really important to not change the routine too much and try not to introduce anything new into the routine at this time. Children love routine and even though the clocks are moving, their bedtime rituals should stay the same.

Remember, some babies really hate change and so they will be disrupted by the move regardless. But children are pretty adaptable so if you can be consistent and maintain your routine around bedtime and waking, then they should adapt quickly.

In order to make the change in time less disruptive, here are 5 tips to get you through without losing too much sleep:
• Starting the Wednesday before the start of Daylight Saving, put your baby to bed for the night 15 minutes earlier than you would normally. So, if your baby is going to bed at 7pm, tonight put them down at 6.45pm.

• Every night, keep putting your child to bed 15 minutes earlier than the night before, so by Saturday night you are putting them down an hour earlier than you would normally. So on Saturday night they are going to bed at 6pm rather than 7pm.

• Move the day sleeps the same way starting on the Thursday before daylight saving begins.

• Make sure the room is dark as they will be going to bed in daylight. Some babies and young children will struggle with this so having a dark room can really help.

• If your child continues to wake early in the morning, really encourage them to stay in bed until it is an acceptable time to get up. White noise can really help with this as it drowns out those early morning birds!

If you think your child is going to take longer to adjust, you can always start sooner and spend more time at each stage. For example, you could do two days at 6.45pm, two days at 6.30pm and so on.
The biggest tip of them all – don’t panic! Most babies and young children will adjust within a week.

Article by Wattle Health resident expert, Paediatric Nurse, Jo Ryan.

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