It’s this time of the year again! I don’t know a single fan of the seasonal time change. Hopefully next year we won’t have to think about it anymore, as EU is seriously discussing abandoning the procedure (yes!). This autumn however we still need to tackle it the best we can, for ourselves – and for our kids.
You have two options here:
• GO GRADUAL. With younger babies and children sensitive to changes in the schedule, it’s great to do a gradual change over a week or so and shift every element of the schedule later by 15 minutes every 2 days. Start tomorrow and you’ll be bang on new time on Sunday the 28th! If circumstances don’t allow for the gradual approach in the week ahead (e.g. your train to work won’t be delayed that 15 minutes…!), you can also do it in the week after the official time change.
• GO COLD TURKEY. With older babies and children, those less sensitive to change (and great sleepers especially) we can switch to the new time on one go. It may be tougher in autumn because expecting them to sleep one hour longer in the morning might be a bit optimistic. We then just try to keep the kids in bed as long as possible on Sunday morning if they are not upset.
Whatever you choose, make sure to spend a lot of time outside, in the natural light – it helps regulate our body clocks. Remember that the shifts in the schedule (gradual or not) apply not only to night sleep, but to each and every element of the typical day: naps, mealtimes, playtime, walks, etc. Kids don’t know how to read the clock, they recognise the time by all of these components of their day.
Most of all, don’t worry, children are (of course!) adapting much faster than adults – adaptability is their superpower!