With the nights starting to draw in, we’re finally accepting that it is well and truly autumn. One thing to look forward to is the extra hour in bed we’ll get when the clocks go back an hour on the 30th October. But whilst the grown-ups might be dreaming of a lie-in, the little ones might have other ideas and for some parents the very mention of the clocks changing brings visions of unsettled, sleep-deprived children.
We at LeapFrog have come up with five tricks for easing kids through the transition as seamlessly as possible, meaning that you might get that extra hour of blissful sleep after all!
- Start delaying bedtime
It’s best to start easing little ones into their new routine a few weeks earlier so that they don’t even notice it. Gradually alter bedtime by around 10 minutes a few days beforehand so that their body clock slowly adjusts too.
- Keep bedrooms dark
Keeping your child’s room as dark as possible is extremely advantageous to a good night’s sleep. However, if your little one is afraid of the dark, night lights can be very useful. Scout’s Goodnight Light is the perfect bedtime companion with glowing stars and soothing music, helping children drift off to sleep with ease (Mojomums has a chance for you to win one, coming soon – watch this space!).
- Maintain a bedtime routine
Whilst you might adopt the 10 minutes earlier trick, it’s important to keep the routine the same. Changing into pyjamas, brushing teeth and bedtime stories should be kept in the same order, so that confusion is kept at a minimum.
- Relaxation time
Having some time to wind down before getting into bed helps to relax children for bedtime. Turn off the TV and any kid-friendly tablets at least an hour before bedtime and encourage some non-stressful activities with a milky, warm drink!
- Praise, praise, praise!
As we all know, children thrive on praise! Reward them for making these simple changes and you never know, you may even get that extra hour on the 30th!