Ten top tips to prepare children for the clock change

Ten top tips to prepare children for the clock change

Just when you’ve settled into a happy morning and evening rhythm, the clocks change… again.

Twice a year, parents have to content with the repercussions of daylight savings beginning and ending, disrupting sleep patterns and routines. Some children will take it in their stride and others seem out of sync for ages.

Help children adjust to changing the clocks with Montessori

Have a look at these ten top tips to help you help your children deal with the clock change. (In fact, most of these tips are great for adults, too!):

Gradual adjustment: Start adjusting bedtime and wake-up times gradually in the days leading up to the clock change. Shift bedtime and wake-up times by 15 minutes every couple of days until they align with the new schedule.

Stick to routine: Maintain a consistent bedtime routine. This can include activities like reading a book, taking a warm bath, or listening to calming music before bed. Consistency helps signal to the body that it’s time to wind down.

Limit screen time before bed: Avoid exposure to screens such as TVs, smartphones, and tablets at least an hour before bedtime. The blue light emitted by screens can interfere with the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.

Ensure a comfortable sleep environment: Create a comfortable and conducive sleep environment for your child. This includes a cool, dark, and quiet room with comfortable bedding.

Expose to natural light: Expose your child to natural sunlight in the morning, as it helps regulate the body’s internal clock. Open the curtains or take a morning walk to help synchronise their internal clock with the new time.

Adjust meal times: Gradually adjust meal times to align with the new schedule. Eating meals at regular intervals can help regulate the body’s internal clock.

Encourage physical activity: Engage your child in physical activities during the day to help them expend energy and promote better sleep at night. However, avoid vigorous exercise close to bedtime, as it may interfere with sleep.

Be patient and flexible: Understand that it may take some time for your child to adjust to the new schedule. Be patient and flexible during this transition period, and provide extra comfort and support as needed.

Maintain consistent sleep hygiene: Reinforce good sleep habits, such as avoiding caffeine and large meals close to bedtime, and encouraging relaxation techniques like deep breathing or gentle stretching.

Communicate and reassure: Talk to your child about the upcoming time change and reassure them that it’s a normal part of the seasonal transition. Emphasise the positive aspects, such as longer daylight hours or the approach of a new season.