It's coming up to that weekend when you lose an hour as the clocks go forward one hour in March.


And this Spring clock change – on March 31 2024 – can disrupt your baby's carefully nurtured sleep routine (aargh!)

In order to overcome this sleep hurdle, we spoke to the experts at The Sleep Charity (formerly The Sleep Council) who train sleep practitioners and campaign for better-quality information about sleep.

The good news is that you don't need to do anything radical; it's more about thinking ahead and making a few simple tweaks to your baby's normal bedtime routine before the clocks change.

"Children who already have a sleep routine," say The Sleep Charity experts, "tend to cope better with clock changes as they know what to expect at the end of the day, even if the actual timings are slightly altered."

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The Sleep Charity recommends these simple baby-sleep adjustment techniques...

Here our 6 easy steps to take to help your child adjust to the Spring clock change

1. Before the clock change, gradually bring bedtime forward

For the 2 days before the actual clock-change day, make bedtime 30 mins early than the night before.

So, on the Friday evening, make bedtime half an hour earlier than usual. Then Saturday evening, make it another half an hour earlier and – ta da! – you're already working to the new time.

2. Before the clock change, bring naps and mealtimes too

If you're altering bedtimes as suggested in Step 1, naps and mealtimes will need to fall in line, too.

3. Spend time outside

Light plays an important part in controlling your baby's internal body clock (and yours, too).

Try spending a little extra time outside during the day for a boost of natural light. And if, post clock-change, your baby is struggling to wake up in the morning, draw the curtains and make sure the room gets lots of natural light.

4. Fit blackout blinds or thick curtains

From now on, it will be much lighter outside when your baby's going down at night. Using blackout blinds or curtains made of a material dense enough to block out the light will help create a darker, 'sleepy-time' environment.

5. Up the exercise

Play games (see our great indoor game suggestions below) with your baby – on the activity mat or crawling around the floor, depending on their age and stage – so they'll feel more physically ready for sleep.

But don't totally wear them out as completely over-tired children can – strange as it sounds– actually be harder to get to sleep.

6. Keep the bedroom peaceful

Make sure the place where your baby sleeps at night is cool, quiet and dark (see tip 4 above).

And remember: even if it takes a few days, your baby will soon naturally settle back into a routine. Until the clocks change again in October...

Pics: Getty Images


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Helen Brown
Helen BrownHead of Content Delivery

Helen is author of the classic advice book Parenting for Dummies and a mum of 3. Before joining MadeForMums, she was Head of Community at Mumsnet and also the Consumer Editor of Mother & Baby.