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What you need to know about your child's sleep as daylight saving ends

By Amy Lyall|

Daylight saving is coming to an end and for parents, especially the ones who have never had to think about it before, it's a lot to wrap your head around.?

Anything that can throw a perfectly good sleep routine out the window is the stuff of nightmares so being prepared for what's coming is essential.?

When the clocks go back an hour on Sunday at 2am, you could be in for early morning wakes, or overtired kids at bedtime C or both.?

Here's what you need to know about dealing with daylight saving and some advice from parents who have been through it before.?

How to adjust bedtime for when the clocks go back??

A happy baby laying in bed
Daylight saving is coming to an end and a lot of parents will be starting to stress about it. (iStock)

There are two ways you can tackle the clocks going back, either preparing for it, or not at all.?Sleep expert Kristy Griffith, The Sleep Teacher, suggests gradually pushing bedtime back.?

"This will vary on your baby's age, as we usually suggest pushing out awake windows slightly by 15 minutes over a four-day period to help prepare your bub for the impending changes," she previously told 9Honey.?

READ MORE: Sleep expert's warning for parents unprepared for end of daylight saving

For babies under six months of age, she suggests doing the above over six days, increasing this by 10 minutes per day instead of 15, until you meet the hour. ?

You want to adjust feeds and naps too, shifting everything to help with the later bedtime in the evening to help their body and circadian rhythms adjust.?

But, if you feel like the prep isn't going to work for you, don't stress.?

"If you prefer to just adjust on the day and take it as it comes, then worst case scenario is you may find your little one wakes slightly earlier for a few days," she wrote in a post on Instagram.

"If this is the case, then just ensure you stick to their awake windows and don't allow them to become overtired. If they are under 6 months you could also use a bridging nap to help them push out their day."?

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Do you put your kids to bed earlier or later for daylight savings?

When it comes to adjusting your routine for daylight savings you have to push your bedtime later.?Kristy has a helpful infographic on her Instagram which explains the shift.

For example, if your child goes to bed at 7pm usually, you'd change your routine to this:

  • Tuesday bedtime 7:10pm?
  • Wednesday bedtime 7:20pm?
  • Thursday bedtime: 7:30pm
  • Friday bedtime 7:40pm?
  • Saturday bedtime 7:50pm?
  • Sunday bedtime 8:00pm?

If your baby will tolerate bigger wake windows you could push it to 15 minute extensions and you'd need to start the shift on Wednesday.?

Sleep expert Kristy Griffith shares advice for shifting routine for daylight saving
By gradually changing the routine this week you can help your little one adjust for the change. (Instagram)

What to do if you've forgotten about daylight savings changing??

"In our experience though, it does only take a few days to adjust, try to remain super consistent with routine and slowly shift it here and there if needed, don't go pushing it out an entire hour as you will only end up with an overtired bub," she explained on Instagram.?

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What are extra things you can do to help with the daylight saving adjustment??

Baby monitor

A video monitor can help you see if your little one does happen to wake early or fights going down. It can give you that bit of peace of mind that your little one is just having a little bit of trouble going down due to the time adjustment and they are ok, or help you identify if they genuinely need some assistance, and you need to go in and reassure or assist.

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Be consistent?

As hard as it can be at times (especially when you're a sleep deprived parent), by sticking to your usual bedtime rules and behaviours you will ensure the transition is as seamless as possible.

For example, if your baby can usually go to sleep by himself, avoid lying down with him or letting him sleep in your bed.

A week of different bedtime routine while adjusting to daylight saving could be long enough to build a new habit, which you then need to deal with later on.

It might take a few days to get the shift in bedtime to work. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Block out blinds

Light is one of the key contributors for settling your circadian rhythm and when you're trying to shift your bub's sleep pattern, it can help get control over it.?

Being able to have some control over when your bub is being exposed to light will really help to ensure that we are encouraging their body clock to reflect the adjustments we are trying to make.

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Sleep hormones are also produced far more readily in the dark, so they will help to get that melatonin pumping. It can also make a huge difference when it comes to keeping your little one asleep for longer in the morning.

Go with the flow

Ultimately, if you're the kind of parent who isn't too rigid about ?bedtime and happy to shuffle things around to make it work, you will survive.

If ?you're prepared for the worst and don't worry about it, it's not going to be the end of the world and eventually things will just fall back into place.

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