You may not feel like the clocks going back an hour at the end of October should be a real problem.

After-all, unlike in March when we have to get up an hour earlier in the mornings, the October change gives us an extra hour in bed. Sounds amazing!

ClockThat is, unless you have children. Then you’ll find that come Sunday morning, if your child usually gets up around 7am, then they’re very likely to now get up at 6am, and this earlier rising time is liable to stick unless you spend some time before the clocks change, slowly adjusting your child’s body clock.

Of course, on paper, this sounds far more difficult than it actually is. To ensure you get that extra hour’s sleep come the end of October, all you need are these 3 handy tips:

1: Move Nap and Meal Times

It can be tempting to just presume, that by sending the kids to bed an hour later on the Saturday that they’ll get up an hour later the next day. If only! What’s far more likely, is that they’ll be excited by their late bedtime and still get up at normal time the next morning, meaning you’ll miss out on extra sleep and there’s a good chance you’ll have a grumpy, sleepy kid by the afternoon.

Instead, around the Monday before the clocks change, try to alter your child’s habits in increments of 10 minutes. This means pushing back meal times by 10 minutes, nap times by 10 minutes and bed times by 10 minutes. This means that by the following Saturday – the day before the clock change – your child will be around 60 minutes behind where they were the week before and all ready for the next day.

Of course, this isn’t an exact science, and your child could still easily get up earlier on the Sunday, however this is your best chance to adjust their body clocks with minimal tantrums.

2: Do Outdoor Activities on the Saturday

British weather permitting, going for a long walk or to the park on the Saturday is a wonderful way to help tire out the kids and get them playing in the outdoors. This is particularly good for adjusting body clocks, as natural light is actually what controls our sleep cycle.

As we’re in winter, parents have the advantage of darker nights, which naturally releases the sleep hormone melatonin. However, many of us ruin this by using bright, artificial lighting in our homes. Combat this by using dimmer lights around an hour before bed, which will create a sleepy ambiance. Also ensure that you have blackout blinds in your child’s room, as light in the morning will wake children perhaps earlier than you might like. The blind will help you control when your child gets up as much as possible.

3: Make Sure You Have a Sleep Routine!

Children work best to a routine, especially when it comes to sleep time. If you don’t have a sleep routine already in place, then when it comes to adjusting for when the clocks go back or forth, you will seriously struggle.

The earlier you can implement a bedtime routine in your child’s life, the better, as this means it will feel more like second nature to them. Plus, a sleep routine doesn’t need to be a chore, make it fun and you’ll find getting them to bed is far easier than you might think. Perhaps 90 minutes before bed they get to watch a favourite cartoon like Peppa Pig, then move on to a bath and pyjamas and finish with one or two bedtime stories. Once a routine is implemented, then moving a bedtime forward or back to sit with clock changes will become far simpler.