Its nearly springtime and I speak on behalf of us all that the warmer weather will be a welcome change as we come out of the chilly winter months. Like clockwork each year the ground is starting to thaw, the baby animals are emerging and the clocks are springing forward by an hour. On Sunday 26th March the clocks changing may cause some unwanted disruption to our little one’s sleep and in turn yours. Well never fear because we’ve come up with 5 handy tips to help keep your little one dreaming sweetly.
Your already perfected bedtime routine is key in creating consistency when the clocks go forward. All your little one’s bedtime cues are important in them winding down for the evening. If you are just starting to create a bedtime routine, we suggest some gentle calming cues such as a warm bath, baby massage, reading a book and a calming feed to help set your little one up for the night.
Moving bedtime forward by 15 minutes each day on the lead up to the clocks changing is a great way of preparing your little one to minimize disruption. Be mindful that daytime routines should be adjusted in line with this. Getting up 15 minutes earlier to account for the new earlier bedtime and dinner 15 minutes earlier will also help to ease that gradual change.
You are what you eat
Pre-bedtime snacks are important. Offer nutritious and filling food for dinner and if little ones need a snack before bedtime a banana and milk is a great combination. Bananas contain natural muscle-relaxants magnesium and potassium and milk contains tryptophan encouraging the production of the hormone serotonin, which plays a key role in good sleep. The B6 vitamins from these helps the typtophan convert to serotonin.
Adhere to awake windows
In line with your new routine, keep your awake windows age appropriate. It’s a delicate balance as too much sleep will lead to a child who is not tired enough and not enough sleep will lead to overtiredness, both of which can disrupt sleep patterns.
Keep children active
Lots of active sensory play for babies and energetic games for toddlers will help them drift off easier, whatever the bedtime. Getting out and about in the sunlight also reinforces awake time, so a walk in a pushchair or a trip to the park will do wonders come bedtime.
Children are great adapters, so it should only take around three days or so after the clocks change for everything to return to normal. If you try using some of our tips, both you and your little ones should be dreaming sweetly by bedtime, awaking refreshed and full of beans, ready to enjoy our great British Summer Time!