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Clocks change - and how can I help my baby's sleep routine?

Lots of mums ask for advice on helping their little ones to stick to a sleep routine when the clocks change. We've come up with some top tips to help you from our friends at NetMums.

  • Alter your baby's whole routine gradually, ie meal times, nap times and bed times to help instil the change slowly over the week prior to or post the change (or a few days before and a few days after
  • Use blackout blinds to shut out light in the evening/morning as appropriate for the time of year
  • Keep your usual bedtime routine exactly the same, ie bath, bottle, story, bed (or whatever “normal” is in each family)
  • Be consistent with your approach
  • Trust in nature to support you in settling your children in to the change

Regular, predictable routines help to regulate their body clock and controlled by circadian rhythms help determine human sleep patterns and respond primarily to light and darkness in the environment. Light is the main cue influencing circadian rhythm which control:

  • patterns of sleep and waking
  • rest
  • activity
  • hunger
  • eating
  • hormones
  • Fluctuations in body temperature.

So having regular day and bedtime routines is really helpful. You can help your baby’s body clock to synchronise by using what is known as “circadian cues” which help the baby to adjust to a day night pattern of sleep and wakefulness.

If you provide strong cues about times of day by exposing to sunlight in the mornings and afternoons and involving them in your daily routines this helps them to adapt to your daily schedule. At night time keep lights low or off and things quiet and calm.

More advice on sleep

View the pages on Ask Normen about sleep problems - http://www.asknormen.co.uk/sleep-problems/

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