The clever trick to stop your baby’s sleep routine being thrown into chaos when the clocks go back

Baby sleeping on mother's shoulder
(Image credit: Tara Moore via Getty)

As the UK prepares for the end of British Summer Time, we reveal the clever trick parents need to help their baby's sleep routine to adapt to the clocks going back. 

It’s hard enough for adults trying to fix sleep schedules (opens in new tab), let alone trying to settle your children into a bedtime routine (opens in new tab) that suits them. And whilst there are ways to utilise baby sleep training (opens in new tab) in your home to help your child get the best possible night’s sleep, the clocks going back this weekend could fill you with dread. Families across the UK will soon gain an hour in bed though this might also mean you need to plan ahead when it comes to your baby’s sleep routine. 

However, stopping your baby’s sleep from becoming chaotic when the clocks go back doesn’t have to be complicated. The experts over at Babysense (opens in new tab) have shared a simple but incredibly clever hack to help your baby to adapt to the change in time. 

Baby sleeping in a crib

How to maintain your baby’s sleep routine when the clocks go back

It might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you prepare for the clocks going back, but according the experts, adjusting meal times could be key. With meal times acting as a good indicator for your internal body clock of what time it is, it could help to push back your baby’s meal times ever so slightly. 

Whilst this doesn’t have to be drastically different, they suggest that pushing meal times back at staggered times depending on the meal could help them adjust to the upcoming time change.

A woman watching baby daughter eat cereal in high chair

For example, parents could try giving their little one breakfast around ten minutes later, moving on to give lunch around 30 minutes later and dinner 45-60 minutes later.

This could help your baby’s body to begin associating these later times and meals together, giving their body clock a head start on the upcoming time change. Simple and effective, this clever trick could help prepare your child in the days leading up to the clocks going back. 

And that’s not all you can do, as the experts revealed that being prepared is key. Around 5-7 days ahead of the clocks going back, they advise that parents push their babies’ bedtime back by around 10 minutes, then an extra 10 minutes the day after and so on.

A newborn sleeping with his cuddly toy at home

Monitoring room temperatures is also reportedly a good idea, as making su

re your child is cosy and warm during these late autumn days could help avoid their sleep routine being disrupted by feeling cold. It’s also important to ensure your baby is woken up at the same time everyday and maintaining a balanced diet could also make a difference.

If you've begun weaning your baby (opens in new tab) and they're starting to eat solid foods, checking on the types of foods and sugar content they are consuming before bed could help maintain a good sleep routine. 

Why is it important to adjust your baby’s sleep schedule?

The clocks going back might be slightly disorientating for adults, but for a baby, it’s perhaps even more vital for parents to help their little one’s sleep schedule evolve in advance.

“For some parents, getting your baby to sleep through the night can be a difficult task, but this can be made even harder when the clocks go back,” explains Noah Levin, Chief Marketing Officer at Babysense

Newborn boy sleeping on mother's shoulder

“Many parents don’t take into consideration the fact that their baby might struggle to adapt to the extra hour in bed and it’s important to be aware of this. Preparation is key, so be sure to start making subtle changes a few days in advance to help your baby acclimatise.”

He adds, “By pushing your little ones' bedtime back by 10 minutes each day or giving them their meals at a slightly later time will have a profound effect on their sleep routine."

So as the darker nights draw in and the clock change draws ever nearer, it seems it could be well worth looking into these top tips to help your baby adjust just as you do.