How to help children cope with the clocks going forward

Sleep column expert Emilie Caro has isometrics on how to cope with the clocks Springing forward this weekend

Published: March 12, 2021 at 10:00 am



The clocks are going to spring forward on Sunday March 28th 2021 (signalling Spring's official arrival). Known as daylight saving time, daylight time and summer time, it is the practice of advancing clocks during warmer months so that darkness falls at a later clock time. I wanted to give you some realistic help on how best to manage this change for toddlers and young children:

  • In the five days leading up to the change put your little one to bed 10 minutes earlier each night and wake them 10 minutes earlier each morning. Try to aim for 11 hours of asleep time each night with appropriate naps.
  • Invest in some good blackout blinds, as with the lighter evenings and mornings it can be harder to settle kids for sleep. Darkness helps with the production of melatonin (the sleep hormone) which promotes sleepiness in us all.
  • Limit all screen time for the 60 minutes before bed. The clocks going forward make bedtimes much harder so it's important to have a longer wind down period before bed.
  • Consider investing in a clock which indicates day & night if your child is 2 or older. I really like the Hatch Baby which combines the clock and a sound machine giving a good sleep cues. These clocks work very well coupled with a reward chart (using stickers or similar as incentives) for following the day and night signals.

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About Sleep Consultant Columnist: Emilie Caro Sleep

Having completed both a BSc (University of Manchester) and MSc (London School of Economics) in Psychology, Emilie worked for eight years in Human Resources, with a particular focus on Occupational Psychology. Following the birth of her children (3 boys aged 8, 6 and 4), Emilie became very interested in the domain of children’s sleep and the psychology surrounding this. She qualified in 2011 as a certified children’s sleep consultant in order to practice formally in this field and is a member of the British Sleep Society and the International Association for Sleep Consultants. Additionally, she has travelled extensively with her children and can give advice on jet lag and how best to cope with schedule changes.


Emilie has helped numerous families with a wide range of sleeping problems and is regularly recommended by the paediatric department at the St John & St Elizabeth Hospital in St John's Wood, London. She is known for her kind and gentle approach and always follows up until the issues are fully resolved. For more information, sleep packages and to read her blog visit Emilie Caro Sleep


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