Surviving The Clock Change With Young Children

Surviving the clock change with the International Elf Service

I suddenly realised with HORROR that there’s a clock change this weekend. Something so simple and harmless as a one hour shift on the clock, can send a grown person into utter despair for as much as 3-4 days. Some families seem to glide their way through the clock change and wonder what all the fuss is about, while other families, like ours, used to make an absolute mountain out of it.

‘Oh it’s fine.’ they say.  ‘Just jiggle their days about by 15 minutes and you’ll soon be on track.’ Our kids have ALWAYS woken at the same time, regardless of the time they go, or how tired they are.

So, the pain of going to bed on Saturday night knowing you’re going to be up at 5am instead of 6, or 4 instead of 5, (as it was when our eldest was tiny) … you then spend the beginning of the following week trying to encourage your very young children to sleep when they aren’t tired, and stave off their obvious growing starvation by holding back meals until the ‘new meal time.’

The Solution?

Having struggled on for a few rounds of this clock change business, I landed on someone’s brilliant idea, which I’m sure lots of people do, but in case you haven’t heard of it – you don’t change the clocks at night. You change them by MID MORNING the next day (Sunday), and then put them to bed half an hour later on Sunday night instead! It’s a superb idea and suits my mindset perfectly.

So, psychologically all you have is a slightly longer morning, rather than a HUGELY shorter night. I love it and it seems to work well for us. The kids wake up at about the right time the next day, which is strange (but good). The only thing to be careful about, is to make sure you get yourselves to any activities on the Sunday morning on time.

What kind of family are you? Are you more freestyle and go with the flow, or are you all about routine?

Another method is to change everything by 15 minutes each day. Though this hasn’t worked for us, it has worked for other families.

The Drawback?

You must have a North Pole clock for maximum magical effect.


Surviving the clock change by Gwendi Klisa at Paperly Apps

This Cheat Sheet was made for you by Gwendi Klisa. Raising three sleepless kids inspired her to design the Bedtime Routine iPad App And So to Bed, helping preschoolers learn a bedtime routine. She hand-made the sets for this app from cardboard to inspire more junk modelling. See what this looks like on the App Store and visit her over on PaperlyApps.



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  • Mama, My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
    October 29, 2015 AT 12:44 AM

    Such a nutty British tradition. I don’t think anywhere else in the world does it. Totally helped me to make a mess of all my linky scheduling too- d’oh! 😀
    Thanks again for linking up to #fartglitter x

    • International Elf Service
      October 29, 2015 AT 9:39 AM

      Oh don’t – I really don’t see why we need a clock change at all. It just causes havoc as far as I can tell! Sorry to hear your scheduling got scrambled – I always get in a muddle with mine even without a clock change!

  • Tourette Tales
    October 21, 2015 AT 11:36 PM

    Before we had the kids I used to wait and change them on Monday morning so I got a lie in on a work day instead. My husband gets the Sunday lie in so he gains from this change.

    • International Elf Service
      October 26, 2015 AT 11:39 AM

      How did it go? Was it all smooth? We alternate lie ins too – I get mine on a Sunday morning. One of the highlights of my week!

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