From summer to winter time: this is how you ensure the perfect transition

Van zomer- naar wintertijd: zo zorg je voor de perfecte overgang

While we're still enjoying our summer and vacation, there will come a time when we transition back to the cold winter months. This also means resetting the clock. This can disrupt the sleep routine of young children. Here are a few tips for a smooth transition from summer to winter time.

Why does my child's rhythm get disrupted when the clock changes?

Often, our body tells us what we need. From satisfying our hunger to getting enough sleep when we're tired. Part of that biological clock is also influenced by external factors. Think of light, activity, temperature differences, and, for example, noise. Especially with young children, it can take a while before that clock is properly 'set'. Changing the clock, when we go from summer to winter time, can therefore cause a lot of unrest. In fact, even we adults can be affected by this.

When the clock goes back an hour, it takes some getting used to for children. Both the sleep rhythm needs to be regulated by the body again, as well as eating and playing times. If your child is struggling with the new rhythm, you may notice that they get tired or hungry more quickly than at the 'normal' times. As difficult as it may be, try to stick to the new time.

Tips for adjusting to summer or winter time

To ease the transition from summer to winter time (and vice versa), we have a few tips that can help you:

  • Keep track of the sleep times. When the clock goes forward or backward, children are quickly inclined to oversleep or wake up earlier. By either waking your child up or letting them stay in bed a bit longer, you can be flexible with this. This way, you both get used to the new times.
  • If your child is really very tired? A short nap won't hurt. Fighting against the clock and our biological rhythm ultimately only brings disadvantages.

Which method do you use for the transition from summer to winter time?

Do you want to make optimal use of the transition from summer to winter time? Then you can choose from two methods. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, but ultimately help make the transition easier for your child. These are the methods:

  • Gradually: to make the transition from summer to winter time easier for your little one and maybe for yourself too, you can gradually adjust your routine. This means shifting your schedule forward by 10 to 15 minutes each day. How many days you want to apply this method is entirely up to you. Just do what feels right.
  • Cold turkey: this is the direct way. By going cold turkey, you're transitioning directly to the new rhythm. It's important to stick to it when your child is tired or hungry.

Whether you go gradually or cold turkey from summer to winter time is entirely up to you as a parent. You know your child best and can decide for yourself how to approach this. Some children, just like adults, are more sensitive to a change in their routine. There's nothing wrong with that, and it absolutely doesn't hurt. Just getting used to it.

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