Dear Carpetright: How can I avoid disturbing my child’s sleep when the clocks go forward?

Children’s beds can be whatever their imagination wants them to be, from an underground dungeon to a life raft floating through crocodile infested waters. Bunk beds for kids are even better as they make a great pirate ship with an upper and lower deck – the perfect platform for your little swashbuckler’s playtime escapades.

But, what will happen when the clocks go forward on March the 29th though? Will the kids use the extra hour of daytime to continue on their resourceful playtime? Let’s hope not!

Here are some sure fire ways to ensure the little people of your house get to sleep before the sandman comes.


When it comes to sleeping, babies and young toddlers tend not to follow anyone’s sleep rules, except their own! Some young babies can sleep for up to 18 hours out of 24, and sleep patterns can change according to a multiple of things, including developmental milestones.

According to the experts, the average 4-year-old needs around 12 hours of sleep a night, whilst an 11-year-old needs up to 10 hours to function at an optimum level and there’s no mistaking a child who hasn’t slept enough! They’re grouchy, emotional and misbehave for no apparent reason. You know the reason behind their tantrum though – they are exhausted.

The problem is that children associate sleep time with night, darkness and the moon, so when the brighter nights kick in, they are all confused and rightly so. Imagine trying to explain the concept of why the clocks go forward to a cranky five-year-old?

Here are a few things you can try to avoid the time of year, and the clock changes affecting their sleep.

Cute little toddler sleeping in bed


It’s time to change the routine a tad. This doesn’t necessarily involve changing the bedtime itself, just the lead up to it. If they usually go down at 7.30, try stick to it, even with the hour change, but why not introduce something new like a glass of warm milk before bed, or an extra story that they look forward to reading with you when they are all tucked up?


Depending on their age, now might be a good time to explain the clock to them and show them the time that they go to bed. They will be able to see for themselves that it’s time to go to sleep. Some children’s clocks change when it’s bedtime too which will help them learn. With regards to waking up time, there are some really smart children’s clocks now available which light up when it’s time for your child to wake up, so they know not to disturb their parents before the light comes on.


Kids beds need to be warm, safe, and cosy, so as well as tucking them up nice and tight, why not invest in some blackout curtains and/or blinds for their bedroom? Not only will the darkness trick their bodies into thinking its night time, even if it’s still light, they will go to sleep with minimal fuss, and hopefully not wake up as soon as the sun rises in the morning!

With these small tips in mind, putting your children to bed hopefully doesn’t need to be quite so stressful.

Mum and son having a sleep next to a clockFind plenty of sleep guides in our trends and ideas section.