How to prepare your baby or toddler for the clocks going back

How to prepare your baby or toddler for the clocks going back

Woo! The clocks are going back. That means an EXTRA HOUR in bed! Unless of course like me you are a parent of a small child, then it typically doesn’t. In fact it probably means you’ll be bleary eyed, staggering about in the dark at daft o’clock wondering what time it is!

We all know that once a year, at end of October, we put our clocks back an hour. We even get why. Harvest/daylight/yada yada/blah blah. But sadly that message doesn’t quite translate to babies, toddlers and young children. Which is why your child free friends all shout on social media about how awesome it is to get an extra hours sleep while you secretly hate them a little through sheet envy.

What a surprise that they’re up at 5am on Sunday morning, rather than 6am – because it really IS 6am. Which is exactly what I see mums and dads sharing on Facebook…

“8month old son was up for the day at 5.30!”     or   “Wouldn’t mind if it was the baby awake but he’s still snoozing and it was my 4 year old demanding I woke up and came downstairs at 6.45”   or    “My kids thought they’d be clever and get up two hours earlier”

Sound familiar? Or is this your first time as a parent so you really want to avoid this? ME TOO! I am not morning person, I’m very much a night owl and as my husband would attest to I so not like to see anything pre 7am!

So how do you prepare your baby or toddler for the clocks changing?

When should you do mealtimes? And if you’re basically living life an hour later, how on earth do you synchronise with your child so you’re not all waking at stupid o’clock until Spring?!

Of course, there’s lots of advice online and in Facebook groups about what you need to do, but just how helpful is it? I’ve seen loads of things suggested on various threads on social media any overall there is a huge amount of conflicting suggestions so I decided to ask Sarah Carpenter from Baby Matters for her advice. Here are her top tips on how to prepare your child for the clocks going back and avoid a 4am start!

  • Think ahead – don’t wait till the day the clocks change before you decide which approach to take.
  • A few days before, so for this change start today, alter your baby’s routine, including meals, naps and bedtime.
  • We would suggest 10 minutes each day so it’s a gradual undisruptive change.
  • If you start your day at a set time you should also adjust this by 10 minutes earlier/later depending on clocks going forward or back.
  • If your baby/child’s bedroom is particularly light try using a black out blind to help keep them settled.
  • Don’t disrupt the overall routine as this will only unsettle yourself and baby so small adjustments are all that’s needed.
  • If you do find you have an unsettled baby/child don’t worry it’s only going to take a few days of you implementing your normal routine at the new time and you will all adjust accordingly.
  • For some the change doesn’t affect them at all, if you have a baby/child who enjoys a long lie anyway you will sail through the time change without making any adjustments.

I really hope they are of help to many of you! Good luck and sleep well! Oh and let me know how you get on! Our little guy is usually a good sleeper so I will have everything crossed that we aren’t up at 4am!!!! And if you want something much more fun than an early morning walk up call to look forward to why not head over and check out our Simply Baby sessions, perfect for older babies that are beyond the newborn stage.

From baby to toddler our beautiful baby turns One!

From baby to toddler our beautiful baby turns One!

A baby no more, our littlest Lynch turns One!

Ollie, littlest Lynch, our Jolly Ollie. Your full name is Oliver Gordon Lynch. Your middle name is after your Great Uncle Gordon, your Grandad Macleod’s little brother who was my uncle and who sadly died many years before you were born. You were born in water, in a birthing pool and the first words I said to you were “You look just like your big brother”. I was wrong. Your big brother looks very like me when I was little. You are almost all Daddy, with so many of the Lynch characteristics including the ears, the cheeky grin (you get that from your Grandad Lynch) and the naughty giggle.

Your giggle. Oh your giggle. The sound that makes my heart sing the most is when I hear you and your big brother both giggling together.  Pure joy, sheer heart aching joy. You gave us that.

You see we didn’t think we would get to have you. You should have had another big brother or sister (I always think of the baby as a girl but we were too early to know for sure) but sadly that was not to be. We had come to accept that we would be a happy little unit of three. Daddy, me and your big brother (or Bro Bro as he is currently referred to as, you call him “bo-bo” which also makes me ridiculously love drunk every time I hear it) and then you came along. A shock. A surprise. A blessing.  Finally the baby brother Lewis had asked for, and we had all longed for, for years.

Lewis was the first person to find out you were a boy. We went for a private gender scan to find out. We asked the sonographer to tell him first so he could tell us. His reaction after she whispered it in his ear was to do a fist pump and say with a huge grin on his face – “YES! I’m getting a brother!” he has loved you ever since. He makes you giggle every single day. His love for you has made me love him even more and I didn’t think that was possible. Over the last year Lewis has invented many ways to make you happy including the “belly drum”, various songs and dances, playing peek a boo with you, tickles, blowing raspberries and an entire orchestra of ridiculous noises.

We call you Jolly Ollie. But you are not always Jolly. When you were brand new and in the first few months you frowned a lot. So we nicknamed you “Sir frowns a lot” but now you rarely frown. You smile a lot and it makes all of us burst with happiness when you do. Your biggest smiles are for your big brother Lewis. He now walks home from school with his friends (he is in p5 now, very grown up!) but for the first 7 months of your life we walked to school to collect him and your face would light up when he came out and spoke to you.

The first 6 months of your life were a big adjustment for all of us. I breast fed you to start with and I was lucky to have two fabulous friends Ashley and Sarah who helped me a lot with breastfeeding. In the end I didn’t make enough milk for you and after ten weeks (which felt like MUCH longer) I stopped and you went onto formula and were almost instantly happier. I had mixed feelings, if Im honest. On the one hand I was really happy to have so much more time with you for fun stuff and our entire day no longer revolved around my boobs, hurrah! But I did miss it at times. But I knew it was for the best and you thrived so I knew it was the best decision for both of us. Its tricky being a mummy, we are judged for so many things and feeding is a REALLY hot topic so lots of mums don’t talk about it. But its hard, and nobody should feel ashamed for admitting that.

So you weren’t always Jolly Ollie, there were hard days. And on those days I was glad to have my mummy friends. When you were around 3 months old I first went to Lucy’s Cafe in Corstorphine and met a bunch of other mums all with babies around the same age. We bonded over feeding, sleeping, lack of sleep, sore nipples, a love of caffeine and bacon rolls and of course our beautiful babies. Here you met your pals Ellis, Lewis, Max, Zoe, Harry, Brodie, Preston, Hayden, Marnie and Connor. I had met some of the mums before at ante natal class so it was lovely to have a group of us going through the same things at the same time. How invaluable that would become!

You have changed already so much since then, its almost impossible to comprehend all the tiny minuscule changes. You don’t see them when they happen, but in a blink an eye you grow and change. It brings mixed feelings to us as your parents. We of course want you to grow, be healthy and strong. But sometimes I get scared of how quickly time passes and how fast you and your brother are growing up.

Over the last year you have developed your own personality, you have likes and dislikes. Here are a few of your favourite things:

  • Bro-bro aka Lewis, your favourite person
  • Daddy. On the days that Daddy works you go bananas when he comes home and immediately want his full attention, cuddles and play time. On days Daddy isn’t at work you want his full attention, cuddles and play time 😉
  • Music, you LOVE music! You especially love it when Lewis plays the drums and you are desperate to have a go, which you do sat on my knee battering on those drums and cymbals with the drumsticks like animal from the muppets! You don’t know it yet but your birthday cake is decorated with musical notes
  • Books, you love story time especially sensory books with things to touch and feel
  • Gymboree, which is where your 1st birthday party will be tomorrow. You love to explore the equipment and you REALLY love the balls which is why I bought you some for your birthday 😉 your gymbo friends are Zach, Eve, Emily, Nixon & Jake
  • Cuddles, which I hope never changes. Although a bit less snot would be nice 🙂 You try to give us kisses but so far that mostly involves opening your mouth and dribbling on us!
  • Fruit. Almost all fruit. So far you have eaten: apples, grapes, cherries, melon, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, mango, pineapple, peach, apricot, pear, banana, plum, fig and probably a tonne of others that I cant remember. I sometimes call you my little fruit bat you love fruit so much!
  • Banging things together. Job done.
  • Taking things out of baskets and putting them back in again which is your favourite game at the moment and one we play most bedtimes
  • Bath time! You love a bath which seems about right since you were born into water. You love to splash, to my delight and sometimes less so to Daddy’s! You love to grab the sponge and drink the water from it which is kind of gross but mostly funny
  • Bubbles! Especially the gymboree ones that stay on the floor for ages so you can crawl around popping them all

You’re asleep just now. Before bed I gave you a bath, you soaked my jeans by playing “water drums” which I completely encouraged and loved! You cuddled into me and I kissed you and told you I loved you. As I always will. As will Daddy and Lewis. When you wake in the morning you will no longer be a baby, you will be a One year old.

You are cruising just now but not quite walking so the next year of your life I know will be full of adventures, exploration and probably a lot of me and daddy running after you stopping you from touching things we don’t want you to touch! And I cant wait. I’m already wondering how I will feel a year from now reflecting on your 2nd year and all you learn and how many millions of tiny ways that you have changed. I know that each and every of the 365 days between now and then you will be loved by Mummy, Daddy and Bro-Bro and you will continue to make my heart sing with every giggle and cheeky grin.

You’ve been here for not quite a year, but you have been loved for some much longer xx

Autumn family photography

Autumn family photography

Autumn Family Photoshoots Edinburgh – Autumn is here! Yippee!

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Autumn is my favourite time of year and especially for child and family photoshoots in Edinburgh. Autumn makes me think of cosy jumpers, snuggly scarves, holding hands with mittens on. Kicking the leaves, throwing them in the air and scouring for conkers! Warm colours, rosy cheeks and fresh Scottish air, whats not to love?!

I took my own kids to one of our favourite family spots, Lauriston Castle nestled between Cramond and Davidsons Mains. You may have seen other photoshoots I have done here and so you’ll know by now it is a firm favourite of mine! But at this time of year it really does hold its own. Majestic trees turning golden, conkers littering the ground and a carpet of fallen leaves lead you through the trees in search of adventure.

Like most families we had the usual thought/panic of what to dress the boys in. As I wanted to make the most of the gorgeous autumn colours we opted for pops of mustard to keep their clothing coordinated without being overly matchy matchy. Typically for this time of year our youngest had a runny nose and wasn’t feeling his best so there were plenty of tissues on hand for face wiping! Also at eleven months old he point blank refuses to keep on a pair of socks so it was barefoot fun for Ollie!

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As many of you will have encountered older children can sometimes be a little reluctant to get in front of the camera. Shyness can start to creep in and suddenly the little model child starts to pull awkward forced grins or just looks miserable. This is why I love to get outdoors with older kids so they can relax. This was the first time in a long time Lewis has enjoyed having his photos taken as he said he felt like we were just out having fun as a family in the woods not on a photoshoot. Hurrah! I have to say I do love the ones where he isn’t smiling but is just relaxed and enjoying the moment.

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Anyone who has more than one child will know that trying to get a good photo of your children together can at times be a nightmare! One child looks awesome, the other miserable. One has a fab smile, the other blinks or is speaking so you freeze their face with a gaping mouth or weird expression. I know the pain! Thankfully I have a rather nifty little tool called Photoshop so if need be I can swap heads/faces to combine and create the perfect photo of your kids and you’d never know. Luckily it doesn’t happen often as generally on my photoshoots I see it as my job to make your child relax and smile naturally rather than expecting them to. You can find out more about how I work here.

With my pair on the day Ollie just wasn’t in a smiley mood thanks to a nasty cold and teething so him looking relaxed was as much as I had hoped for and thankfully I managed to get a few in the short period of time we had!

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One of my other reasons for loving outdoor photos at this time of year is the gorgeous back and white images you can create. Rich, dark and classic they are what often end up on my walls at home rather than the gorgeous bright autumnal tones which don’t always sit well with the decor of the room we want to display it in.

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We live quite locally so Lauriston Castle is a regular haunt of ours but we also love Corstorphine Hill, Davidson Mains Park, Camo Estate, the River Almond walkway and Spylaw Park at this time of year. If you don’t live on this side of Edinburgh I’m sure you know of many other gorgeous spots such as Blackford Hill, Leith Links, St Margaret’s Park and of course the braids are all beautiful for capturing family photos with gorgeous autumn colours. I love finding new spots so please do let me know if I have missed any amazing gems that we should get out and explore!

If you are thinking of updating your family photos and would like to take advantage of this beautiful time of year please do get in touch and ask to be added to the mailing list for my Autumn Family Photoshoots Edinburgh dates which will be released soon! These will be 25 minute sessions held on location with ten digital images for only £150 and I have already sold out one date to existing clients so they will definitely sell out fast!