Clock change survival with Rachel Fitz-Desorgher, baby and parenting expert
Clock change survival with Rachel Fitz-Desorgher, baby and parenting expert

Clock change survival with Rachel Fitz-Desorgher, baby and parenting expert

As we head towards the annual ‘Spring forward’ clock change (an event that can strike fear in parent’s hearts), Rachel Fitz-Desorgher, Baby and Parenting expert, shares her advice on how to make it a smoother transition. Rachel has over 30 years experience as a baby and parenting expert, author and presenter. She has four sons and two grandchildren who have loved their Yoto Players since 2020. 

Twice a year, as the UK clocks shift by an hour one way or the other, my parenting postbox fills up with questions from anxious parents about how to manage the transition without losing their hard-won routines and, more importantly, sleep.

As a mum of four boys and ‘Mompa’ to two young grandchildren I really have been there, done that and got the thoroughly worn-out T-shirt. With the clock change we know that the light will be different at bedtime and wake-up time and fear that this will disrupt their sleep and, if their sleep is thrown off-kilter, ours will be too … cue the sound of the four horsemen of the apocalypse riding over the hill! But there really isn’t any need to fret. It is easy to forget that times for dusk and dawn are changing every single day of the year. Children go upstairs for bed and get up in the morning because they have a certain rhythm to their day which we have created to align with their highly evolved needs and behaviour, and children love knowing that, whatever else is going on in their lives, home life keeps thrumming to the same rhythm." 

Read more here about how Yoto can support children's daily routines.

"Parents ask me whether they should tweak bedtimes little by little over a few weeks to help children adjust or just go ‘cold turkey’ that very first day. In my opinion, it simply doesn’t matter which technique you choose to follow - where the hands are on the clock face isn’t important: the clear, confident message on your face and in your words has the biggest impact on our children’s behaviour. So simply decide what time YOU would like bedtime to be and then ensure your bedtime routine plays out in the same way as usual. If your child queries why it is still so light as they get snuggled down in their pyjamas, simply and straightforwardly tell them “You’re right! It IS jolly light this evening because the clocks have changed.” A simple validation of their experience followed by a delightful choice: “Which card do you want to pop in your Yoto this evening to enjoy whilst you settle down?”

As for mornings? You could let them have that lie-in and then crack on with the day as usual as if nothing has changed, or you may choose to set their Yoto Alarm with one of the pre-set wake up tones to gently rouse them if they need it. Children look to their parents and other adults in their lives for clarity, certainty, confidence and compassion. Keep those boundaries and your home rhythm bouncing along and that clock change need never worry you again. Sleep well!” 

How else can Yoto support this clock change?

Make bedtimes a breeze with Sleep Radio 

Yoto Sleep Radio is a bedtime blend of soothing sounds and songs to have your little ones nodding (off) to the beat. You can find it under the Sleep Sounds section of the Yoto App. 

When your Yoto Player's clock switches from Day to Night, Yoto Radio will turn into Yoto Sleep Radio and will be accessible by tapping the righthand orange button twice. You can adjust the time of this transition in the Settings section of the Yoto App.

Create a calming mood with 7 Yoto nightlight colours

The nightlight built into Yoto Player is a favourite feature in many households. Just flip Yoto Player onto its face and the nightlight will switch on. You can even change between seven different nightlight colours using the Yoto App. 

Set a Sleep Timer so kids can enjoy (just) one last chapter  

Picture the scene - they’re tucked up in bed, listening to their favourite sleepy story, eyes closed and you think it’s ‘job done!’. But you’re steeling yourself to sneak back in to turn off the player. No need! You can use your Yoto App to stop the story playing once you know the kids are asleep or to set a Sleep Timer after a certain chapter - even while you're relaxing on the couch! And don't worry, Yoto Player will turn itself off after an hour of sitting idle.

Soothe anxious sleepers with white noise, soundscapes and more 

Sleep Sounds can be found in the Yoto App, available to download free from the iOS and Android app stores. It's filled with great audio for winding down and dozing off in the evenings and we're sure it will help your kids settle into a good night's sleep.

In Sleep Sounds are noises like White and Pink Noise as well as some calming natural soundscapes. Do your kids want to drift off next to the lapping water of Lake Venados in Argentina? We've got you covered! Maybe they want to relax to the sounds of a campsite in rural France? Pas de problème!

Start their day when the nightlight changes colour 

Yoto Player's colourful clock helps keep families moving forward, but did you know it can also help with bedtime?

In the Yoto App, you can set your preferred time to have the clock switch from day to night, and then from night to day so little ones see when it’s OK-to-wake! Just set your night clock for the time that kids need to turn out the lights and go to bed, and set the day clock to pop back up in the morning. 

We hope these tips were helpful! For more parenting resources, you can visit Rachel’s website or buy her book . If you aren't already, be sure to join our Facebook Group where you can connect with over 30,000 parents and Yoto fans from all over the world!

What topic would you like us to cover for the next #AskMeAnything? Let us know on social media, or send us an email at! 💤



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