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Fall Back! Daylight Savings Time

Posted by & filed under Common Concerns.

I can remember a time when the idea of daylight savings time meant another hour of sleep, or another hour to be out and about at the bars! This was before my daughter was born. Now I’m thinking…. What time is she going to wake up on Sunday morning? 6? 5? 4? I really hope it’s at 6:30 a.m. which is her normal wake up time.

We fall back with daylight savings time on Sunday, November 1. At 2:00 a.m. the clocks jump back to 1:00 a.m. Some children are “easily adaptable” and have no problem with the switch, while others may become early risers. With some easy steps you can help your child get on track for daylight savings time.

First, let’s count back four days from daylight savings time. This year that would be Wednesday, October 28. Starting on this day, begin to push your child’s bedtime back by 15 minutes, adding an additional 15 minutes for each subsequent day until Saturday, October 31. Lucky for your children, they will enjoy a few extra pieces of candy on Halloween by going to sleep an hour later than normal! Then on Sunday evening you can resume their regular scheduled bedtime.

For example, if your child goes to bed at 6:30 p.m. every night, this is what you will do:

October 28- 6:45 p.m.

October 29- 7:00 p.m.

October 30- 7:15 p.m.

October 31 -7:30 p.m.

November 1 –  6:30 p.m.

Following this routine will help your child adapt to the new changes. It still may take a few days but this technique will certainly help.

Along with these later bedtimes, I also suggest pushing back naps and meals for these few days.

Even if you have followed these tips your child may still rise early. If so, do your best to leave your child in his or her crib or bed until it is wake up time. You may go in and reassure your child that it is still night time and they should be sleeping. Once it is an acceptable time to wake, introduce the dramatic wake up.  Open those blinds let the sun in, turn on the lights, and greet your child with a huge smile!

The whole transition may take a week but staying consistent will help it go more smoothly.

So are you going to adjust your child’s bedtime leading up to daylight savings time or just hope for the best?

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Are bedtime routines really that important?

Posted by & filed under Common Concerns.

YES!!! Babies thrive on consistency and routines that help them feel comfortable and safe. Creating a consistent and comfortable bedtime routine will not only help your baby anticipate what is coming next, but also foster healthy sleep habits for years to come.

Some parents are unsure about when to begin this routine. I believe the earlier, the better! The first few weeks after you bring your baby home are a whirlwind. Creating a consistent routine may seem as unimaginable as getting a full night’s sleep, but I promise – you will be happy once you begin one. Working parents especially enjoy this as it allows for bonding and quiet time together. First bedtime routines may include a warm bath, changing into PJs, infant massage, a few lullabies, a book, bottle or boob and finally bed! The sequence of events will change as your baby grows and develops. Once your baby has a few teeth, it is important to incorporate brushing into the nighttime routine.

Easing into the Bedtime Routine
  1. Turn off the television, iPad, and video games one hour prior to bedtime. This allows your baby to wind down in a less stimulating environment before going to sleep.
  2. Offer a snack to an older child with milk or water and give a bottle or boob to babies.
  3. Give your baby a bath before bed. The warm water is soothing, allowing for relaxation. Be sure to use lotion afterward to keep their skin super soft. I like Cetaphil as it is not too harsh on my baby’s skin.
  4. Change into pajamas. If your child is old enough, have them pick out their own pajamas and bed sheets so they are excited about going to bed.
  5. Sing a lullaby and read a book.
  6. Say “goodnight” and “I love you” before transferring your child into the crib or bed. This should be the last step before you turn off the lights.