Monday, April 13, 2015

Tips for Applying to Preschoo

by Dr. Michelle Nitka – Child psychologist and author of Coping With Preschool Panic the Los Angeles Guide to Private Preschools

Never mind college. How do you get your kids into preschool? Choosing a preschool, and being chosen, has come to feel like a competitive sport. The process of applying to preschool is enough to push parents of hearty constitutions to the edge.

But it does not have to be this way. Despite what some overachieving parents think, admission to the “right” preschool will not set your child on the road to Harvard. What is vastly more important is to finding the preschool that fits your child and your family. Given that the preschool search often begins when a child is not even a year old many parents may well ask, “How do I know who he is yet?  He can scarcely eat without drooling!”  It is important therefore to pay attention not only to your child’s needs but also to your own. The following tips will hopefully start you in the right direction.

TIPS FOR APPLYING TO PRESCHOOL

1)  Do you want your child in a half-day program or a full-day program? How much flexibility do you need in terms of number of days your child is in school and hours your child is in school?

2)  How far do you want to drive? There are many outstanding preschool programs, and unless you have a pathological desire to listen to Barney or Elmo during long car rides, the closer the better.

3)  How much do you want to spend on preschool? Don’t forget hidden costs like the annual fund drive, capital campaigns, endowment funds, galas, etc. They all have different names but add up to the same thing – you are writing checks which can add thousands of dollars to your tuition.

4)  What is the educational philosophy you are most comfortable with (remembering of course that you are looking for the best fit for your child)? There are lots of choices out there, including but not limited to traditional academic, developmental, cooperative, Reggio Emilia, Montessori, and Waldorf. 

5)  Would you consider sending your child to a preschool affiliated with a church or a temple? Remember that just because a preschool is affiliated with a religious institution does not necessary mean it is a religious preschool.   If you are interested in a preschool affiliated with a church or temple, joining the congregation can give you an advantage in the admissions process.

6)  Is diversity important to you, and if so, what kind of diversity is important to you?  Some schools are founded on the idea of having a diverse student body, while others are extremely homogeneous.

7)  Does your child have any special needs that might affect whether a preschool is a good fit? Some preschool directors are exceptional at working with and including children with special needs, while others seem to regard it as a burden.

8)  How much parent participation do you want to see in the preschool? What are the opportunities for parent involvement, and what are the expectations? There are some preschools, for example cooperative nursery schools, that by definition require a good deal of parent participation. If you have a very inflexible work schedule this may not be a good choice. On the other hand for a parent who has quit their job to be involved in their child’s early education, a school with little to no parent involvement might be quite frustrating.

9)  What is the school’s policy on toilet training?  Some preschools have a very strict requirement that a child must be toilet trained to start preschool while others are far more lenient and realize that peer modeling will probably accomplish the task rather rapidly. 

10) After preschool do you plan to send your child to public or private school? There are some preschools where everyone will graduate and attend private elementary schools. Those directors typically help their families with this application process and are very well versed in it. On the other hand, there are many excellent preschools where no one continues on to private school. 

11) Apply to the toddler program of the preschool you are interested in. Many preschools have toddler programs that start when the child is about 18 months old. Toddler programs generally meet once a week and the parent stays with the child. These programs are an excellent way of getting to know a preschool program. Although it is not a guarantee, many preschools acknowledge that attending their toddler program does afford the child an advantage in terms of admission to the preschool.

Finally, try to remember that although these first decisions regarding your child’s education are important, no preschool can ever replace you. There are no golden tickets – no preschool will guarantee success.  It is far more important to be a loving, involved, present parent.

Get Dr. Michelle Nitka's Book
Dr. Michelle Nitka teaches our Hot Topics lecture "Coping With Pre-School Panic" at all our store locations. For the next lecture near you contact:
  • Santa Monica: 310-998-1981
  • Hollywood: 323-469-5300

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Mama, Dada, I’m ready for a Nap Schedule! 5 signs your baby is ready for ‘time of day’ naps.

By Julie Wright, MFT


Nap confusion is way up on the list of parents’ sleep questions and concerns.  No surprise here. Naps are notoriously tricky and constantly shifting like a moving target. 

In our book, we tout the incredible ‘90 minute awake span’ technique—a life-changer for babies and their exhausted parents in the early months. But what happens next?  How do we know when our little one is ready to move from napping based on how long he’s been awake, to a nap schedule based on the clock? 

The good news is your baby will show you the way. Here are 5 signs from your baby that he is ready for a nap schedule.

1.  I’m about 5 – 6 months old.
It may surprise you to hear that your baby’s circadian system—her internal clock that signals night, day and nap times—has matured a great deal by this age. Now she’s moved from the erratic sleep patterns of her early months into much more predictable, by-the-clock timing for going to sleep and waking up. 

Other developmental areas are also surging forward at break neck speed.  She is sucking her fingers or thumb, snuggling with her lovey and nestling her body to get comfy. By this age or soon, she is rolling and becoming comfortable with her physical prowess and newfound freedom. All of these lovely skills contribute to her ability to self soothe.

2.  I can fall asleep on my own!
Once your baby is doing what he is built to do – fall asleep on his own, you’re well on your way to much more predictable and scheduled naps.  That’s because when babies are accessing their innate capacity to fall sleep without outside help from you (rocking, bouncing, swinging, stroller, etc.), they sleep longer and more deeply.  They also are able to put themselves back to sleep after a sleep cycle or being awakened by a loud noise.  If they fall asleep in their familiar sleep space, using their helpful sleep associations (thumb, fingers, lovey, body position), they know just what to do to go back to sleep. 

3. My naps are starting to get longer.
What a welcome change! You thought it would never happen but those dreaded 30-minute (or less) naps are finally starting to stretch out!

Little babies often go down for their first nap after only an hour of awake time.  By about 6 months, especially if your baby is getting the 11-12 hours at night that her brain and body require, you’ll also see that span grow to 90 minutes and longer. These are sure signs that she is moving to a nice nap schedule.

4. My morning wake up time is settling in – finally!
Why oh why do little ones think 5:00am is a good time to start the day? 

This is very normal, but the good news is with maturity, self-soothing to sleep, and a consistent pattern of response from you, your early riser will start sleeping to at least his 11-hour mark (11 hours since bedtime)—which is what we want him to do. Once your little one is predictably ‘finishing his night’ and waking at about the same time each morning, this sets the stage for tolerating a longer awake span and being ready to move into time of day naps.

5.  My internal clock is showing the way.
Here’s the really cool one.  We know that sleep is natural and babies are built to sleep.  Well, then it would only make sense that their little bodies and brains know when it’s time to move to scheduled naps.  And it’s true!  You will start to notice a pattern emerging where that first nap not only moves a little later, but starts to settle into a predictable time of day.  You will no longer need to meticulously count the minutes of awake time but can now set your baby’s schedule. 

Here are examples of typical nap schedules for babies 6-9 months old:

                                    EXAMPLE 1                                    EXAMPLE 2

Bedtime
7:00 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
Wake time
6:00 a.m.
6:30 a.m.
First Nap
7:30 a.m.
8:30 a.m.
Second Nap
12:00 p.m.
12:30 p.m.
Third Nap
3:00 p.m.
3:30 p.m.

For more sleep help, join us at The Happy Sleeper Sleep Class for babies 5-24 months (all ages welcome). The next class is April 3, 11:15am – 12:45pm in Santa Monica. In the class we’ll teach you our approach for helping babies,
·      Fall asleep independently
·      Sleep through the night
·      Take healthy naps



Julie Wright and Heather Turgeon are the authors of the new book, The Happy Sleeper: The Science-Backed Guide to Helping Your Baby Get a Good Night’s Sleep – Newborn to School Age (Penguin Random House).  Follow them on Facebook @TheHappySleeper

Mindful Parenting: How to Create a Joyful and Compassionate Home for Your Child

By Jill Campbell, PsyD


Jenny Q Photography
Often as parents we end up getting a lot of unsolicited advice. This advice, although well intended, might conflict with our own instincts and intuition. I believe that as parents, trusting our intuit has become an increasingly difficult thing to do. There is a lot of pressure today to be the “perfect” mom or dad. We have this unrealistic image in our heads of this person who always knows exactly what to say, what do to, who perfectly organizes and manages every detail of her family's life. In trying to live up to this idealized image in our heads, we often begin to lose who we truly are. 

The reality, however, is that not only should we let go of the goal of perfectionism, but according to renowned author and professor, Jon Kabat-Zinn, “perfect is simply not relevant." He states that “what is important is that we be authentic, and that we honor our children and ourselves as best we can. Being present, paying attention, being true to yourself .” I believe that, if we let it, parenthood can become a spiritual journey. It is a practice that teaches and inspires us to look inward, and grow as individuals. 

Jenny Q Photography
Parenting mindfully means parenting consciously and with awareness of what the present moment requires. Mindful parenting helps us to be present and attuned to our child's inner world. In order to do this we need to become calm, balanced, and consistent with ourselves. One of the greatest gifts a parent can give a child is their full attention and validation.

Two wonderful books that I highly recommend on this subject are Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn, and Buddhism for Mothers: A Calm Approach to Caring for Yourself and Your Children by Sarah Napthali. Both books do a superb job of showing us how to really enjoy and embrace ourselves in the process of parenting, and how to see our children for who they really are. In Everyday Blessings, Kabat-Zinn tells us to try to imagine the world from your child's point of view, purposefully letting go of your own. He asks us to do this for a few minutes everyday to remind ourselves who this child is and what he or she faces in the world. It is really such a simple exercise, but extremely powerful at the same time. It instantly evokes empathy and understanding which takes us out of our own heads, and brings us right back to the present moment. It helps us to see the difference between our expectations of our children, and who they really are. 

In Buddhism for Mothers, Sarah Napthali teaches us how to be aware of any tension building up in our bodies, and how to consciously release it. An exercise that can take just a moment to do, but completely centers and energizes us. It is from this place that we can begin to trust our instincts and intuition. It is from this place that all you need to parent lovingly and successfully comes to you.

I am very excited to be leading the workshop Mindful Parenting: How to Create a Joyful and Compassionate Home for Your Child at The Pump Station & Nurtury - Santa Monica on Thursday, April 2nd at 3pm. This workshop will teach powerful tools and techniques on how to be present and centered, thus creating an environment in which you can take better care of yourself and your family.

For more information on Dr. Jill Campbell's services, Lectures and Mommy & Me Support Groups please call us at 310-998-1981.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Top Ten Reasons for your Baby to do "Tummy Time"

By Marilee Hartling, RN, MFT
Did you know that Pediatricians and physical therapists are concerned that babies are spending too much time on their backs when they are awake? Parents are encouraged to get their babies to spend at least 30 minutes a day on their tummies while they are awake. We call this "Tummy Time". Parents sometimes forget how important it is to have their infants spend time on their tummies!  However, it's often difficult to get babies to play in this position. Babies generally resist "Tummy Time" and may protest loudly when parents turn them over. Babies who have not been put on their tummies from the very beginning may experience this as an unfamiliar position and babies don't particularly like positions that are unfamiliar.

 The Top Ten Reasons for your Baby 
to do "Tummy Time"

l. "Tummy Time" gets babies off of their backs and provides a break for the posterior occipital area (back of the head). This lessens the chance that your baby will develop positional plagiocephaly (a flat or asymmetrical head), which might require helmet therapy.

2. "Tummy Time" lessens the chance that your baby will develop acquired torticollis which involves neck muscle shortening when a baby's head maintains primarily one position. Sometimes babies may need some physical therapy for a while to correct this condition.

3. "Tummy Time" promotes the development of strong head and neck muscles by allowing your baby the chance to hold his head up against gravity. This paves the way for your baby to push up, roll over, sit up, and crawl later. "Tummy Time" is related to faster achievement of these developmental milestones.

4. "Tummy Time" is great for stretching and giving the abdominal organs a sort of "massage" which then stimulates normal bowel functioning and can help to eliminate baby gas.

5. "Tummy Time" enhances posture and coordination.

6. "Tummy Time" helps to develop your baby's visual system including tracking.
As your baby lifts his head while on his tummy he looks to both sides. This helps the coordination of 2 eyes together as he follows movement and looks for interesting toys positioned in front of him.

7. "Tummy Time" helps to develop your baby's throat and mouth area muscles as your baby looks up and moves his head. These are some of the muscles needed for speech and language development later.

8. "Tummy Time" reduces any tightness in the head and neck muscles. For your baby's brain and nervous system to function at their best the head and neck muscles need to be as free as possible from tightness.

9. "Tummy Time" helps babies to develop both near and far vision. We call this "visual organization" which begins while they are on their tummies. "Visual organization" is especially important later on when your baby grows and finally goes to school. He will need this organization as his eyes switch back and forth from blackboard to desk.

10. "Tummy Time" simply promotes good health and prevents problems related to motor development and learning later. Prevention of problems is always better and easier than trying to fix problems after they happen.

Learn how to get your baby to LOVE "Tummy Time".  We will give you ideas and activities you can utilize at home, some of which we will actually practice during the workshop, to make sure your baby gets enough "Tummy Time" throughout the day. Our "Tummy Time" activities are enjoyable for both babies and parents. You and your baby will have fun! For more information about "Tummy Time” or to ask questions about the content in this blog, contact: 
Marilee Hartling, RN, MFT at (323) 655-5580 or visit www.ecdevelopment.org


Nathan attends Marilee’s “Mommy & Me” group at the Hollywood Pump Station. He has been practicing "Tummy Time" in the group since he was one month old and really enjoys it!  So does his dad!! (picture used with permission)

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Looking for a Part-Time Clerical Assistant

Part-Time – Clerical Assistant provides a variety of clerical tasks in support of business operations within a department or division, performs related duties as assigned.

Must be available 20-30 hours a week depending on needs of the business.
Position reports to CEO and Marketing Manager

  • Strong Microsoft Office skills – Outlook, Word & Excel, etc
  • Excellent Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Must work well with others in a team setting
  • Assist in event planning, setting up booths
  • Must have some scheduling flexibility, available some weekends and evenings for events
  • Must be willing to travel within 60 mile radius on occasion for events, store visits and local PR
  • Ability to take direction on projects and work independently
  • Strong Customer Service Skills
  • Ability to Prioritize and Multi-Task
  • Must be able to be on feet for long periods of time, lift 50 pounds+
  • Retail POS experience – experience with NCR/CP major plus!
  • Opportunities for growth!
  • Duties include all of the above – but are not limited to these. 

Please send Resume to Marketing@PumpStation.com

Monday, March 2, 2015

Daylight Savings Time – SPRING FORWARD!

Adapted from The Happy Sleeper by Heather Turgeon, MFT and Julie Wright, MFT

We big people know that Spring Forward is the one that robs us of an entire weekend hour -  not our fav!  However, keep reading as there may be a silver lining for your baby.  .  . Before you go to bed on Saturday night, March 7th, turn your clocks forward one hour. There are 2 different ways to approach helping your baby make the time change. 

JUMP RIGHT TO THE NEW TIME   
You can have your child simply jump to the new time. This often works just fine for older kids, who might feel a little groggy for a few days while they adjust. After a nice routine, put your child to bed at the new time Sunday evening.  

SHIFT YOUR BABY GRADUALLY
Another approach is to anticipate the change and help your baby gradually shift to the new time. Babies tend to have a slightly harder time with the change than older kids.
Once Sunday rolls around, what used to be 6:00 p.m. will now be 7:00 p.m., so your baby will be less sleepy at bedtime. Adjust sleep times a little earlier each day in anticipation.

STEPS FOR SHIFTING YOUR BABY GRADUALLY:

  • If your baby’s schedule is just where you want it, you’ll help her adjust to the new time gradually, by moving her bedtime and naps about 15 minutes earlier each day leading up to Sunday. This works best if you start 4 - 7 days in advance. 
  • If your baby’s current schedule is off and the time change will help (for example, it’s spring and you want him to go to bed an hour later), you’re in luck. You will be able to shift your baby immediately to the new time. It will still be very important to pay attention to blocking out daylight and keeping bedtime and naptime routines consistent.
  • If your baby’s schedule is off in a direction where the time change will make it even worse (it’s spring and you want her to go to bed an hour earlier), adjust gradually to the new time and then continue until you’ve reached the desired bedtime.. Make sure that you have blackout shades or curtains, for a very dark room in the morning.
  • If your baby hasn’t completely adjusted by the time daylight savings time arrives, no worries; just continue the adjustment during the next few days.

Remember routines and environment. Keep bedtime and naptime routines in place and predicable. For springing back, it will be especially important to keep your pleasurable, relaxing, age appropriate routine in place. All that effort and consistency will pay off now, as these cues help your baby adjust to the new time. Also make baby’s room very dark. Light creeping in earlier in the morning or lingering into the summer evening can add to baby’s challenge to adjust to the new time.

Join us for The Happy Sleeper Baby Sleep Class at The Pump Station & Nurtury!
Babies 5-18 months (all ages welcome)
The Pump Station & Nurtury - Santa Monica
March 11th or April 3rd 
Call 310.998.1981 to register!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Immunizations: You Should Know


According to the Centers for Disease Control, the United States experienced a record number of measles cases during 2014, with 644 cases from 27 separate states. In 2015, already 121 cases have been reported. This leaves parents asking the important question "Should I vaccinate my children?"

Our friends at Kids In The House have interviewed many experts on this specific question so you have the information you need to make this important decision for your family. We recently partnered with Kids In The House and are releasing a special segment from the upcoming Baby Care 101 DVD with advice from Wendy Haldeman and Corky Harvey on the decision to vaccinate your children. Below you will find this short video along with other important videos on vaccinations from top medical experts.


Check out these other videos put together by Kids In The House of local and national pediatricians and professionals on vaccinations. View all videos by clicking here.




Dr. Larry Ross is a pediatrician and expert in infectious diseases at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. He explains how herd immunity helps prevent the transmission of diseases such as measles, rubella, and whooping cough.






Dr. James Varga has been a pediatrician since 1977. He explains the effects vaccines have had throughout the past few decades.






Professor Leonardo Trasande is an associate professor at the NYU School of Medicine. He explains the research behind the vaccines and their suspected link to autism.






Dr. Lawrence Kagan is a pediatrician who has worked both at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles and Cedars Sinai Urgent Care. He explains vaccination schedules and why they are important.
Dear Pump Station & Nurtury™ Family,

We're always focused on the health & wellness of our clients and our team, and we value your suggestions. Please know that The Pump Station™ is continuing to monitor developments of the measles spread and consulting with medical advisors about appropriate precautions. We have always been very careful in keeping our store surfaces clean and we will continue to do so, as there is always something going around, whether it is the flu or a summer cold.
  
In spite of the extensive media coverage, overall infection rates remain extremely low. We have consulted with several well respected local pediatricians who have assured us that there is no need for widespread concern, and that our classrooms continue to be safe and appropriate places for our groups to gather.

As many of you know, breastfeeding helps maintain maternal antibodies in babies. If you have been immunized, some of this protection is passed on to newborns and infants up to about 6 months of age. However, babies are not offered the vaccine until the age of 12-15 months, which makes them more vulnerable than the general population. In addition, we have been advised that if an infant is too young to be immunized and they also have a sibling or parent who is not immunized, they will carry a higher risk than they otherwise would. The advice of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and virtually every significant public health organization, concerning the MMR vaccination is unequivocal: "We know from many repeated studies that the MMR vaccine is safe and effective. It is in fact one of the most effective vaccines we have." - AAP

If we can be of any help over the phone, or in your home, please let us know, as our staff is available for phone or home consultations.  

Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Sincerely,
Corky Harvey, Co-Founder, MS, RN, IBCLC
Wendy Haldeman, Co-Founder, MN, RN, IBCLC
Cheryl Petran, CEO
 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Your Baby Already Knows How to Sleep

by Heather Turgeon & Julie Wright

Our clients are always shocked when they hear this. They've been breaking a sweat rocking their baby into a deep slumber, waking up every 2 hours to feed throughout the night, or wringing their hands in frustration with a wide-eyed, nap-resistant toddler.

But it's true. Sleep is a basic action that babies are naturally born to do. Their bodies crave healthy sleep, and their brains are wired for it. By five or six months of age, almost all babies are capable of sleeping well without much assistance from Mom or Dad.

So why do so many families struggle at night? The answer is that most parents do what works today, don't notice when it's no longer needed tomorrow, and then keep pushing even harder when it's become a hindrance the day after that. They work overtime with all kinds of fanfare and tricks to put their babies to bed. We've heard it all: parents feeding, rocking, and bouncing on a yoga ball for 45 minutes every night, lying down with kids, re-tucking and re filling water glasses endlessly-one couple even told us they found themselves putting on a full music show with guitars, singing, and lights every night before bedtime.

Over time, parents’ “helping ways” overshadow their baby’s natural sleep abilities. Children get confused as to whether they or their parents are doing the soothing, and parents aren’t sure when and how much to back off so their little ones can take over the job.

Photo by Summer Drew
Good Sleep Is in Their Genes
Kids don’t need to be trained to sleep; they’re built to sleep. Think about it: sleep is like other areas of development, and you know how quickly your baby learns. Within a year, a baby can sit, pull to stand, and maybe take her first steps. She understands language and soon she’ll speak in sentences. Almost overnight, she’s a master in all realms.

So why should sleep be any different?

But over and over in our practice, we see that it is. Children take off in their motor, social, cognitive, and language skills, while sleep skills stall and even decline as the months go on. It’s a common course for little kids—they show robust, thriving development in all other domains but actually regress in their ability to sleep.

In the early months, this happens when a soothing technique like nursing or rocking to sleep works and becomes your go-to habit (and we don’t blame you!). The problem is that while newborns often need these soothing devices, they outgrow this need quickly as their natural self-soothing abilities grow—sometimes within a matter of days or weeks. With toddlers and kids, the same idea applies. We know that they can sleep, but milestones and life transitions (learning to climb out of the crib, starting preschool, or having nightmares) rock the boat just enough to warrant a new trick (like lying down with the child until they doze off) that kids quickly become reliant on.

As parents get stuck in a habit of soothing their little one to sleep, it masks the child’s natural abilities and makes it look as if she can’t sleep on her own.

Imagine your child was capable of walking, but you still carried her everywhere instead of letting her practice this new skill! This overhelping is the crux of family sleep problems. Eventually parents become exasperated, while baby’s sleep potential has actually been stifled.

Why We Wrote This Book
We wrote this book to help solve a dilemma. Over and over in our parenting groups, we’ve seen moms and dads work diligently to be responsive and nurturing around sleep, only to become frustrated, exhausted, and confused as their baby’s sleep gets worse instead of better. These parents feel stuck, and many reach the end of their rope and turn to a harsh, shut-the-door-and-don’t-go-in approach.

We know that sleep is a natural, hardwired function that shouldn’t be so difficult. As clinicians who follow science and new thinking on child development, we realized why sleep was stumping so many families—it’s the same overhelping or “helicopter parenting” dilemma that parents find themselves in elsewhere. Logic tells us (and research confirms) that overhelping doesn’t work: When we do things for our babies and kids that they are capable of doing for themselves, it keeps them from developing to their potential (in this case, their sleep potential). The problem is that, as parents, we don’t know how to stop overhelping, while still being warm and supportive to our kids.

The topic of baby sleep needs a fresh perspective. It’s been bogged down in old-school notions like “training” and misunderstandings of basic concepts like attachment. In this book, we take an integrated approach that is sensitive, simple, and truly effective. We don’t want anyone suffering sleep deprivation unnecessarily, nor do we ever want a baby to feel alone or fearful. Happily, neither of these ever needs to happen.

--Excerpted from The Happy Sleeper (Penguin Random House, December 2014).

Catch Heather & Julie lecturing at The Pump Station & Nurtury™ in Santa Monica and Hollywood
The Happy Sleeper Class for parents with babies 5-18 months old

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Daylight Savings Time – FALL BACK!

Love it or dread it, daylight savings time is one of those facts of life that we have to adjust to. Before you go to bed on Saturday night, November 1st, turn your clocks back one hour. There are 2 different ways to approach helping your baby make the time change… 

JUMP RIGHT TO THE NEW TIME
You can have your child simply jump to the new time. This often works just fine for older kids, who might feel a little groggy for a few days while they adjust. Since the time is falling back, you can just put your child to bed at the time according to the clock on Sunday night and he will most likely be very tired.

SHIFT YOUR BABY GRADUALLY
Another approach is to anticipate the change and help your baby gradually shift to the new time. Babies tend to have a slightly harder time with the change than older kids.
Once Sunday rolls around, what used to be 8:00 p.m. will now be 7:00 p.m., so your baby will be sleepy before it’s bedtime. Adjust sleep times a little later each day in anticipation.

STEPS FOR SHIFTING YOUR BABY GRADUALLY:
  • If your baby’s schedule is just where you want it, you’ll help her adjust to the new time gradually, by moving her bedtime and naps about 15 minutes later each day leading up to Sunday. This works best if you start 4 days in advance. 
  • If your baby’s current schedule is off and the time change will help (for example, it’s fall and you want him to go to bed an hour earlier), you’re in luck. You will be able to shift your baby immediately to the new time. It will still be very important to pay attention to blocking out daylight and keeping bedtime and nap time routines consistent.
  • If your baby’s schedule is off in a direction where the time change will make it even worse (it’s fall and you want her to go to bed an hour later), adjust gradually to the new time and then continue until you’ve reached the desired bedtime. One of the most daunting scenarios is when it’s fall and your baby is already waking up way too early in the a.m. Make sure that you have blackout shades or curtains, for a very dark room in the morning.
  • If your baby hasn’t completely adjusted by the time daylight savings time arrives, no worries; just continue the adjustment during the next few days.

Remember routines and environment. Keep bedtime and naptime routines in place and predicable. All that effort and consistency will pay off now, as these cues help your baby adjust to the new time. Also make baby’s room very dark. Light creeping in earlier in the morning or lingering into the summer evening can add to baby’s challenge to adjust to the new time.

Adapted from The Happy Sleeper by Heather Turgeon, MFT and Julie Wright, MFT

Babies 5-18 months (all ages welcome)
at The Pump Station & Nurtury™ Santa Monica
Nov. 6th, 1:30pm – 3pm
Call 310-998-1981 to register! 


Heather Turgeon, MFT, is a psychotherapist who writes about child development and parenting. She authors the long-running column “The Science of Kids” for the popular online parenting magazine Babble, and is a writer for the National Sleep Foundation.

Julie Wright, MFT, is one of Los Angeles’s best known parenting group leaders and has taught thousands of moms in her Wright Mommy and Me groups at The Pump Station & Nurtury. She specializes in early childhood development, attachment and mindful, empathic parenting.

Julie and Heather co authored, THE HAPPY SLEEPER: The science-based guide to helping your baby get a good night’s sleep (Tarcher/Penguin Random House), coming in December 2014. The Happy Sleeper approach is also taught as part of the Wright Mommy & Me Classes here at The Pump Station & Nurtury!