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… 

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.

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.

  • 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!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Why is my Baby’s Sleep Regressing?

Last week, a dear mom in my Mommy and Me group walked into class looking drained and about to cry. “Sophia has forgotten how to sleep! She was sleeping 9 hours straight, but in the last 4 nights, she’s been waking up every two hours from midnight on! I’m losing my mind I’m so tired. I thought her sleep would keep getting better but now it’s like she’s a newborn again!”

We’ve heard a version of this countless times before. It’s classic sleep regression—something we call the ‘cognitive surge,’ when babies become more awake, more discerning and better able to detect patterns (good news for their smart brains, bad news for their sleep patterns). This new alertness feels very novel and exciting to them at first and makes it hard for them to fall back to sleep easily during the night.

Here are some important ideas to keep in mind when sleep seems to have gone off the rails and you’re working to get it back on track:

Don’t assume you have a “bad sleeper”! Waking up at night is rarely a sign that your baby is an inherently bad sleeper—it’s a sign that her sleep patterns need adjusting. In an interesting baby study, researchers asked parents if they had a “good sleeper” or “bad sleeper,” and then they observed those babies to see how many times they woke during the night. Surprise, both groups woke exactly the same amount. The difference was that the “good sleepers” were used to falling asleep on their own, whereas the “bad sleepers” were in the habit of reaching out for help falling back to sleep. Both groups have all the brain power needed to fall asleep independently and sleep well at night; the difference was the babies’ expectations and habits.

Ride the hump. Your baby is so much smarter and aware now—she has a new level of consciousness and there’s so much to do, see, and test out!  But this new excitement will wear off eventually, and she will go back to sleeping. The silver lining of sleep regressions is that they often signal your baby’s blooming abilities and smarts. She just needs time to adjust and for you to resist changing up your patterns and behaviors too much—you should be steady and she’ll come back around.

Make sure you’re not overhelping. The most common problem with sleep regression is that parents automatically start helping, helping, and then overhelping. When your baby was a wee thing, all that helping and soothing was what she needed. After 5 months or so, babies don’t need so much help—in fact, they need more space to practice their self-soothing.  At this point, parents’ helping ways can start to get in the way of a good nights sleep. Signs of overhelping are when an older baby starts…
  • ·      Waking more rather than less during the night
  • Adding new nighttime feeds
  • Taking longer and longer to fall asleep
  • Resisting your help (rocking, feeding, holding etc.)
  • Popping awake after 45 – 60 minutes
  • Waking up way too early in the morning

Hold tight to your routines and schedule. Babies are highly sensitive to routine and timing. When you’re seeing sleep derail a bit, make sure your baby is going to bed at the right time (usually between 7-8pm is ideal), falling asleep independently (on her own, without you feeding or rocking her to sleep) and at the same time every night. Hold on to her nap schedules too. Ironically, overtired babies are more likely to wake up at night because their systems become wound up and dysregulated.

Hang in there. Even though they seem endless at the time, sleep regressions—whether they’re from new cognitive leaps or motor milestones—will eventually pass.

Whether you have a sleep regression on your hands, or just want help smoothing the way to better sleep for your baby, we’ll see you at The Happy Sleeper class for babies 5-18 months (although all ages are welcome). You’ll come away with a clear and gentle plan for turning over the soothing to sleep role to your very capable baby, so everyone in the family can get a full night’s sleep.

The Happy Sleeper, sleep class for babies 5-18 months
Nov. 6, 2014 at 1:30pm – 3:00pm
The Pump Station & Nurtury - Santa Monica
Call 310.998.1981 to register

Sunday, October 19, 2014

It’s time to talk about the scary stuff.

No one likes to talk about dying, but accidents and illnesses don’t discriminate. Over and over I see families who had all the best intentions to get their estate plans in place, then they get caught off guard with a sudden death or diagnosis. No one thinks it will happen to them, until it does.

As a mother of two little girls, I more than understand that when you’re raising a family, your daily to do list becomes your top priority. Which in turn makes it hard to get everything else done. But this is an important one. Because, with estate planning, there is such a thing as being “too late.”

One reason parents procrastinate is their inability to agree on a specific guardian. Often times, this is so daunting that many parents give up before even starting. But as difficult as this may be, it is much better that you make this decision rather than a judge who does not know you, your children, or the potential guardians. Naming guardians yourself will avoid fights between both sides of the family and will protect your children from needless friction and heartache.

To learn more on how to name a guardian and protect your children with an estate plan, come to the next The Pump Station & Nurtury's Sizzling Hot Topic Lecture Invest in Your Nest: Protect Your Family with Estate Planning and Life Insurance on Nov. 5th in Hollywood and Nov. 11th in Santa Monica.  To register please call 310-998-1981 for the Santa Monica location or 323-469-5300 for the Hollywood location. Click here for class and instructor info.

If you have any questions about how to name guardians for your children, feel free to get in touch at 818-956-9200 or I’d be happy to answer your questions. And remember, as overwhelming as it may seem, the alternative is much scarier.

Sona A. Tatiyants
Sona is the owner of Tatiyants Law, P.C., a law firm that specializes in estate planning for young families.

Friday, October 3, 2014

SoulCycle Pasadena Charity Ride!

Join The Pump Station & Nurtury, 
Pregnancy Awareness Month 
and Ergobaby on 
Monday, November 3rd at 9:30am 
at SoulCycle Pasadena 
for a charity ride benefitting Circle of Friends!