Monday, March 5, 2018

Time to "Spring Forward": Tips For Helping Your Baby With Daylight Savings

By Jill Campbell, Psy.D.

One question that often comes up in The Pump Station & Nurtury's Mommy & Me classes this time of year is, "How do I help my baby adjust to daylight savings?" Every year around this time we prepare to move our clocks forward one hour (Sunday, March 12, 2017). While adults can usually adjust to this time shift pretty quickly, babies and toddlers often find the change a bit more challenging. Here are a few different ways to help your baby transition to daylight savings time:

1. Don't Change A Thing:
If you are a parent that has been struggling with an "early riser," then by doing nothing, your baby or toddler will naturally be waking up an hour later! Simply move your clock ahead to the new time after your baby has gone to sleep on Saturday night. Your baby will wake up at their normal time Sunday morning, which will now be an hour later on the clock.  So if your baby was an early riser and consistently waking up at 5:30am, then your child will now wake up at 6:30am according to the new clock. Proceed with your normal daily routine according to the new clock. Meals and naptimes tend to go pretty smoothly with this method, but you may find that come nighttime, your baby or toddler isn't feeling so sleepy.  This is because if you are putting your child down at their "regular" bedtime (let's say 7:30pm), but 7:30pm tonight was 6:30pm just the night before. Therefore, you might need to be a little flexible with bedtime, maybe putting your child down somewhere in between the old clock and the new clock. Then for the next few nights, keep shifting bedtime up until you are at your child's regular bedtime according to the new clock.

2. Start to shift your baby's feeding and sleeping schedule slowly ahead of time.
Starting six days before daylight savings, prepare ahead of time by moving feedings, naps and bedtime earlier by 10 minutes each day. So if baby usually has her first feeding for the day at 7:30am, see if you can do that feeding at 7:20am. If she refuses, don't force her, but you get the idea. Just try to make the routine adjustments as the day goes on. If her first nap of the day is typically at 9:30am, see if you can put her down closer to 9:20am. These small time shifts should help your baby to go down a bit earlier at night without having a child that is just too awake for an earlier bedtime. If all goes well, then on Sunday morning after the time change, your baby will wake according to the new time. So if baby typically woke up at 7am before the time change, she will now wake up at 7am according to the new clock.  Her feedings and sleep times should now be adjusted to the new time. If you find it is still off a bit, (or if you did not start making these shifts so far in advance) just continue to shift in small time increments post time-change, until you are back on track.

3. Adjust the light:
Try to give your child at least a half an hour of natural sunlight first thing after waking up in the morning. This should help your child's internal clock adjust to the time change faster.  In addition, blackout shades can be very helpful if there is still sunlight coming into your child's bedroom at nighttime or before wake-up time in the morning.

4. Don't Panic:
Please remember that even if all this planning doesn't go quite according to schedule, simply by keeping to a steady daily routine, most children will naturally adjust to the time change within a week or so.

Jill's Favorite Products for Sleep

Friday, March 2, 2018

How do I stay sane during this insane time of my life?

Having a baby is a time of celebration, but as with any big transition in our life, there is also some loss involved. You have to say good-bye to your old life and your old self. In addition to feelings of bliss and joy, it is not uncommon that you might also be feeling overwhelmed, worried, and let's face it, exhausted, as you try to adjust to a brand-new role  that you do not yet have confidence in. Even if you've read all the baby books out there and taken as many prenatal classes as you could find, no one can totally prepare you for what it feels like once your baby is actually here. 

One of the first important lessons that I learned when I was a new mother is that there was always going to be a difference between the image of the idealized perfect mother in my head, and the reality of the mother that I actually was. My fantasy mother was always completely selfless, always calm and patient, and knew how to handle every situation with assurance and grace. Pause for laughter. 

It wasn't until a few months after my daughter was born and I became a postdoctoral intern at Cedars Sinai Early Childhood Center, that I realized that all the conflicting feelings I was experiencing as a new mom were completely normal. As a postdoctoral intern, I listened to other new mothers like myself talk in group, and I heard similar stories over and over again. I remember moms sharing their feelings of both joy and sheer terror and the other moms nodding in unison. I learned that allowing yourself to experience what you are really feeling is much healthier than trying to convince yourself that you should be this flawless mother who only feels jubilation in her new role.

The group was a haven, and it is what inspired me to make working with new mothers my career for the last 21 years (yes, my daughter is now 21!). Being a part of this group of new mothers made me realize how incredibly important it was to have a safe community to come to every week where women could discuss and process questions like, "How do I handle this huge transition in my life?" "How do I know if I am doing this parenting thing right?" "How do I play and connect with my baby?" "How do I get my baby on some type of sleep schedule?" "How do I keep from getting frustrated with my partner over, well, everything?" "When and how do I introduce solids?" "How do I stay sane during this insane time of my life?" 

I am now the curriculum director for The Pump Station & Nurtury's® Mommy & Me Program, and I am so excited to announce that our well-received classes are now coming to Calabasas! Starting in March we will be facilitating our classes at The Calabasas Academy of Dance located at 4505 Las Virgenes Road in Calabasas. Being a Conejo Valley gal myself, I am delighted that we are spreading our wings and expanding our program!

I truly believe that taking this class is one of the best things that you can do for yourself as a new mom. You will meet other women with babies the same age as yours and gain the support and the community that all new mothers need. Come join me in Calabasas!

By Jill Campbell, Psy.D.
Mommy & Me Curriculum Director
Get more info about our Mommy/Parent & Me Program by clicking here or emailing