Tips to Help Your Children with the Daylight Savings Transition by Danielle Rowe

Do you remember the days when the “fall back” Daylight Saving Time meant you got an extra hour of sleep? Pure bliss, right?? Well, the time change in the fall is no picnic when you are a parent. Unfortunately our little ones do not understand the joys of another hour snuggled up in bed. So according to the new time, they will be up an hour EARLY throwing the whole day off kilter. You are not alone in this early rising tango as millions of parents will be going through the same thing. Good news for you is there are a few things that you can do to ease the transition. Founder of Dream Little One Family Sleep Consulting, Danielle Rowe, shares her five sleep tips for the daylight saving time transition.

5 Sleep Tips for the Daylight Saving Time Transition

1. Start the transition early. About 4-5 days before the time change you can slowly start shifting bedtime and meal times 15 minutes later every 2 days. (This is harder to do with children who attend school.) So if dinner is typically at 5:30pm and bedtime is at 7:00pm you would move them to 5:45pm and 7:15pm on day 1. Eventually it will end up with dinner at 6:30pm and bedtime at 8:00pm (which will be the new time of 5:30pm and 7:00pm) … and VOILA!! the transition is made.

2. Delay getting your baby out of their crib.
Some babies are early risers which means they will be getting up even earlier. When you start the 15min. bedtime shift you can start delaying when you get your baby out of their crib by 15min. For toddlers and older children you can use an “Ok to wake” clock to help push back the time that they get out of bed to wake you up.

3. Use Blackout shades. So once you have established the bedtime routine you may need to work on the early morning wakings. Waking up is greatly affected by sunlight entering our room. You can use a bit of trickery for all age children (and yourself) by putting up blackout shades (or taping up black garbage bags) to block out the early morning sun.

4. Make use of sunlight. When it is an acceptable time to get up you should open all shades and let in as much sunlight at you can. Sunlight exposure throughout the day helps to set the body’s sleep rhythms. This plus social cues (such as meal time and bedtime routines) sets your child up for sleep success. Use sunlight to your advantage.

5. Be Patient! When the transition is made slowly you can gently ease your child (or children) into the time change. If the transition needs to be more abrupt you run the risk of creating an overtired child, which can be very unpleasant. Regardless of how you make the change you need to remain patient. As with any schedule change it can take a week or 2 for everything to “fall” into place.

Danielle Rowe is a certified child sleep consultant with The Family Sleep Institute and the founder of Dream Little One Family Sleep Consulting. Danielle works with families to develop a customized sleep plan that best fits your child’s sleep challenge as well as your parenting style. There a variety of consultation packages to choose from to best fit your budget. She began her journey as a sleep consultant when she ran into some sleep issues with 2 out of her 3 children. It was an amazing feeling for her when they began sleeping through the night with the help of a sleep consultant. And now Danielle wants nothing more than to help exhausted moms and dads out there to get that same relief. She has a passion for teaching parents about sleep and would love to help families get the sleep they need. Dream Little One Family Sleep Consulting is your key to a better night’s sleep.

Real Life Solutions: Pacifier Use

We are proud to have Dr. Linda Mintle in ParentLife each month answering questions submitted from readers. To submit a question for Dr. Mintle, e-mail it to parentlife@lifeway.com and include “? for Dr. Mintle” on the subject line. This month we have an extra Q&A from Dr. Mintle we wanted to share.

Pacifiers in the tree
source: Dilona

Q: I have been trying very hard not to have my baby use a pacifier. I’m the only one of my friends who seems to be overly concerned about this. My mother-in-law is telling me to lighten up. I’ve read that pacifiers can affect a baby’s speech. Am I overreacting?

A: This is a generational question that parents must consider. Pacifiers are typically used to soothe and distract a baby.

Here is what we know. One positive finding about pacifier use is that it has been linked to reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in sleeping babies. On the negative side, thumb sucking, pacifier use, and even bottle use have been associated with an increase in the risk of speech disorders when the sucking is long-term.

Breastfeeding did not have this effect on children and in fact, promotes positive oral development. And pacifier use can interfere with breastfeeding.

In terms of pacifier use, the results from a 2009 study published in BMC Pediatrics were based on children who used pacifiers for more than three years. These kids were three times more likely to develop speech impediments. Now, the authors of this study also said that pacifier use and thumb-sucking for less than three years increased risk. The reason has to do with how the sucking motion changes the normal shape of the dental arch and bite.

We also know that pacifier use can be associated with middle ear infections. However, the Mayo Clinic tells us that when the risk of SIDS is the highest (birth to six months), rates of middle ear infections are also low.  The recommendation to reduce SIDS is to offer a pacifier at bed or naptime until the age of one.

So the information is a bit confusing. I don’t believe you are overreacting. The concern about pacifier use grows as your baby grows. You can choose other ways to soothe your baby. I’m a big believer in nursing because there are so many benefits to the baby and you. If you are breastfeeding, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends you wait until four to six weeks after birth to introduce a pacifier. Certainly, don’t give a baby a pacifier all day, choose a silicone one-piece to avoid breaking (a choking hazard), and don’t force the use.

Resource: Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5

A Twist on Tummy Time by Brian Dembowczyk

Tummy time
source: dryfish

Tummy time helps your baby develop muscles that help with rolling over, sitting up, and crawling. Always put your baby to sleep on her back, but she can enjoy tummy time during the day.

For a new twist on tummy time …

  1. Use a bolster or rolled up towel to prop up your baby.
  2. Dim the lights and lie down next to your baby.
  3. Shine a flashlight on the wall.
  4. Draw your baby’s attention so she can focus on the beam of light.
  5. Move the light side to side very slowly.

Did your babies enjoy tummy time? 

Growth Spurts: Birth to 1

Not An Apple
photo source

Baby choices

Choices are important for baby development. Your baby develops thinking skills as he looks at two toys and makes a choice of which one to grasp. He exercises muscles as he reaches for a toy. He remembers and develops preferences for certain objects. He begins to explore independence as he acts on those preferences. As he makes choices, he is beginning to develop decision-making skills and confidence in his abilities.

Comment on what he chose: “You chose the red ball.” As he grows, offer more opportunities for him to make choices. In the future, your child will face many decisions. He will hear lots of ideas and beliefs. The ability to make tough decisions and develop spiritual convictions is rooted in these first choices.

Well-Baby Visits

Well-baby visits are frequent checkups to monitor your baby’s growth and development. The pediatrician will check the following:

  • Measurements. Your baby’s length, weight, and head circumference are measured and recorded on a growth chart to observe steady growth over time.
  • Head. The doctor will check the fontanels (the soft spots) of your baby’s head, as well as any flat spots.
  • Ears. The doctor will observe your baby’s hearing and check for fluid or infection in her ears.
  • Eyes. The doctor will track your baby’s eye movements, as well as look for blocked tear ducts and eye discharge.
  • Mouth. The doctor will examine your baby’s mouth for thrush, a common yeast infection. As your baby grows and starts teething, the doctor will examine her incoming teeth.
  • Heart/lungs. The doctor will listen to your baby’s heart and lungs to ensure that breathing and heart rhythms are normal.
  • Abdomen. The doctor will check for hernias and enlarged organs.
  • Hips/legs. The doctor will move your baby’s legs to detect any dislocation.
  • Genitalia. The doctor will check for tenderness, lumps, and infection.

Do you dread or look forward to well-baby visits? I feel like I didn’t mind them until my toddler was underweight … now I feel like I’m being reprimanded every time!