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Daylight Savings Baby Sleep Tips

Spring Forward: 3 Simple Daylight Savings Baby Sleep Tips

With daylight savings time just around the corner, that means we lose an hour of sleep, but for your baby this can mean another monkey wrench thrown into his/her sleep schedule. If you have an early riser you may be getting excited about your baby waking an hour later. But it may not be that simple. Your baby's internal sleep clock helps put her to sleep at a certain hour, and helps wake her up at pretty much the same time each morning. So it may be a little difficult to put your baby to sleep at the usual bedtime, and have her wake an hour later in the morning. To help make daylight savings time an easy transition for your baby, follow these 3 simple tips.

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  • Prepare for daylight savings time, ahead of time. You will have to change your baby's entire daytime schedule, not just bedtime. So for the 6 days prior to daylight savings, shift your baby's schedule by 10 minutes each day until you reach the full hour. This will give your baby a chance to adjust, without a drastic change in his/her sleep schedule. A young baby, or a baby that doesn't adjust well to change, will not be able to handle an hour time change easily. Prepare your baby slowly and ahead of time. If you haven't had enough time to prepare ahead of time, no worries, you can even do this post time change. 
  • Get ready to deal with some bedtime troubles. As I mentioned your baby's internal clock is set to get her ready for bed at a certain hour. With daylight savings time, you will be putting your baby down an hour earlier than she usually goes down. The new 7pm bedtime, will actually be 6pm prior to the time change. Meaning your baby will most likely have a hard time falling asleep that early. For your baby, all of this feels sort of like jet lag. It will take about a week for your baby's internal clock to be reset to the new schedule. Helping your baby settle for the night by dimming the lights and creating a calm and quiet environment before bed will be important. 
  • Get some good blackout blinds. With daylight savings time, comes more light during the evening hours.  If your baby was falling asleep in the pitch dark, it may be really difficult for him/her to fall asleep with even the slightest light coming in. Also, light suppresses melatonin, the hormone that helps your baby sleep, making the room nice and dark will help tremendously. 
Daylight savings time is not as stressful in the spring, as it is in the fall when you have to change your clocks back an hour. Nonetheless, some babies still have a bit of a hard time. Making sure you prepare ahead of time and gradually shift your baby's sleep schedule, will help the transition go more smoothly. 



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Top 10 Crib Transition Tips

Wondering how get your baby to sleep in the crib? Crib transition can be a little nerve wrecking. Not only will your baby be now sleeping in his or her own room, but will be expected to sleep in a big, open, and let's be truthful, not so comfy space. You may have already tried laying your baby down, but I bet your baby cries when put in crib. Well, what if I told you there are tricks to getting your baby to sleep and transition to the crib? Here are my top 10 crib transition tips and tricks. Most of them can even be used to help a baby sleep in a bassinet or co-sleeper, for those young babies that will only sleep while being held. 

Receiving Blanket Rolls
how to get baby to sleep in crib, transition baby to crib, get baby to sleep in crib, baby crib transition This is a pretty neat trick I learned from the hospital nursery. This is what they do right after a baby is born to help them feel secure. It's most appropriate for really young babies, that just need help sleeping somewhere other than on top of mommy during the first few weeks of life. This is a great trick to use for a baby that needs to be held to sleep. What you basically do is take a receiving blanket, and roll it up the long way, and place one on each side of your baby. This helps your baby feel like she's being held, and helps her feel nice and snug. The roll should be placed along side of your baby, armpit level down. You obviously don't want it anywhere near your baby's face and if you are worried about SIDS, then use the rolls during the day and remove them when you are ready to go to sleep. This also not appropriate for babies that are very mobile. 


Crib Elevation
baby cries when put in crib, crib transition, crib elevation, baby fall asleep on her own, baby fall asleep on his ownThis is another trick I learned from the hospital nursery. All of their bassinets are slightly elevated and this really helps a baby sleep better. Think about it, our baby didn't sleep flat in the womb, so there's no way she's going to sleep flat in her crib or bassinet. To help with this you can slightly elevate her bassinet, crib, or co-sleeper. This trick can be used for young babies, or even older babies that are going to be sleeping in the crib for the first time. Sometimes that slight elevation, makes all the difference. You can buy a Dex Baby Crib Wedge, or use books under the crib legs to give a more "natural" elevation. With the arms reach co-sleeper you can simply take off one set of legs. 

Warm water bottle
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"Lovey"
baby fall asleep on his own, baby self soothe, baby self settle, baby fall asleep on her ownA lovey also known as a security item is all that your baby may need to transition to the crib. Having that lovey or buddy to cuddle with, is very important to help your baby feel secure and to help him create a good sleep association. A "lovey" can be anything, a small blanket, or receiving blanket square,  mommy's t-shirt, a bib (some babies love the tag), the list is endless. It's basically anything that your baby finds comfort in.


Sleep Sack
baby hates crib, baby cries in crib, baby will not sleep in crib, baby crib transition helpSleep sacks are a huge help during crib transition. They help take away that feeling of being in a big open space, which is usually the reason a baby "hates" his crib. The more snug or narrow sleep sacks are better, because they feel more secure and give that feeling of being held. The Carter's sleep sack pictured on the right is great for that. The Halo, is usually too loose in the legs. Save your Halo for when your baby gets better at sleeping in the crib. For the initial crib transition, try something more snug and along the lines of the Carter's Sleep Sack. The cozy material helps with soothing too. 

White Noise Machine
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Practice Time In The Crib
baby won't sleep in crib, baby crib transition help, baby does not like crib help, help baby won't sleep in cribIt's important to give your baby some practice time in her crib during the day. I typically don't recommend toys or mobiles in the crib at bedtime because they usually overstimulate and keep a baby awake. But during the early crib transition phase, mobiles are usually a great distraction and you can always take them down before bedtime. Practice crib time should be done when your baby is happy and awake, like after a good feeding. Lay your baby down and just let her explore. The more practice she gets in her crib the better she will feel about being in there, and you never know when she may surprise you and actually fall asleep in there. 



The "Right" Crib Sheets
self soothing, self settling, baby fall asleep on own, how to get baby to fall asleep on his own, Believe it or not some babies can be really picky about their crib sheets. And did you know that some crib sheets actually encourage self soothing? I have watched so many babies use the texture of the crib sheet to help get themselves to sleep completely on their own. The Carter's Velour Sheets are amazing. The texture is so smooth, soft, and your baby's hand will literally glide across. They should make these for adults!
The "Right" Temperature.
The right temperature is also very important. If your baby is waking up with cold feet and hands, that may be waking her up during the night or very early in the morning when the temperature drops. Since everyone's thermostat can be very different, I don't recommend setting it at a certain temperature. 74 degrees in one person's home may be cold, while it's sweating hot in someone else's. So the rule of thumb is that you put one extra layer of clothing on your baby, than what you are wearing. So if you are warm and cozy in long sleeve pj's and a blanket, then put your baby in a long sleeve onsie, long sleeve pj, and a wearable blanket and that should keep your baby nice and warm through the night.

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This is a biggie. If you have tried all of these tricks and your baby is still not sleeping and crying every time her head hits the crib, then chances are she just needs to figure out how to fall asleep on her own. Take a look at what Sleep Expert Jodi Mindell says about crib transition and self soothing.



Read more about self soothing, and How to Help Your Baby Fall Asleep On His or Her Own

So there you have it, my top 10 crib transition tips!  Know that you know how to get your baby to sleep in the crib, you can start enjoying this big occasion. Getting your baby to sleep in the crib for the first time is a big milestone, and it should be an exciting one. Use these tips if you are having trouble, and your baby will accept the crib in no time.


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Swaddle Transition and The Zipadee-Zip Sleepsack Giveaway

The Zipadee-Zip is great for transitioning a baby off the swaddle but it also helps a baby self soothe and sleep soundly through the night. It's different from all the sleeveless wearable blankets or sacks out there. There’s a reason people call it the new and improved wearable blanket. The star-shaped pointed sleeves and star-fish design is Patent Pending because it inspires sounder sleep than any other wearable blankets on the market. The slight resistance in the wing-span allows a baby to move around freely while still providing the enclosed, cozy sensation babies enjoy so much in the swaddle and the womb. The ‘Moro’ or startle reflex is what prevents a baby from sleeping soundly and jolts a baby awake suddenly. The reason babies are startled is because they wake up and can’t feel their edges like they were able to in the womb. The Zipadee-Zip provides those ‘edges’ or that womb like environment while still providing them the freedom to roll around and use their arms and hands safely. This is why the Zipadee-Zip will work when all other products parents have tried to transition their babies typically fail.

Although most parents purchase the Zipadee-Zips for the transition off of the swaddle, many love the Zipadee-Zip for other reasons: The Zipadee-Zip is easy to put on, it keeps a baby’s hands warm at night, and the enclosed feel gives babies the security they need to learn to self-soothe and fall asleep on their own and it can be easily buckled into a car seat or stroller. It also keeps germs away from from those little hands in grocery stores and doctors offices.

Stephanie, the creator of the Zipadee-Zip has generously offered to give away a Zippy to one of my lucky readers. All you have to do is enter through Rafflecopter below. It's really easy to use. All you have to do is login, so that I know how to contact you once you win. Then just simply complete one or more of the tasks, depending on how many entries you want to submit. Yes you can enter multiple entries! Winner will be chosen on Feb 3, 2015 Good luck everyone!

If you're not our lucky winner, but still want to purchase a Zippy, go to zipadeezip.com. You can use the code SLEEP for a $2 discount
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Baby Sleep Consultant

Violet Giannone 
Registered Nurse. Mom. Baby Sleep Consultant. Self-Proclaimed Sleep Guru.
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In 2011, when my daughter Brianna was born, I was over joyed with the idea of being a new mom. She was perfect in every way. Things quickly took a turn when she wasn't sleeping at all at night. She was literally up all night wanting to be held, rocked, or nursed back to sleep. This went on for almost a year, and I hadn't slept more than a 2 hour stretch since she was born. I thought I was going insane!  I was constantly anxious about bedtime, and dreaded the night time hours. I became exhausted, frustrated, and was at my wits end. I knew I had to do something. I started doing tons and tons of research in the realm of pediatric sleep. I studied every single sleep training method, and read every sleep book and program out there. I relied on my nursing knowledge of sleep cycles, disturbances, and how sleep works. I also made many phone calls to our amazing pediatrician. With all of this expertise, I then tried different sleep techniques. At one point I spent weeks studying and journaling Brianna's sleep habits, as if I was back in nursing school. I tried different methods and tweaked things until Ta-Da! She was sleeping through the night. With my second baby, I had all this knowledge, and have learned so many tricks. Getting her to sleep was a breeze.


Since then I have helped so many families through the information on my blog, as well as on an individual basis. Sleep topics became my passion. I love sharing all that I have learned with parents that are struggling with the same problems. I know first hand how important sleep is, to be able to function, and take care of your day to day responsibilities. As a Nurse, I hold people's lives in my hands. I can't afford to lose an ounce of sleep. Getting a good night's rest is extremely important to me to be able to function as nurse, mom, and wife. So I started this site to help other parents experiencing the same issues. When I first launched the site, I slowly saw the numbers start to climb. I was ecstatic that I could help so many sleepless parents. I now have over 150,000 parents visit my site each month! That is so amazing to me, I never dreamed that was possible.

As far as my credentials, I am a Registered Nurse, a member of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants as well as a professional member of The National Sleep Foundation. I have also written articles for parenting websites such as Moms Magazine and
What to Expect When You're Expecting.

Please feel free to look through my site. I hope you find it helpful!

If you have already looked through my site and are still having trouble getting your baby to sleep, please take a look at my Baby Sleep Consulting Packages. Every baby is unique and has his or her own personality and temperament. What works for one baby, may not work for another. That is why, besides the wealth of information one my site, I also offer personal sleep consultations. As a  baby sleep consultant and coach, I  explore every aspect of your baby's sleep troubles and work hard on getting him or her sleeping better. I would be more than happy to help you and your family sleep through the night.

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Baby Wakes Up Too Early

Does your baby wake up too early? Like 4 or 5am too early? I know the feeling, I have been there. Sometimes you feel like there's nothing you can do to make your baby sleep longer. You have tried an early bedtime, a late bedtime, heck I bet you have even experimented with bedtimes anywhere from 5 -10pm and yet your baby still wakes up too early. There are many, many different reasons why your baby wakes up so early. So let's explore some possibilities.

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First, let's define waking up "too early". A baby has to have less than 10.5hrs of overnight sleep for the waking to be considered an early one. Sometimes parents tell me that their baby wakes up too early, and when I ask what time that baby goes too bed, they say 6pm. Well duh! If your baby goes to bed at 6pm and wakes up at 5am, that's 11 hours of overnight sleep. That my dear, is not "too early". It may be too early for you to get up, but your baby has had enough of night time sleep. My definition of waking too early is anything less than 10.5hrs of night-time sleep. On average a baby sleeps about 11-13hrs at night. The bare minimum for a baby to be well rested, is 10.5hrs. 

I already know what you are going to say next. "But I put my baby down later, and she still wakes up at 5am". Ok, so there may be reasons for that. The first possibiltiy is that perhaps your baby is part of that small percentage of babies that are "true larks" or early birds. Meaning no matter what you do, your baby still wakes up very early. Only about 10% of children fall into this category. Here are some clues that your baby may be a "true lark":

  • Your baby wakes up early in the morning, no matter what time you put her down at night.
  • She wakes up cheerful, happy, and energetic.
  • She is most happy, playful, and alert during the morning until mid-afternoon.
  • She starts to get fussy in the late afternoon/early evening, and after dinner things tend to get worse.
  • She falls asleep easily at an early bedtime.
If this does not sound like your baby, and your baby is just cranky throughout the whole day because she's just not getting enough of night-sleep, then you will have to explore other reasons why she is waking up too early. Here are some possibilities and tips:


Light. The sunlight may be sneaking into your baby's room and waking her.
Tip: Get some really good blackout curtain or panels. I find the blinds never get the room dark enough, but the curtains do. Something like this Solid Thermal Blackout Curtain that blocks out 99.9% of light works great.


Noise. Maybe you have a noisy neighbor (like I do) that starts his loud antique car at 5:30 in the morning. Or maybe there's an annoying barking dog near by. 
Tip: Consider running some white noise, or using a sound machine.

Temperature. Is your baby too cold or too warm when she wakes up? Babies tend to wake up early in the morning at the start of winter or summer because of the temperature extremes.
Tip: Adjust the temperature accordingly. Try different sleep suits/outfits.


Inappropriate sleep schedule. This is probably the trickiest part of an early morning waking. Sometimes when a nap or sleep schedule is inappropriate, or sleep is not distributed correctly, a baby can wake up too early in the morning and have a hard time falling back asleep.
Tip: Make sure naps are not too long, too short, too early, or too late. Inappropriate daytime sleep is a big culprit of an early morning wake up. 

Habitual waking.  This can be a bit challenging. Your baby may be waking up at the same early time each morning because she as been doing it for a some time now. So her internal clock is set to wake her up at that time.
Tip: Adjust her sleep schedule, and give it some time. Her internal clock may need to be "re-set". Also consider what you are doing at that time. She may be waking because she's use to a feeding, cuddles in bed with mommy, or something else she really enjoys. Her internal clock wakes her, then she can't fall back asleep because she's really looking forward to whatever it is she gets to do at that hour, even though she can definitely use more sleep. 

Baby just learned to sleep through the night. When a baby first learns to sleep through the night, her body is not use to sleeping so many consolidated hours of sleep. 
Tip: Give her some time to adjust. Her body needs to catch up and realize it needs more than 9/10hrs of  night sleep. Early morning wake ups are very common at the start of sleep training or when your baby starts sleeping through the night. 

When your baby wakes up too early, this can definitely cause some frustration. Let's face it, who the heck wants to be up and awake before 6am?  Early morning wake ups are the most difficult sleep trouble to resolve and this does take some time to fix. Once you identify the cause, work hard at fixing it, and be patient. Your baby will start sleeping longer soon. If you do have a true lark on your hands, then perhaps a new early bedtime for you will work best. That way you are up and ready for the day with your early bird. Also remember that these phases won't last forever, everything is temporary. One day our babies will be teens and we will be begging them to get out of bed by noon!

If you enjoyed this article please comment, like, or share! I would love to hear your feedback.

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