We work with a lot of expecting couples that are embarking on this journey for the first time and they usually have a lot of questions. Answering those questions is one of the best parts of our job, because we love helping educate people and connecting them to resources that they need. Most people these days know what a Birth Doula does or at the very least have heard the term. But more often not there are a lot of misconceptions about Postpartum Doulas. Many people think that a Postpartum Doula is there to help those with postpartum depression. Others might have heard that a Postpartum Doula is similar to a nanny. And while we do work with clients with postpartum depression and some of our Doulas have been nannies in the past, those definitions barely scratch the surface of what we do as Postpartum Doulas.
Remember the pre-parenting days when the days would get shorter, the nights crisper and the urge to get cozy would hit? When we didn’t spare a second thought about the end of daylight savings time except that we’d get an extra hour of sleep?! Those were the days!
Then your baby arrived and you started obsessing about sleep. If you’re like most new parents, you aren’t getting enough sleep, so the end of daylight savings time may be daunting. Why? Because your baby can’t tell time and doesn’t know that 6am is now actually 5am. All your baby knows is that she got the sleep she normally gets and is wide-eyed ready to take on the day! If you’re a seasoned parent you know that this can easily disrupt naps and bedtimes for days or even weeks to come as you struggle to get adjusted to the time change.
Well, you’re in luck! Co-owner and Mommywise Sleep Coach, Lauren, has some tips to help make this transition easy and to insure everyone gets great sleep!
Slow & Steady
If you’ve ever traveled to another time zone, you know how jarring the time change can be. Your brain knows that it’s not “time for bed”, but your internal clock is screaming for you to go to sleep! The end of daylight savings time can have the same affect. To ease the time leap, Lauren recommends gradually adjusting your baby’s sleep over the course of a week which eliminates the abruptness and helps him get used to the changes.
Starting about 4-5 days before daylight savings ends start your bedtime routine 10min later each day. If you normally start bath time at 6pm, start at 6:10. Once the time comes to turn back the clock, your baby will have adjusted to the routine being one hour later than usual, so that when she wakes up on Sunday morning she’ll be on track with the new time.
Every baby adjusts differently and some babies are more adaptable than others. If your baby is not as sensitive to schedule changes, different nap times or bedtimes, then you can probably shift things in 2-3 days by pushing everything back by 15-30mins each day. The concept is the same with just less time needed to adjust to the hour time change.
Keep it Dark
Black-out shades are one of those sleep tools that we swear by. If you don’t already have black-out shades in your baby’s room - GET THEM. Just like adults, your baby has a circadian rhythm or internal clock that responds to light and dark. Babies don’t fully develop this until 3-4 months of age, but it’s never too early to utilize the shades. A dark room assists in melatonin production (the “sleep” hormone) helping communicate to your baby’s body that it should stay asleep a little longer. These can be utilized for naps as well as bedtime.
Babies LOVE consistency and routine. Trust us on this. So, other than adjusting the nighttime time gradually, do your best to keep everything else the same. The same bedtime routine, the same timing between naps, etc. This will help reduce any confusion and keep your baby none the wiser!
be patient & FIX IT LATER
If your schedule as a family isn’t super structured and you don’t have a regular bed time, that’s ok. The time change may not affect you too much. But if it does, it’s important to be patient. If you find yourself reacting instead of avoiding, don’t stress. It may take a anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks for your baby to adjust to the time change and for things to get back on track. Make sure your baby’s last nap isn’t ending too late into the afternoon and try implementing some calming activities before bedtime to prep body and mind for falling asleep at a new bedtime. Know that within time your baby’s internal clock will adjust to this new change and things will go back to normal.
If things have completely gone of the rails it can never hurt to reach out for help from a sleep expert. Lauren provides live-in support to help babies sleep independently and peacefully. You can read more about her sleep training support and request more information here.
Experienced parents, what tactics have you used to adjust to the seasonal time changes? Share your wisdom in the comments below!
In 2014 our doula agency was founded and with it came a regular gathering of new moms that we eventually named “New Mama Cafe”. This weekly meeting was a welcoming, safe space for moms to connect over coffee and conversation while their babies played in a safe environment. At its peak we had approximately 20 moms walking through our doors each week with their adorable babies in tow. What a joy it was to see familiar faces each Tuesday and get to great new moms and babies as well!
Have you heard?! Doulas of Orange County is growing and we are looking for some incredible Doulas to join our team!
DOC is a full service Doula Agency, providing prenatal, birth and newborn parenting support to families in Orange County, California. We have a wonderful team of dedicated Birth and Postpartum Doulas, Newborn Care Specialists, Sleep Coaches, and Parent Educators who provide compassionate care through every step of our client's journey.
Our Doula Agency is currently look for passionate and dedicated BIRTH DOULAS, POSTPARTUM DOULAS and NEWBORN CARE SPECIALISTS to join our team.
When it comes to breastfeeding all you need is your boob and your baby, right?
Well, sort of. Obviously the mother and the baby are the two most important factors in making this breastfeeding thing work but having other supplies on hand can vastly improve your experience. And while we believe that nursing your baby is one of the most natural acts in the world, we also recognize that it doesn't always come naturally. We've chatted about this very thing in a previous blog, but to recap, breastfeeding is a learned behavior, much like learning how to play the piano. You need certain components in place to start off on the right foot, but success takes time, patience, and practice.
Thankfully, with new product conveniences we have lots of tricks and tools that can enhance your breastfeeding experience, taking some of the stress away and providing you a greater opportunity to bond with and focus on your baby. Here are just a few of the "must haves" that we recommend.