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Ask the experts: how to avoid a daylight saving disaster

Here we are again—another season, another time change. While changing our clocks again and losing an hour of sleep may seem daunting, this can actually be a little less disruptive to your little one’s schedule than “falling back.” With Zen Sleepwear and a solid plan in place, you can “spring forward” and keep your little one’s sleep schedule on track.

Chloe Fries

Meet our expert

Chloe Fries

Owner of La Lune Consulting, Certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultant

Depending on your child’s current schedule, there’s a couple of different ways to prepare for daylight saving time: 

Strategy #1: do nothing!

Ideal for: babies with a current bedtime of 7 PM or earlier. 

If your little one is already on a solid schedule, there’s no need to change much. Your days will simply be shifted an hour later. This can actually work to your advantage if you have an early riser!

How to do it: If your baby’s bedtime is 7 PM and they wake up at 7 AM, doing nothing simply means you’re shifting to an 8 PM bedtime and 8 AM wake up time. If that works with your schedule, there’s no need to change things up!

Expert tip

Even though bright sunlight won’t impact your later bedtime as much an earlier one, this shift does mean that the sun will be up an hour earlier each morning. Make sure your little one’s room is DARK—like really dark. Get those blackout curtains hung if you don’t have them up already…otherwise you’ll be waking up an hour early and going to bed an hour later, which will take away from the quality of your baby’s sleep.

Strategy #2: a quick shift

Ideal for: babies with a bedtime of 8 PM or later. 

If your baby is already on a later schedule, you will need to shift back a bit so that you don’t end up with an even later bedtime after daylight savings. You’ll want to do this gradually so your little one can more easily adjust.

How to do it: The morning of the time change, wake your baby up a half hour earlier in the morning. Then shift your bedtime that night to be a half hour earlier that usual. After a day or two, shift wake up time back by another half hour and shift bedtime another half hour earlier—then you’ll be back to your original schedule!

For example, if your little one normally has a bedtime of 8:30 PM and a wake time of 8:30 AM, doing nothing after the time change would land you at a 9:30 PM bedtime and 9:30 AM wake up.

To make the switch, you’d wake them up at 9 AM on the morning following the time change (instead of letting them sleep until 9:30) and put them to bed at 9 PM that night. After a few days, wake baby up at 8:30 AM so their set up for a bedtime at 8:30 PM, setting you back to your previous schedule. 

No matter which strategy you choose to go with, follow these tips:

  • Use light and dark in your favor. Our circadian rhythm is dictated by lightness and darkness. Therefore, getting lots of light during wake times and keeping things dark and calm during sleep times will help to reset your little one’s internal clock.
  • Continue your normal routines. Bedtime and nap time routines should all stay the same no matter what time they are at. It’s the steps in these routines, such as putting on her Nested Bean Zen Sack, that help signal to your little one’s brain that it’s time for sleep.
  • Zen Sleepwear can help your child adjust to the time change even easier. The lightly weighted Cuddle Pads make your baby feel like she’s being held, providing that extra comfort to help her settle into sleep and stay asleep longer. Dressing your little one in Zen Sleepwear can help reduce the amount of night wakings and/or short naps she may otherwise experience when adjusting to a new schedule.
  • Ask for help if you need it! There is absolutely NO shame is asking for help. Somewhere along the way, parents got the idea that they have to figure things out all on their own. However, careers like a sleep coach wouldn’t exist if that were true! Sometimes you need a guide and a cheerleader on your side. If you are struggling with any sleep trouble, related to time changes or not, please don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

You can get a free consultation from La Lune Consulting by contacting Chloe here.

You might also like…

A bedtime routine to put your baby to sleep

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Your baby’s nap schedule: how to nail it!

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How To Sleep Train A Baby: Potty Training Edition


toddler-potty-training

Ah, yes. You’ve come to the point where your little one is sleeping well, but it’s time to potty train at night. No more diapers, no more training pants, we’re talking about how to sleep train a baby to get through the nighttime potty training phase. Don’t panic, we’ll get through this together.

Day training

If you’re just at the beginning of the potty training journey, look away, focus on the days, and come back and read this in six months or so. Both you and your little one have enough to handle with the daytime milestone, so you want your baby to become a daytime potty pro before even thinking about tackling nights. For now, nights are business as usual. Carry on.

How to sleep train a baby

If your baby is still, indeed, a baby and is not yet sleeping through the night, throwing potty training into the mix will make the hurdles even higher to jump over. Focus on one thing at a time. You really shouldn’t be wondering how to sleep train a baby while tackling nighttime potty training, the two don’t mix.

Expect sleep disruptions

I’ve said it many times, and I’ll say it again, with my many years as a Philadelphia sleep coach for baby, whenever your little one reaches a milestone — such as toilet training — they’ll likely experience disrupted sleep. When you’re at the potty training stage, you’ve probably already had the pleasure of physical, cognitive, and language milestones wreaking havoc on sleep routines. It happens, you just need to be patient and consistent, and you’ll get through it.

Nighttime training

If you have mastered sleep training your toddler and they’ve been using the toilet during the day for at least six months, now may be the right time to try mastering nights. However, if your little one has a disrupted sleep routine, there’s no harm in waiting. In fact, many children aren’t physically able to master nighttime potty training until the age of five or so. Begin the process by restricting liquids an hour or so before bedtime.

With anything new in life, you never know until you try, and it applies perfectly when potty and sleep training toddler intersect. You don’t know if your little one is physically able to go through the night without using the bathroom until you try it. Go diaper-free at night and see how it works. After a few days of accidents, you’ll know that your little one needs more time. 

If your little one remains dry but is up throughout the night, this can also pose issues. First, make sure that the path to the bathroom is a safe one, leaving the hallway light on or having nightlights to avoid accidents. Redirect your toddler and be firm, consistently telling them that they need to return and remain in bed. Remember, it can take up to two weeks for your little one to bypass the sleep disruption because of their toilet milestone, so be patient.

If night-waking remains an issue beyond 2-3 weeks, it may be time to ask for help from a sleep coach for baby. I offer a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation to determine if a sleep coach is right for your family

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Double trouble: sleep tips for twins

As new parents of twins, you’ve probably already discovered that you’d have an easier time wrangling an oiled-up octopus than you have at getting your adorable duo to sleep at the same time. 

Twin sleep tips

Luckily, we have some expert tips that may help.

Create a routine you love

Your twins’ nightly bedtime routine should be simple, calming, and consistent.

Sleep routines should be largely the same every single time. Your babies look to you for cues, so a consistent routine will create some clear ones and you’ll see how establishing new habits can help Mama get her groove back.

How to do it: Whether you want to do a bath and lullabies or infant massage and story time, what really matters is that you choose activities you’ll stick with and that help your babies wind down so they’re ready for sleep. Get some ideas.


Take control of nap time

Speaking of schedules, naptime should be coordinated as well. Though parents of singletons may choose to allow their little one to decide when they want to snooze, parents of twins quickly find out that having a Baby A and Baby B alternating their midday shuteye is far more problematic.

How to do it: Try to put your twins down for naps at the same time. Get your sample schedule here. You may learn that one baby goes down easier than the other, but hand out extra back rubs or cuddles and you may see progress and synchronization sooner than you think. Zen Sleepwear™ can help.


If you feed one, feed the other

It’s perfectly normal for young babies to wake up hungry in the middle of the night, but having twins who want to alternate snack times could leave you questioning your sanity.

How to do it: Instead of hopping out of bed every hour, sync up feedings. This may mean feeding the baby who’s awake and then offering the one who’s still sleeping a dream feed, when you rouse them just enough to nurse and then ease them back to bed.


Be strategic with their sleepwear

Not all jammies are created equal. Dress your little one in Zen Sleepwear™ and they get soft, adorable pajamas that are also gently weighted to mimic your soothing touch. That way, even when you’re busy with your other baby or trying to get some sleep of your own, the cuddles can continue.

How it works: Zen Sleepwear uses gently weighted Cuddle Pads™ that provide a comforting pressure proven to help babies fall asleep faster and sleep longer, just like your touch does. Try it out. 

Know when to go with the flow

The goal isn’t some picture-perfect sleep schedule but rather finding ways to give everybody what they need. You’re all individuals, and sleep schedules—much like bottles, diapers, and chocolate bars—aren’t one-size-fits-all.

How to do it: Sometimes you’ll have to accept that your babies may naturally never be on the exact same schedule. In that case, it’s OK to give the one who’s already sleeping through the night their own room so the more restless twin isn’t constantly waking up their brother or sister.


Focus on small goals rather than rapid change

Expecting your night owl baby to suddenly roll back their bedtime from 11 p.m. to 8 p.m. is about as likely as them potty training before they can walk. In other words … nope. Setting realistic goals prevents disappointment and keeps you motivated.

How to do it: 

  • If you’re trying to adjust the time your kiddos go to bed, move things fifteen minutes every other night until you’re where you want to be.
  • Rather than night weaning all at once, gradually shorten feeds until you can cut one out altogether, then repeat. 

Remember, one small step for you is a major step for all parent kind — celebrate your achievements, because you’re seriously rocking this whole twin thing!

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Zen One: the solution to your swaddle struggles

It’s easy to feel like you’re alone in your sleep struggles when it’s 2am and your baby is wailing at the exact decibel that makes your heart feel like it’s going to crumble. 

You haven’t sat down, eaten anything or used the bathroom in peace in what seems like days, but you’re not the only parent who dreads bedtime with the fire of a thousand suns.

You’re now part of a timeless tribe of moms who have gone through dozens of swaddles and octopus-like wraps trying to get their precious bundle to sleep. All that guesswork is anything but exhaustion friendly, which is why we’ve met the struggle head on and invented the only swaddle you’ll ever need: the Zen One

Swaddling: a moving target

It’s always fun trying to steer a fragile yet freakishly strong baby limbs into an over-engineered swaddle. Worse yet, is finally figuring out where the Velcro straps and snap tabs go only to realize it’s time to size up again and take on the task of mastering an entirely new contraption. 

While the entire line of Zen sleepwear is designed to be convenient as well as effective, the Zen One™ takes efficiency up a few notches with a thoughtful design that adapts to multiple sleep styles, growing with your baby for continuous comfort.

  • For newborns: Zen One has a secure inner band that holds your baby’s arms tight to prevent wake-ups from startle reflex, and improve your baby’s sleep.
  • For active sleepers: Once moro reflex subsides and your baby wants a little more freedom, Zen One has quick-drying mesh sleeves to promote self-soothing for thumb suckers. 
  • For transitioning: The Zen One’s mesh sleeves are removable so you can swaddle with one or both arms out, making it a safe option for your baby once they start rolling over. 

The Zen One™, the only swaddle you’ll ever need.

Shop Zen One

No more loosey-goosey

In the hospital, the nurse used some kind of magic wrapping technique to turn a square piece of cloth into a picture-perfect swaddle and your little baby burrito was so cute you almost couldn’t breathe. 

At home, that same square of fabric somehow comes unfurled the second you turn your back. 

Not very useful- especially in the middle of the night!  The Zen One’s inner velcro secure band and 2-way zipper has a zipper to make it easy to get a snug fit every time—not to mention, late night diaper changes just got a whole lot easier.

Zen One’s simple zippered closure isn’t rocket science, it’s just the kind of user-friendly feature moms need at their fingertips in the middle of the night.

Freedom from choice

Yes, you read that correctly. Having dozens of swaddles to choose from seems like a good thing until you’ve spent hours staring at your online shopping cart and weighing the pros and cons of every swaddle and which style will best suit your baby. 

Will she want to sleep arms in or out? Will you be able to undress her and change her diaper at night without a roadmap? What about when she starts rolling over?

The Zen One Classic helps moms skip over the tedious games of 20 questions and gets right to the good stuff: sleep. 

Whether your baby sleeps arms in, arms out, or any way in between, the Zen One’s versatile features can accommodate.

(Almost) as soothing as a parent

Nothing can ever truly replace your touch, but when you need to get some sleep of your own, Zen One is ready to step in. 

The swaddle’s gently weighted Cuddle Pads™ on the chest and sides mimic the pressure of your hand and embrace, calming baby and enabling her to get the rest she needs to thrive.

Thanks to the thoughtfully designed features, the Zen One swaddle has got your baby (and you!) covered through every age and sleep stage from birth to 6 months—it’s truly the only swaddle you’ll ever need!

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What We Learned from the Rock n’ Play Recall

Many people have heard about the Rock n’ Play recall. But the story is a lot bigger than the recall. It’s also about inclined sleep and many products that haven’t been recalled. It’s about how we learned about the risks of the RnP. About the CPSC and consumer reports. It’s about severe sleep deprivation and parents who need options.

The Rock n’ Play Recall

On October 31, 2019, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warned consumers against using any inclined infant sleepers. This followed an investigation by Consumer Reports in April 2019, raising concerns about the safety of these products. While the initial focus was on the enormously popular Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play sleeper, the current proposal is to ban the sale and use of all inclined sleepers that have been, to date, linked to 73 infant deaths. This applies to any sleep location for babies that is at a greater than 10% incline and includes brands such as: 

  • Fisher Price
  • Graco 
  • Evenflo 
  • Summer Infant
  • Kids II
  • Chicco

To be clear, not all inclined infant sleepers have been recalled. However if your baby is sleeping in something with a greater than 10% incline you should stop using this product even if it hasn’t yet been recalled

The Bigger Picture – How Did This Happen?

Truthfully, I didn’t pay close enough attention to the RnP. I didn’t realize how popular they were (4.7 M sold is staggering). I assumed large, reputable manufacturing companies had rigorous research and testing policies. I assumed the CPSC was monitoring and providing information concerning product safety. All of my assumptions were wrong.

The only reason we know about the tragedy of the RnP is due to exceptional reporting from Consumer Reports. Their report is a long hard read but I encourage you to make the time because it is essential. And enormously concerning:

  • The CPSC issued no warnings about the RnP despite years of mounting evidence of risks, because of laws that require the CPSC to:
    •  Get permission before releasing information about a company even in cases involving injury or death, and
    •  Get the  manufacturer’s agreement to recall a product.
  • Consumer Reports was analyzing data from the CPSC (something they do routinely) and they mistakenly received unredacted data that included manufacturers and product names. Normally the data is redacted to protect the manufacturers. 
  • Only because of this clerical mistake did the number of deaths attributed to the RnP (and other inclined sleepers) come to light. 
  • The CPSC lawyers demanded Consumer Reports destroy the data and not publish anything about it.
  • On Monday April 8, 2019 Consumer Reports did publish their findings highlighting the product risks.  This report made national news with major organizations, including the AAP, also calling for the recall.  
  • Facing mounting public pressure Fisher Price and the CPSC recalled the RnP 5 days later.

The only reason we know about the hazards associated with this product was because of Consumer Reports. Full stop. Had the CPSC not accidentally shared unredacted data, it would never have come to light. Even as more and more concerns came to light, Fisher Price staunchly stood behind their product.

It’s impossible to look at how this developed and not come to the conclusion that the laws governing the CPSC benefit manufacturers at the cost of our health and safety.

Also, if you are as impressed with Consumer Reports as I am, you can thank them by becoming a member.

What About Baby Swings?

I have long been a proponent of swings. While acknowledging that the gold standard for safety is an empty crib, I had felt there was a lack of good fall back options. When the crib doesn’t work, parents invariably hit a wall of desperation. How long can you wake up 8X a night? Then what? What is Plan B?

Sometimes co-sleeping helps. Co-sleeping also increases the risk of SIDS even when parents exclusively breastfeed and don’t smoke. Many parents end up on chairs or couches in the living room sleeping with infants on their chest, which is enormously risky. With my first we solved the issue by driving around for hours in the middle of the night for months. In hindsight I’m staggered that we did this and to this day, am grateful this didn’t end in tragedy.

Infant swings are highly effective and were promoted heavily for years by Dr. Karp. When my kids were babies, swings broke us out of far worse behaviors. While there is scant research on swings, the few cases provided always involved egregiously unsafe use (ex. premature twins in a single swing with blankets). The little information made available by the CPSC suggested swings were quite safe. Thus for a long time this was my suggestion for Plan B.

However, due to the hazard profile that has come to light regarding inclined sleep I can no longer advocate for angled infant swings. I encourage all parents to discontinue their use immediately.

I am in process of updating my blog and book to reflect this change. 

What About Flat Swings?

Since my book was published, several manufacturers have released flat bassinets that provide continuous motion. In theory, these comply with the regulations for bassinets and should be as safe as a non-moving sleep space. However the safety regulations for bassinets are much less rigid than for cribs. And the risks/issues of continuous motion bassinets are currently unknown. There are potential risks of entrapment or a newborn rolling into a facedown position due to motion. 

The most popular moving bassinet is the SNOO, a product designed by Dr. Karp. I know many parents are huge fans of the SNOO. I know many others who felt it wasn’t much better than a standard bassinet. Personally, I struggle to swallow the exorbitant price tag. At this time Graco and mamaRoo also have flat motorized bassinets available, and more are expected to enter the market .

What Is Plan B Now?

Nothing is more important than our children’s safety. But we need to acknowledge that there are limits to human endurance. Desperate exhaustion leads to unsafe situations, so the idea that parents should soldier through is nonsense. I’ve worked with families who were so tired they were hallucinating; who backed the car into the garage door; who were crushed by depression and anxiety, challenges exacerbated by severe exhaustion.

This is why many of the best-selling baby products on Amazon are safety hazards. It’s how Fisher Price sold 4.7M Rock n’ Plays. It’s not that parents don’t know or care, it’s that they’re pushed beyond their limits and desperate for answers.

So where does that leave us? 

Good sleep hygiene. 

Independent sleep. 

Sooner rather than later.

Using SWAPS at a very young age, starting at 2-4 months to gradually establish independent sleep. As soon as a consistent bedtime starts to emerge.  I’ve long been an advocate of doing so to solve problems, and am going to be more vocal about how doing so prevents problems. We can in fact, set up our babies for sleep success before we hit the wall.

Parents deserve more research and transparency. We need regulations that are driven by science instead of manufacturers. We need confidence that the CPSC is more concerned with the safety of our children than the reputations of large corporations. We need better funding for sleep and safety.

In the meantime let’s try not to hit the wall by setting our kids up for sleep success. Which can happen, sooner than you think.

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Super Bowl parenting: 7 ways to win your baby’s heart

If you’re like most new parents, you’ve had a challenging season: new goals, new drills, and a few Hail Mary passes. As you settle in to watch your heroes dominate in the big game, you may be wondering what you need to do to become an MVP (Most Valuable Parent) for your own home team.

Let us play coach, for a minute. To be an MVP, there’s no elaborate 20-piece nursery set you need to buy. No special class to take. According to parenting experts, you already have exactly what you need to be an MVP: love, persistence, and the ability to keep your family well-rested.

Be the Most Valuable Parent with the Zen Footie

Here’s the playbook: 7 tips for MVPs

1. Huddle up

Keep the cuddles and kisses coming—you can’t spoil an infant (that comes later). And scientific evidence shows that a parent’s touch has a measurable impact on baby brain development, immune system and emotional growth. Learn about The Cuddle Effect.™

2. Master the basics

Checkups. Safety rules. Feeding info. You’ve got it down pat. Don’t forget to add healthy sleep patterns to the list; your baby’s brain develops during sleep, promoting learning, movement and cognition.

3. Take charge of your plan

Establish a consistent schedule—for feeding, playing and sleeping—so your baby knows what to expect, develops positive associations and learns to self-soothe. Then make sure the other caregivers in your baby’s life stick to it. Start with a sleep schedule.

4. Stay nimble

Sudden breastfeeding issues. Bath time blues. 4-month sleep regression. In the first 6 months, babies go through lots of stages, and the goalposts keep shifting. Staying flexible is the best way to keep your stress at bay—and avoid passing it to your baby.

The Zen Footie can help you stay nimble and overcome sleep challenges

5. Trust your gut

Experts have lots of advice. Parents and friends aren’t afraid to weigh in. Well-intentioned as all this guidance is, no one knows your baby better than you do. Go with your instincts: they’re usually right.

6. Celebrate little victories

Focus only on the big milestones, and you run the risk of missing countless delightful moments with your baby every day. These are the special times that promote parent-baby bonding: savor them.

7. Double down on sleep

Since the first year with a new baby is a tactical tour de force (see tips 1-6!), the key to success is making sure you’re all well-rested. Start by using the right sleepwear to help your baby sleep. The Zen One™Zen Sack™, and Zen Footie™ are lightly weighted to soothe like a parent’s touch. Parents report that their babies sleep longer in 1-3 nights.

Zen Footie helps babies sleep better and longer

Now, for the win: stay in the know.

The game is always changing – there might be some fumbles and interceptions, but you’ve got your NB team behind you driving for a touchdown. With our age-based expert sleep tips, you’ll always have the most relevant playbook waiting for you in your inbox.