Dealing with baby jet lag

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Dealing with baby jet lag

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When you're traveling with a baby and you're going east from where you live, there's a different way of dealing with it than when you go west from where you live, and typically east is better than west. When you're going east and if you're staying for longer than about seven days, and you want to convert your baby onto the local time, what you're going to do is arrive wherever you're staying east of where you live, and you're going to put your baby down when they're ready to go to sleep at night, most likely it will be very late. If they go to bed at 7:00 in California, let's say, it will be 10:00 in New York when they ultimately want to go to sleep the first night. But the idea is to start waking them up earlier every morning so if your baby goes down at 10:00, they're likely to want to sleep until 9:00 in the morning, but if you want to get them on New York time, you have to wake them up at maybe 7:30 the first day or 8:00 and then let them nap accordingly but not oversleep their naps and then get them down earlier the next night and then the next morning wake them up at their normal wake up time in the morning and then get them down accordingly for naps and then you'll be back to your normal time. When you're going west, it is much more difficult because if your baby, let's say, goes down at 7:00 in Los Angeles and you go to Hawaii and there's a two or three hour time difference depending on daylight savings time, your baby is going to be waking up somewhere in the 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning range. Not fun. You have to get up anyway, okay. So you get up with your baby very early in the morning, take a really early morning swim, keep them up, keep them up, keep them up. Do not let them fall back to sleep a couple of hours later and pull toward their first nap time as far as you can get on the first day to try to get them back on their normal schedule according to your Hawaii time.

See Jill Spivack, LCSW's video on Dealing with baby jet lag...

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Jill Spivack, LCSW

Sleep Expert

Jill Spivack, LCSW, completed her graduate studies at the University of Southern California. She developed an expertise in parenting while working as a psychotherapist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Early Childhood Department. Jill, a mother of two children, went on to develop a sub-specialty in pediatric sleep disorders while working in New York City at a parenting center after experiencing sleep problems with her first child. In 1999, upon returning to Los Angeles, Jill co-founded the pediatric sleep firm Childsleep.

Recognizing that today's parents were lacking the essential support, education, and sense of community they sought to do their best, Jill was inspired to co-found Sleepy Planet.  Offering a wide variety of services, Sleepy Planet helps parents of babies, toddlers, and young children with behavioral sleep problems through private consultations, and provides parent education, psychotherapy, and professional presentations on a wide variety of topics, including the transition to parenthood, child development and behavior, sibling rivalry, marital issues, and how to balance work and family. In addition, Jill holds weekly groups for new and second-time mothers to allow parents to share experiences and emotions, ask questions, and support one another through the journey of parenthood. 

Jill is also the co-creator of The Sleepeasy Solution, a book and DVD that show parents how to break difficult sleep habits without breaking their hearts in the process.  She has been featured in a variety of media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, The Los Angeles Times, Parenting, Variety and has appeared numerous times on The Today Show. She is also a co-consultant for Pajanimals, a new television project with the Jim Henson Company airing on PBS Kids Sproutthat features four adorable puppets who model for preschoolers, the skills they need to manage the various emotions and issues that they confront in early childhood. 

More Parenting Videos from Jill Spivack, LCSW >
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