How can I help my toddler adapt to the time change on vacation?

Q: We're flying to Europe with our 2-year-old in a few months. How do we get her adjusted to the six-hour time change?

A: Not too easily, unfortunately. You need to allow a week--a difficult week--for your daughter to adjust to the time change. About seven days before your trip, begin putting her to bed a half-hour earlier each night and also getting her up a half-hour earlier. If she has a hard time going to sleep or getting up at these times, spend 30 minutes or so rubbing and patting her back, talking quietly to her but not picking her up. It might make her unhappy for a while, but with patience and time, it should work.

Granted, this approach goes against my "no crying" sleep philosophy, but aiming for a gentle transition--with your hand on her back and your voice in her ear--is 180 degrees from turning out the light, closing the door and letting her cry. I do not recommend the latter for any baby at any age.