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  • Tips to help your little one sleep when the clocks are turned back for daylight savings and how to prevent early rising during the transition

    The biannual calendar event of daylight savings affects families across several Australian states; when those without children celebrate the extra hours sleep, but for those of us with little ones, we question the conspiracy of the world to mess with our sleep routines!

    In this blog we’ll look at how to help your little one transition during daylight savings and provide tips to help your baby sleep when the clocks turn back 1 hour.

    The date to mark in your diary as the end of daylight savings is Sunday, 4 April, 2021 (QLD, WA and NT this won’t affect you) and don’t worry if you forget, your phone will automatically update the time.

    For those worried about early rising, I want to reassure you that early rising doesn’t have to become the new ‘norm’ in your household and daylight savings transitions don’t have to impact the family long-term.

    There are ways to achieve a smooth transition.

    This being said, due to our body’s lower drive to sleep in the morning, early rising is one of the trickier sleep hurdles. Sometimes it simply takes time to restore the sleep pressure and shift the body’s “wake up time” to a more appropriate time (generally between 6:00-7:00am on a ‘standard’ 7:00am-7:00pm schedule.

    For most parents, there will not be a ‘bonus sleep in’ come daylight savings, but this clock change doesn’t have to mean the beginning of months on end of early rising.  If anything, we can take this opportunity to finally work on early rising once and for all with an extra hour to persist with re-settling – the goal isn’t necessarily returning to sleep…at least initially.

    For now, the best thing you can do to ready yourself for the transition is to have a plan, either proactive or reactive (we’ll talk about this more) and as always, consistency is key to guiding your little one through this time.

    How do you help your little one transition during daylight savings?

    1. Firstly, we need to understand how our circadian rhythms work.

    The circadian rhythm is the body’s internal biological sleep clock and it is set by food, light and social interaction. These external factors are like data being provided to the body, which is sending clear messages to signal when it is awake time and when it is sleep time.

    It should also be noted that serotonin (happy hormone) is produced during the day and converts to melatonin (sleepy hormone) at night.

    The body clock can be shifted simply by moving, adding or omitting the elements of food, light and social interaction. This is where your little one’s routine comes into play and can be used to transition their circadian rhythm.

    Which leads me to the next point

    2. Have a plan – There are two common approaches to making the

    clock work in your favour. These approaches are called Proactive and Reactive.

    Proactive – This is where, in the 5-7 days prior to the time change, you progressively shift your routine by 15-20 minutes; meaning every step in your routine happens just that little bit later.

    For example: if you usually run your little one’s day between the hours of 7:00am – 7:00pm, in the week leading up to daylight savings you’ll be aiming to progressively move towards an 8:00am – 8:00pm routine by the end of the week.

    By progressively shifting to the 8:00am – 8:00pm routine, by the time the clocks wind back on Sunday morning you’ll have already transitioned your little one’s sleep routine and they’ll now be back on a 7:00am – 7:00pm routine.

    Expert Tip: Remember everything is moving to a slightly later time. Always start at the beginning of the day and push out meals and snacks consecutively to achieve the later bedtime.

     Days 1-2Days 3-4Days 5-6Days 7-8
    Start of the day7:15am7:30am7:45am8:00am
    All Naps15 minutes later30 minutes later45 minutes later1 hour later
    All Meals15 minutes later30 minutes later45 minutes later1 hour later
    Bedtime7:15pm7:30pm7:45pm8:00pm

    This will then “switch” you back to a 7:00am-7:00pm routine come Sunday morning.  Don’t worry if you start late or only get half way by the Sunday.  It’s a guideline to work towards not a deadline.

    Reactive: The alternative to a proactive approach is a reactive approach which is the same method as the proactive approach only it’s implemented after daylight savings ends i.e. after the time change.

    If we use the example of having a 7:00am – 7:00pm routine, once the clocks go back this will now be a 6:00am – 6:00pm routine and the idea is to get your little one back to 7:00am – 7:00pm.

    How’s it done? Over a few days you’ll move your routine 15-20 minutes later which progressively retrains your little one’s body clock to adjust to a 7:00am – 7:00pm routine on the new time.

    As with the proactive approach, always start the process at the beginning of the day and push out meals, snacks and naps consecutively to progressively shuffle to a later time.

     Days 1-2Days 3-4Days 5-6Days 7-8
    Start of the day6:15am6:30am6:45am7:00am
    All Naps15 minutes later30 minutes later45 minutes later1 hour later
    All Meals15 minutes later30 minutes later45 minutes later1 hour later
    Bedtime6:15pm6:30pm6:45pm7:00pm

    3. Consistency – When it comes to our little one’s sleep habits

    consistency will always be important. The daylight savings clock change is the time to be consistent and is not the time to change your approach with settling and re-settling. During this time be especially cautious to ensure you don’t add any new sleep props that you don’t wish to retain long-term.

    Expert Insight: Younger babies (4-12 months old) will be more sensitive to this change whereas with your newborn-3-month-old you can simply follow awake times and add/drop a nap to get them back on track.

    Older babies/toddlers you can gently adjust by pushing towards their “regular” day to day nap schedule and bedtime and their bodies will catch up over 5-7 days.

    Remember- No matter what happens, the best thing you can do is allow your bub the opportunity to transition and the above suggestions will help to do just this.

    Expert Tip: Once the change happens avoid thinking “old time vs new time” and just go with the actual time, pushing forward with where you want to get to as you’ll constantly confuse yourself going back and forth. One hour is not hugely significant, especially for older children and thankfully we are not crossing significant time zones.

    Any changes from daylight savings are commonly sorted within 5-7 days.

    Early rising can be a kicker but don’t let it stress you out. I encourage you to view this time through the lens of opportunity and a chance to work on minimising early rising in your little one (especially if early rising was already a common occurrence). Having the extra hour to work on re-settling before starting the day is in your favour mumma.

    Try to remember that as a parent, it is not our job to “force” sleep, rather offer the opportunity and if they are awake earlier than ideal, we don’t automatically need to get them up and start the day, rather try to keep them in their sleep environment (with as little interaction as possible) to “bore” them back to sleep rather than be too hands on with our approach. 

    Expert Tip: Early rising can take 2-3 weeks to resolve, hence the need to be patient and consistent.

    Want some extra help?

    Check out the early rising blog for extra hints and tips to beat the early wake up calls from your little one.

    For more healthy sleep hints and tips Follow me on Instagram

    With Love,

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  • How to handle sleep routines when your baby or toddler attends childcare. Best tips to remain confident about your little one’s sleep.

    Lots of children begin attending childcare in their first few years of life and this means someone other than you or family members will be putting your little one down for daytime sleeps.

    The thought of someone else in charge of naptime can feel uncomfortable, so how do you set you and your little one up for sleep success at childcare? This blog looks at my top tips for success to support your baby or toddler’s sleep routines whilst in childcare.

    Yes, sleep time at childcare is a whole different ball game to sleep time at home, especially with carers expected to:

    • Monitor several children
    • Adhere to regulatory standards (such as rooms not being pitch black for sleeping)
    • Remember individual children’s sleep routines

    We can all agree that safety procedures should and will absolutely continue to come first in childcare centres and we know we can’t change how many children carers have in their care so the best approach for overall sleep success comes down to building trust and choosing a positive and understanding approach.

    As you read through the tips in this blog keep in mind two important details. Firstly, attending childcare won’t undo all your hard work and secondly, day and night sleep are governed by two different parts of the brain 🙂 If you can remember these two things, you’ll find yourself in a good place to action the below tips.

    Baby and Toddler Childcare Sleep Tips

    1. Communication

    Communicating with your little one’s carers about important things such as their temperament, their preferred nap routine, settling approach and items you’ll be packing to create a sense of security for your little one is the first and best ways to set the foundation for sleep success.

    2. Bring Something From Home

    Whilst we appreciate that we can’t replicate the home environment – (hello multiple children sleeping in the same room) we can try to recreate some familiarity – Think along the lines of bringing their sleeping bag, comforter, or dummy. It also doesn’t hurt to ask if the centre already uses or allows the use of portable white noise machines.

    3. Preparation

    This is a two-pronged approach. We can help manage our own expectations by preparing mentally and anticipating that our little ones may not sleep well at childcare (especially initially) as they settle into their new surroundings and build rapport with their primary carers.

    Secondly, we can plan ahead to make things easier at home in the evening. You could try ensuring dinner is ready to go when you get home (previous night’s leftovers for the parenting win), or if you finish work particularly late, ask if you can provide childcare with your little one’s dinner to heat and serve? This will allow you more quality time together when you get home so you can fill up yours and your little one’s emotional cup after a busy day before rushing off to bed.

    4. Earlier Bedtimes

    A common tactic to stay on top of lost sleep, especially when naps are out of our control is to bring bedtime forward. Try to utilise a 15-30 minutes earlier bedtime depending on when their last nap finished and their total overall day sleep.

    Top tip – Earlier bedtimes don’t equal earlier rising, this is more common in babies and toddlers who are overtired.

    5. Accept That Different Is Okay

    Be comforted by the fact that your childcare worker has likely put hundreds (if not thousands) of babies to sleep over the span of their career and know that they will be able to get your little one to sleep, even if it is with different settling techniques than they would normally have at home.

    The Truth Is

    Little one’s are adaptable and resilient to change and often have different expectations of different carers. This means that as long as you and your family are on the same page with settling at home, then what happens at childcare shouldn’t negatively impact on solid sleep foundations.

    It’s easy to become overwhelmed with what is not in your control but reminding yourself that your baby will have an amazing day and you’ll have the opportunity to support them at the other end of the day is the best way to keep a positive outlook during the childcare years.

    Want some extra help?

    Book your 15 minute discovery call to discuss how we can work one-on-one.

    With Love,

    Never miss healthy sleeping tips and strategies from Kelly – A fortnightly, newsletter delivered to your inbox.

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  • Introducing Snooze Shade

    There is no denying I am a huge fan of the Snooze Shade for our Port-a-cot when traveling. I am often asked questions about what we use while traveling, especially in the caravan and so I’m very excited to have Cara, the inventor of Snooze Shade join us to explain the different types of Snooze Shades and why you’ll love it for your little one for snoozing on-the-go.

    Snooze Shade

    We are very proud of the rigorous testing that all Snooze Shade products are subjected to. It means that each and every Snooze Shade conforms to the strictest of regulations and that you can rest assured you are using a product that is safe, useful and reliable too. Since conception, the Snooze Shade range has been repeatedly voted as the UK’s best pram sun shade, and parents have told us time and again how it has helped their little ones to sleep while they are out and about. Now we’re excited to be helping parents in Australia help their bubs sleep out and about too!

    The different types of SnoozeShade

    Baby car seat sun shades

    For use from birth, this shade fits over your baby’s car seat and can be used on group 0/ 0+ car seats. This shade comes in Classic and Deluxe versions. The difference between them lies in the ways that each model can be used. The Deluxe can be used in three ways: lookout mode has a mesh viewing window that blocks out 80% of UV rays; sleep mode blocks out 97% of UV rays; open mode allows baby and parent to see each other, whilst still providing side protection. The classic also has three modes: sleep mode with the shade over the top; sleep mode with the handle exposed for carrying; half shade position to protect face and eyes.

    Pram sunshade for babies aged 0 to 6 months 

    For use from birth, on prams, pushchairs and buggies. There are two models to choose from:

    SnoozeShade Original & Original Deluxe protects baby from 99% of UV rays (UPF50+) and is approved by the Melanoma International Foundation. You can use it in a huge variety of ways: in parent or world facing mode, with an infant car seat in travel system mode, with a carrycot or bassinet – As it is a universal cover you can use it on any model of pushchair.

    SnoozeShade Plus & Plus Deluxe are suitable from birth to approximately 4 years old and you no longer use a stroller. It features a unique two-layer protection system which offers protection up to 99% of UV rays (UPF50+). There are large mesh windows on this product which allows baby to see out, and this mode filters 80% of UV rays. In blackout mode the Plus blurs light and visual distractions to help baby sleep even when there are distractions around. It also has a larger front panel which fully opens to allow easy access to baby, and a front pocket.

    SnoozeShade for Cots. This is a universal fit shade for porta cots. It is a breathable, portable blackout shade with panels that allow parents to adjust light levels and for easy access to baby.

    Used correctly, your SnoozeShade will allow your little one to sleep well (by blocking out light and visual distractions) and provide essential shade from the sun too. We are fiercely proud of all products and more than happy to answer any queries you may have.

    If you are about to invest in a sunshade for your baby, here are some top tips on getting the most from it:

    • If your baby is already six months+ (or very nosy) we recommend the Plus or Deluxe Plus, as the two layer mesh system will allow for natural curiosity at that age!
    • All SnoozeShade products (for car seat and pram/ pushchair) feature a unique ‘Sneak a Peek’ zip which allows you to check on baby whenever you need to, without removing the shade completely. This helps to prevent precious sleep being disturbed!
    • All SnoozeShade products are made from a special air-permeable mesh – that means air (hot or cold) moves easily through it.  You can literally put this over your face and breathe through it. We recommend dressing your baby in light clothes in hot weather to further aid baby staying as cool as possible.
    • Air circulates freely through the SnoozeShade, which means that the environment in the pram is well ventilated – but on very hot, sunny days do try to find as shady a spot as you can – if it’s hot outside it will be hot everywhere.

    You can find SnoozeShade on Instagram, and they are more than happy to answer any questions or queries you might have!

    Ps. For 10% off your order you can use the code kellymartin here*

    With love,

    For more travel tips don’t forget to check out my Summer Sleep Tips blog here

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  • Baby sleep and the festive season. Five tips to handle the most wonderful time of the year with little ones.

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year for so many reasons, most of which involve family, going out and socialising. No-one wants to remember the festive season as a woeful time so consider this blog your ‘how to’ guide for little one’s sleep during the festive season. 

    You’ll learn 5 easy sleep tips to equip you with flexibility and freedom so you can enjoy the fun times and have merry and memorable moments, (Afterall the silly season leaves as quickly as it arrives so let’s make the most of it, especially this year).

    But how do we stay on track with healthy sleep habits for our little ones without becoming the ‘party poopers’ or ‘no shows’ at all the upcoming festivities? 

    This blog is a great start. You’ll realise there are stress-free ways to make this time a balance between sleep and fun and you’ll even learn that it’s possible to sometimes break the rules without losing your great sleeper long-term. 

    Let’s set the scene

    You have a week of driving from here, there and everywhere. There’ll be lots of family, lots of excitement, some unfamiliar environments for your children, extended days and of course yummy food at every celebration.

    Amongst all the excitement what are you going to do about sleep for your little one? You could wing it which works for a day or too (not my recommended option here), or you could show up to the silly season prepared with ways to put your little one down anywhere

    The aim is to get some sleep, not necessarily the normal sleep your little one would have.

    Festive Season Sleep Tips

    1 . Plan For Sleep

    Before the day begins, think about where you need to be and at what times, then work out how you can try to accommodate sleep. 

    Sleep opportunities look like:

    • Leaving at nap time- If you take into account your days on the road and how you can best protect day sleeps, you can try and time your day so you leave right on cue for sleep. 
    • Taking a porta cot- If you’re going to your Aunty’s house take the porta cot along and let your little one have a sleep in a quiet place.
    • Go for a walk- Take the pram to achieve their regular nap timing, even if the length is much shorter. Remember the aim is to get some sleep.

    2. Communicate Your Expectations

    Make a plan with your co-pilot (think hubby, partner-in-crime) so you can work as a team to enable sleep to occur. You’ll likely be playing a more hands-on role with settling due to being in unfamiliar environments so the best support you can have is your partner there to reinforce your plan. 

    This might mean taking older kids out for a while or be as simple as your partner helping to remember to bring the porta cot. Being on the same page will make it less stressful for everyone – especially if unwanted advice is offered about, “let them stay up late, they will sleep in tomorrow”, *facepalm*.

    3. Bring Comforts From Home

    This could be your little one’s regular sleep associations ie sleeping bag, white noise machine, block out blinds, dummy, comforter. Each of these items help to continue the regular wind down routine despite being somewhere different.

    4. Maintain Boundaries

    This one is for toddlers especially. Often the “laid back approach” over the festive season can give rise to inconsistency which can then result in toddlers losing their sense of boundary. The flow on effect of this sees your little one begin to act out. Also consider food and screen times as these impact our kids’ temperaments throughout the silly season too.

    5. Use Earlier Bedtimes

    Where needed, don’t be afraid to begin bedtime routines earlier than normal. If you’ve spent the whole day out and your little one is struggling to stay awake, give them the rest they need.

    I also want to myth bust a common belief which is ‘early to bed, early to rise’. Early bedtimes don’t automatically = earlier risers. Early rising is most common in overtired babies who have excess adrenaline in their system. This excess adrenaline sees them wake fully in the lighter phases of sleep in the early hours of the morning. 

    One final thought

    As you step into the festive season, I want to leave you with one final thought which is, ‘some sleep is better than no sleep’. Try to keep this in mind especially when you are out and about on a busy day.

    Enjoy your holiday period and as always be respectful of your little one’s need for sleep just as much as any other point in time. They are little and need quality, consolidated sleep for growth and development.

    If you want additional details on festive season sleep, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more hints and tips throughout the season.

    Want some extra help?

    Book your 15 minute discovery call  if you’re ready to work one-on-one for your little one’s sleep.

    With Love,

    Related Resources

    Longer summer days and hot nights are here so we’ve got your summer sleep tips sorted. Get the 5 summer sleep tips here.

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  • Choking or Gagging?

    The wonderful Nikki from Tiny Hearts Education has joined us on our blog to share all about Choking or Gagging and most importantly what to do if your child is choking.

    By Tiny Hearts Education

    Have you ever watched your child shove a whole bunch of food in their mouth, only to spit it out five seconds later? You’re not alone. Most parents believe this is their child choking and coughing it back up, but most of the time, your child is actually gagging. This reflex action helps to prevent choking! 

    SO, WHAT IS GAGGING?

    The gag reflex is a contraction of the back of the throat triggered by an object touching the roof of the mouth, the back of the tongue or the back of the throat. In babies, this is often triggered by fingers, food, spoons or even toys touching the back of the mouth. 

    When the reflex is activated, it thrusts objects forward towards the opening of the mouth, expelling any substances that the brain has deemed harmful – cool, huh? 

    A child’s gag reflex often diminishes at around six months of age, which is generally when most babies are learning to eat solid food. Allowing your child to feed independently and explore their hands and toys with their mouths will also help to dwindle the reflex. Some little ones are a bit more sensitive though and have what is known as a ‘hypersensitive’ gag reflex and as a result, will gag more easily. 

    Gagging is super common amongst infants – especially when they are making the transition from smooth to lumpy foods, or when learning to chew. Because gagging is a crucial part of oral motor skill development, please don’t overact when your child gags. Positive reinforcement is key so that gagging can become a learnt behaviour. If your child gags, just move the item of food out of the way and cuddle them (no panic party!) 

    If you haven’t caught on already, gagging is not the same as choking. 

    Choking is caused by an object that blocks the airway and prevents breathing. When this happens, it’s often silent compared to gagging where children will make retching noises. To learn more about choking click here to download a free PDF fact sheet.

    While gagging is part of a bub’s development, choking can be life-threatening, which is why you need to supervise your children at all times – especially during meal and play times. If your child does ever choke, make sure you administer first aid as soon as possible. 

    CHOKING FIRST AID

    PARTIAL OBSTRUCTION: 

    If your child has an effective cough, use gravity and lean them forward. Encourage them to keep coughing. If the obstruction cannot be cleared you must call 000. If they lose their forceful cough use the next technique for a complete obstruction. 

    COMPLETE OBSTRUCTION: If your child does not have an effective cough you should: 

    • DRSABCD 
    • Call 000 
    • Place your child in a head down position – infant (under 1 year old) across your lap and child (1 – 8 years old) sitting or standing up 
    • Give up to five back blows using the heel of one hand, in between the shoulder blades. Short and sharp. Check the airway between each back blow to see if the obstruction has cleared. 

    IF YOUR CHILD IS STILL CHOKING: 

    Give up to five chest thrusts using two fingers (one hand for a child), in the middle of the chest between the nipples. Short and sharp. Check the airway between each chest thrust to see if the obstruction has cleared.

    IF YOUR CHILD IS STILL CHOKING: 

    Alternate between five back blows and five chest thrusts until the obstruction is cleared (checking the airway to see if it has cleared in between each back blow or chest thrust), paramedics arrive, or until they render unconscious. If they render unconscious you must start CPR.

    Note: The obstruction may clear during CPR compressions. If this occurs roll your child on their side and clear the mouth of the foreign object. 

    While the above is super helpful and will help in a choking emergency, it is no comparison to learning these skills in real life. The Tiny Hearts First Aid course guides parents through choking first aid and gives you ample time to practise your skills on manikins. To view dates or to book, click here.

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  • Summer nights and your baby’s sleep routine. Five helpful tips that will see you confidently manage your baby’s sleep throughout the longer summer days.

    Longer summer days are here, which inevitably means more hours of daylight. The good news is your summer plans don’t have to throw your little one’s sleep routine out the window.

    This blog covers off five helpful tips that will see you confidently manage your child’s sleep throughout summer. 

    With the festive season and sun-soaked days seeing you out and about more (and invariably out longer), there are ways to ensure you step into the season feeling more organised for how to handle your little one’s sleep routine.  

    Yes, sleep might look a little different in summer but that’s ok. I encourage you to still visit family and friends and enjoy the delight of late sunsets and extra hours of play following my 80/20 rule for routine and predictability without completely derailing your little one’s healthy sleep habits you have worked so hard to achieve.

    This blog will reassure you that you can be flexible with your little one’s sleep routine and still maintain healthy sleep habits.

    What does this look like?

    Mostly it’s a balance of respecting both your little one’s need for sleep and the need to get out of the house.

    Summer Sleep Success Tips – Practical tips to navigate sleep routines on longer summer days:

    1. Keep It Cool – Babies struggle to self-regulate their body temperature, this coupled with their inability to add or remove blankets means it’s up to you to control the external temperature as much as possible. 

    Expert Tip: There’s no perfect room temperature recommendation from Red Nose Guidelines as they encourage you to dress your baby appropriately for the temperature of the room.  In my experience, around 20-22 degrees Celsius is considered ‘comfortable’ for summer; keeping in mind your location needs to be taken into account as elements like humidity can also be an influencing factor.

    2. Strip Down- Check the TOG rating of your swaddle or sleeping bag for your little one. Remember to only use cotton or bamboo-based materials for sleeping as these are breathable (this includes baby’s bedding too). 

    My Choice: Ergopouch is my go-to for breathable baby sleepwear and sleepsuits. 

    3. Block It Out- If you’re at home, block out blinds are your best friend throughout the longer summer days/nights as they encourage the mind to think it’s dark outside. Remember our circadian rhythm (body’s internal biological sleep clock) is influenced by food, light and social interaction.

    My recommendation: Easy Night Baby Black out Blinds available through Sleep Tight Babies

    4. Don’t Be Tempted To Miss Naps- This always leads to an overtired and grumpy baby or toddler. Naps may be shorter on the go, but try your best to accommodate their regular nap routine and buffer with an extra nap or earlier bedtime to compensate for lost day sleep from the day.  This will equal a happier baby and allow them to get back on track sooner rather than later. 

    Expert Tip: Avoid planning too many days out in a row as we need to respect our little one’s need for sleep – even if it is a little inconvenient.

    5. Keep Your Regular Wind Down Routine- Although tempting when everyone’s had a big day (including mum and dad), don’t try to skip or rush the bedtime routine, especially if your little one has had a big day socialising, interacting and being more physically active. 

    Expert Tip: Remember to “turn down” the house in the hour prior to bedtime to signify to your little one’s body that night sleep is approaching.

    Approaching this season with a balance of equal parts calm and commitment to your baby’s sleep routine is a fantastic way to enjoy the best of both worlds throughout the warmer months. 

    If you have any questions about summer sleep, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more hints and tips.

    Want some extra help?

    Looking to learn more about making a routine work for your baby? Take a look at my package options to find the level of support that works for you and your family.

    Enjoy your summer. 

    With Love,

    Kelly

    Never miss healthy sleeping tips and strategies from KellyA fortnightly, newsletter delivered to your inbox.

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