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The Sleeping Power of the Lovey

  To an outsider, a lovey seems like an ordinary blanket or stuffed animal. But to a parent and child, a “lovey” can be magic. When my son was a toddler, we were flying across the country to see my parents. I had diligently packed all the smart travel items—stocked diaper bag, Ziplocs, stickers, two dozen containers of snacks. I had debated carrying the lovey—the cherished object he’d been sleeping with for a year—and decided to do it so he could nap on board. He clutched the satin square and I wore him in a front pack through the terminal. I set my luggage down to adjust and headed towards the gate. When I realized the lovey was…

Is it OK for Kids to Share a Room While Sleeping?

It turns out that kids can sleep together peacefully. Learn how to make it happen. Figuring out the best sleeping arrangement for your family can be the difference between waking up to a household of grumps and seeing smiles at the breakfast table. And just like decisions about co-sleeping, sleep training, and choosing a bedtime is unique to each family, deciding whether or not to have kids share a room is a matter of both practicality and personal preference. There is no right or wrong answer, but there are a few things to keep in mind when you’re issuing room assignments. Do You Have the Space? Just because you have extra rooms doesn’t mean…

Why Do Some Kids Wet the Bed?

The reasons why nighttime accidents occur may surprise you! If you’re the parent of a bedwetter, you’re likely all too familiar with orchestrating middle-of-the-night pajama changes and dragging heaping loads of soggy sheets to the laundry machine. You’ve also probably wondered more than once whether the nighttime accidents will ever end. The good news: Odds are, they will! While15 percent of children wet the bed at age five, less than five percent will still be having accidents by ages eight to 11. (In rare cases, bedwetting can continue into the teen years and adulthood, and if it does, that’s a signal to talk to a doctor, because it could by a symptom of an underlying…

Design A Sleep-Friendly Bedroom For Your Child

5 essential sleep items your child’s room should have My two kids (3 and 6 years old) climb happily into bed at night. It’s not to say that bedtime is always smooth—they don’t want to stop building towers or running laps in Superhero costumes. But as their routine unfolds and they shift modes, they don’t fight sleep. They welcome it. Video production in partnership with There are lots of reasons for this (more sleep secrets to come), but one is that the bedroom is…

When Kids Should Go to Bed - Based on Age

How your child’s age impacts the amount of sleep that he or she needs It can be tough to figure out exactly how much sleep your kid needs and when he or she should go to sleep, especially because your child’s slumber needs will change as he or she gets older. In other words, what worked perfectly at two months of age might fail at three months! Check out this quick guide to get a ballpark sense of how much sleep your kid needs. And keep in mind that there’s no one-size-fits all solution—each child is different. Newborns (up to three months): 14 to 17 hours Infants (four to 11 months): 12 to 15 hours Toddlers (one to two):…

When Should Kids Stop Napping?

Learn when it’s time for your child to say goodbye to naps. Ah, naptime. It can be the cure for toddler crankiness, a sacred time for e-mail checking, and generally a sanity-saver for parents and caregivers alike. Plus, kids who nap have longer attention spans, are less fussy, and sleep better at night. But, of course, you know that your child won’t nap forever. The big question looms: When does it all end? Sleep Training Tips for Children Video production in partnership with Over…

Sleep: How Do You Know Enough Is Enough?

  Making sure your children get enough quality sleep is a priority for the whole family. One of the most common questions I get asked as a pediatric sleep psychologist is “how much sleep does my child need?”  The National Sleep Foundation recently updated their recommendations for sufficient sleep duration across development. These numbers often send parents into a panic when they think their child is not obtaining sufficient sleep.  Adults, on the other hand, can usually tell you how much sleep they need, but then tell you how much they can get by on. The latter is dangerous as deficient sleep is known to cause significant problems, including negative mood, impaired performance, significant health issues, and…

Don’t Let Post-Partum Zombies Eat Your ZZZ's

  A humorous look at the trials and tribulations of new parenthood The past few months my house has been filled with zombies.  My three-year-old learned about zombies right around Halloween, and since then, as part of his bedtime routine, he has been inventing stories about them.  Zombies coughing. Zombies fighting. Zombies marching. Zombies fishing. And, of course, zombies eating brains. I’m not sure why zombies appeal to him so much. Maybe it’s because they shuffle around and grunt. Maybe it’s because they are clumsy and silly-looking. Or maybe it’s because after his little brother arrived in late October, his mom turned into one. My adorable newborn boy needs to eat every two to three hours, and as…

Get the Facts on the School Start Time Movement

Health advocates are pushing districts to move the first bell later for adolescents. Improving kids’ school performance isn’t just about rigorous classes and great teachers—helping them get quality sleep may actually be even more important. That’s especially true for adolescents, whose internal body clocks are different from those of younger kids. Kids’ circadian rhythm changes as they mature—when they’re teens,  secretion begins later at night and shuts off later in the morning. That makes it harder for high schoolers to go to bed early and wake up at dawn. The problem: Traditional school schedules, which often have adolescents beginning classes as early as 7:00am, are at odds with this later circadian rhythm…

How to Get Your Child to Sleep on Sunday Night

Is your kid wound up from the weekend? These tips help little ones hit the hay For many families, weekends are a time to cut loose—from school, work, and even, ahem, bedtime rules. Friday and Saturday night fun often means kids get tucked in later than usual, but that’s okay as long as they can sleep later in the morning, right? Getting enough shut-eye is essential for your child’s mental and physical development, but too much sleeping in on the weekends can breed Sunday sleeplessness. And that means a less-rested start to the week for everybody. Irregular bedtimes even have been linked to lower test scores and behavior problems in grade-school kids. Wherever possible, try…