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Children

Toddlers and Napping: How Much is Normal?

The art and science of keeping your kid well-rested throughout the day It is a truth that most parents learn early on: Toddlers need a lot of sleep to stay happy (and get the energy that they need to keep growing). And that sleep doesn’t all happen at night. No matter how much slumber they get when it’s dark out, they still need some serious stretches of shut-eye during the day. And this need for naptimes is actually a good thing for the whole family: You need those moments of daytime downtime to regroup and focus on yourself, too! Sleep Training Tips for Children

Get Your Child to Learn to Love Bedtime

Three surefire ways to end evening battles. Even when your toddler or preschooler is exhausted, he or she still may resist being put to bed. And you can’t blame tots: In their eyes, all the exciting stuff happens after the lights go out, and they’re not being included! Luckily, with a few small tweaks to your evening schedule, you can help make bedtime a fun part of your child’s day that he or she will actually look forward to. Sleep Training Tips for ChildrenVideo production in partnership with

How Do I Get My Child to Stop Sucking His or Her Thumb During Sleep?

Learn how and when to help your kid kick the habit. Believe it or not, if your child sucks his or her thumb while drifting off to sleep, that’s a healthy habit. After all, it means that your child can soothe him- or herself with something that can’t be misplaced (like a pacifier). But if breaking the habit doesn’t happen naturally, at some point you’ll want to help your child do it so that thumb-sucking, even if it’s just during sleep, won’t lead to problems with tooth alignment and proper mouth development. Fortunately, many children lose interest in thumb-sucking by age three or four. If your child continues the thumb-sucking habit after that, you’ll want…

Is Your Toddler Ready for a Big-Kid Bed?

Learn the right time—and the best ways—to help your little one make the transition. Saying goodbye to the crib is a milestone for toddlers. The truth is, there’s no perfect time to make the switch; kids can be ready as early as 18 months and as late as four years old. The best way to tell whether your child is up for the transition to big-kid bed is to look for these signs.Your Kid Can Climb Out of the Crib. When toddlers can make like monkeys and scale the rails of the crib that previously safe space for sleep can become a hazard for falls.Your Toddler Is Potty Training. A little one who is…

Everything You Need to Know About Sleep Training

Learn how to help your baby sleep—so you can, too. Oh, the irony of life with a newborn: Somehow the baby manages to sleep a ton, while Mom and Dad barely (or don’t!) get enough. Never fear, there are ways you can ease your little one into a healthy sleep routine. Here’s the bonus: Doing so means you’ll get more sleep, too. Raising a healthy sleeper starts with a consistent bedtime routine. You can start enforcing this when your baby is roughly six weeks old. At the same time every night, read a book together, sing songs, and feed your baby before putting him or her into the crib. It may also help to get…

How to Get Kids to Stop Sleeping With Teddy Bears or Blankets

There is a right and wrong way to separate your child from a cherished bedtime pal For many kids around the country, bedtime means getting read a story, being tucked in, and snuggling up with a favorite stuffed animal. Having a plush toy or blankie in bed with them every night gives them a sense of security throughout the dark hours. And although craving the comfort of a teddy bear at night seems childish—similar to sucking a thumb at night—there’s no specific age that’s deemed “too old” for the habit. In other words, it’s normal for your kid to hold onto a nighttime buddy later than you might think…

How Long Should My Child Sleep?

Ages, stages, and other key factors behind kids’ sleep needs Sleep—and lots of it—is an essential part of childhood development. As babies turn into toddlers, and then school-age kids, and then teens, sleep patterns and sleep needs may shift. It’s certainly not easy to keep tabs on how many hours your child gets, let alone whether that’s enough. While no one formula dictates exactly how long every child should sleep, there are some guidelines that can help you determine a target range. Newborns and infants need the most sleep of all, followed by toddlers. Once your child is four and school-age, his or her sleep needs will change yet again, so this is what…

How Long Should My Toddler Sleep?

Figure out how many zzz’s your little one needs. As your child ages, the amount of sleep that he or she needs will naturally decrease slightly. Keep in mind, though, that sleep is very important for kids—since it impacts both their mental and physical development—so make sure that your little one is getting enough. How Much Total Sleep Is Best? As your child moves out of the infant stage, starts walking, and becomes a toddler, the total amount of sleep that he or she needs (nighttime sleep plus naptime sleep) will decrease from 12 to 15 hours per 24-hour day as a four- to 11-month-old to 11 to 14 hours per 24-hour day as a…

Early School Start Times and Childhood Development

Why scientists want your kids to sleep in If early weekday mornings are a battlefield at your house, it may come as no surprise that what time kids have to wake up for school is a hot topic among researchers and educators alike. Administrative concerns (such as a resistance to changing complicated and expensive busing schedules and a reluctance to pushing back sports practices—which could result in purchasing field lights) often lead to middle- and high schoolers leaving home before dawn. The result: Early school starts translate to teens getting just seven hours of sleep a night, which is far short of the nine-plus that’s recommended for that age range. And these early wakeups…

Signs That Your Child Isn’t Getting Enough Sleep

The symptoms of insufficient sleep in kids may surprise you. Healthy sleep is vital, especially in babies, toddlers, young kids, and teens. That’s because inadequate slumber—and low-quality snoozing—threaten healthy development and growth. In addition, poor sleep in children has been linked to behavior problems, obesity, high-risk activities, and other serious issues. So as a parent, you (of course!) want to make sure that your kid is getting enough zzz’s. But how, exactly, can you tell if your child isn’t clocking enough time in the sack? Some symptoms, like constant yawning or droopy eyes, are easy to recognize in a child. But others aren’t as obvious….