Archive for the 'sleep' Category

a new sleep bag for babies and toddlers

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

aden + anais sleep bag

Aden + Anais, the maker of all those adorable muslin wraps and blankets we see in and on strollers around town have extended their product line to include sleep sacks.  I, for one, am happy to see another lightweight sleep sack on the market.

does your child need less sleep?

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Probably not.  I am frequently asked by perplexed parents of children who don’t seem to sleep as much as other children they know or have heard of if it’s possible that they have one of those children who just needs less sleep than another.  And while it is true that not everyone’s sleep needs are identical, the fact is that what we often try to pass off as enough sleep is simply too little. A recent New York Times Article, “Distractions May Shift, but Sleep Needs Don’t” points out this tendency to assume our child is one of the exceptions when it works better for the family schedule.  This is a growing problem as children get older and have busy lives packed with social event and activities.

“The literature really strongly suggests the average early to mid-adolescent needs 9 to 9.25 hours a night,” said Dr. Judith Owens, an associate professor of pediatrics at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, who directs the Pediatric Sleep Disorders Clinic at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

She quickly headed off my question about children — or adults — who don’t need that much sleep. “It’s a bell-shaped curve,” she said, with just 2.5 percent of the population needing significantly less sleep than average.

“The problem,” she went on, “is that 95 percent of us think we’re in that 2.5 percent. You should assume until proven otherwise that your kid needs that much sleep.”

wonder bumpers

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

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Wonder bumpers, by Go Mama Go Designs, are a lovely solution for parents who are aware of the dangers of traditional crib bumpers, but would like to soften the sleeping environment for those active infants and toddlers who are all over the crib.  Like so many other great products created in the parenting market, wonder bumpers were created by moms.

daylight savings sleep tips – spring ahead!

Friday, March 6th, 2009

Wohoo!  It’s time for more day light!  I know this means one less hour of sleep on Saturday night, BUT it could mean little junior sleeps in an “extra” hour too!  Here are my tips on handling this transition (which is MUCH easier than the fall time change).

1. Put your child to bed on Saturday night at the usual bedtime.

2. Change your clocks so they are one hour ahead.

3. Set your alarm to get you up at the usual wake up time and wake your child up to start the day (this means one less hour of sleep for your child).  OR, for those early risers, let them sleep in and take this opportunity to get them on a slightly later schedule.

4. Put your child down for naps and bedtime according to the time on the clock.

keeping your toddler in bed

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

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As a sleep specialist, I run into MANY toddlers who cannot tell time and decide to start their day (and their parents!) at very early hours.  For those of you readers who may fall into this category, there is a product on the market that was recently brought to my attention that might teach your child to stay in bed (asleep or awake) until the time you designate. This product is called the Good Nite Light and retails for $35 – a small price for another hour or two of shut-eye each morning.  Of course, if that’s not sufficient to fix your problem, give us a call, we can help!

daylight savings sleep tips

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

I know, I know.  Daylight savings time again.  It always comes too soon.  Fret not, these simple tips for babies (6 months and older) and toddlers will help you stay on track with your good sleep habits.  Give your children a few days to settle in to the new time.  After they adjust to the new clock, the only thing left to dread is the sun setting at 4 p.m.  Ugh.

1. Put your child(ren) to bed on Saturday night (11/1) at the regular time.

2. Wake up with your child(ren) at the normal wake up time on Sunday morning (11/2).

3. Set your clocks back one hour.  This is where you stretch.

4. Put your child(ren) down for the first nap at the regular time per the clock.**  This will mean that s/he has been awake a full hour longer during this window and may need some help to stretch.  Going outside and getting lots of sunlight and fresh air is a great way to keep kids awake when you’re stretching them.

5. Follow the clock for naps and bedtime from here forward. It can take a few days for your child to fully adjust, so be patient and consistent.

**Younger children may have a harder time stretching a full hour without becoming overtired.  In this case it may be better to stretch them 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon or to stretch them slowly over several days.

fans dramatically reduce SIDS risk

Monday, October 6th, 2008

The New York Times Well Blog posted about a new research finding, published today in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, has found having a fan in baby’s room reduces the risk for SIDS by as much as 72 %!  The proposed theory is that the fan prevents the baby from re-breathing in exhaled carbon dioxide.  And while the fan doesn’t make the baby’s room cooler, it is important to keep the sleeping environment cool as this also reduces the risk for SIDS.

IMPORTANT: Bassinet Linked to Infant Deaths

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

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An article in today’s Chicago Tribune reports that the Simplicity 4-in-1 and 3-in-1 co-sleepers have been implicated in two infant deaths, the most recent was last Thursday in Kansas. Though these bassinets have not yet been recalled, any parent with one should stop using it and discard it immediately.  There appears to be a design flaw that allows the baby to slip through and become trapped.

grembo sleep sacks, I LOVE them!

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

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What I love about the Grembo sleep sacks is the simplicity of the design and organic materials they use. And, I like that they make sacks for the different seasons of the years and for wee ones through 24 months. (And I’ll have you know that the selection of sleep sacks is slim at best, especially for toddlers!) I wholeheartedly believe that babies and toddlers sleep better with the added coziness of a sack. Parents sleep better too because we don’t have the worry of a blanket either falling off our baby, leaving them cold, or far worse, causing them harm in some way. Another major benefit for parents of toddlers is that the sleep sack often prevents curious little climbers from getting their legs over the railing and out of the crib. Now, isn’t that reason enough to invest in a sack (or two or three, depending on where you live)?!

We get a spot on Reuters TV!

Friday, February 15th, 2008

This week I was interviewed by Manoush Zomorodi of Reuters TV. She and her crew spent the day following me around working with some sleepy NYC families. It was truly a delight.

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