Archive for March, 2009

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

bump.jpg

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.