spring ahead – daylight savings tips

March 11th, 2010

On Saturday night at midnight we spring ahead (this means we lose an hour overnight). What does this mean in terms of your child’s sleep schedule? See my tips below and decide which plan is best for your wee one.

Plan A:

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).

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

Plan B:

For those early risers, don’t change anything but your clocks.  This means that if they normally nap at 9 am, the clock will now ready 10 am, and so on.  They will be going to bed one hour later and will wake up one hour later… Remember that there is more daylight as we get closer to June so you’ll also want to ensure that you have a good blackout system, otherwise your early riser will be back!

nosefrida snotsucker

February 11th, 2010

I was recently reminded about this great European snotsucker, the nosefrida, when my daughter caught my cold and became congested.

A client recently turned me on to this great device, which is much slicker and safer to use on our littlest ones’ noses. Consider this improved alternative to the blue bulb nasal aspirators.

lingering effects of early sleep deprivation

February 11th, 2010

A recent short piece in the New York Times Magazine titled “Infant Sleep is Destiny” showcased the research of Bernier and Carlson. In their research they concluded that there is a longer term effect of infant sleep deprivation (aside from the immediate effect on executive functioning). They reported that as toddlers, the same babies who didn’t get good quality sleep as infants showed signs of lingering effects to their executive functioning. I disagree with the article’s closing comment about there not being anywhere to turn to get advice about what to do if you have a poor sleeper. Helping sleepy babies and toddlers (+ parents) is precisely what we do well!

help needed: send diapers now!

December 21st, 2009

I was reading my Daily Candy emails this morning and was reminded of tremendous need many impoverished mothers have: diapers for their babies.  Help a Mother Out is an organization in San Francisco who collects diapers and distributes them to those in need.

Early in my career I worked for a non-profit program in the inner city of Milwaukee.  There I worked with many teen mothers and saw firsthand how hard some people work to stretch a diaper or two…some for an entire day.  It was heartbreaking to see, and with two little ones myself, I can’t imagine not being able to put a clean diaper on them whenever the need arises.

Fortunately, there are great people and organizations (such as Help a Mother Out) throughout the US, as well as virtual diaper drives who are collecting diapers to distribute to these very needy families. Spread some diaper cheer!

Prince Lionheart Potty Pod

December 11th, 2009


I ran across this potty last night at Right Start where I was doing a sleep talk.  It is the best potty I’ve seen on the market.  It fits my criteria of having a soft cushion seat and a contoured splash guard (= no trauma when your wee one accidently sits a bit too close to the front!).  The height is also adjustable so you can make it a good fit as your child grows.  It’s also pretty darn cute (as potties go…) Definitely a thumbs up from me!!

daylight savings sleep tips

October 18th, 2009

It’s daylight savings time again. This time of year I receive many calls from parents wondering how to keep their child from getting up way too early in the morning. Worry 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.

1. Put your child(ren) to bed on Saturday night (10/31) at the regular time.

2. Wake up with your child(ren) at the normal wake up time on Sunday morning (11/1).

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.

new iphone app for nyc parents

September 16th, 2009

Navigating NYC with kids just got a whole lot easier.

iKidNY is the must have app for savvy NYC moms on the move (and diligent urban daddies too).  A true favorite of locals and NYC visitors alike, this essential tool will change your life in the city as you know it.   Imagine being able to find the closest parks, playgrounds, changing tables, indoor playspaces, museums, libraries, subway stations with elevators, kid-friendly restaurants, and more, all with the touch of a button.   We don’t stop being efficient New Yorkers just because we have little ones!

gumdrop pacifier

September 16th, 2009

Shortly after the birth of my first daughter, my husband and I hemmed and hawed about whether to introduce a pacifier.  We worried that our daughter would have nipple confusion or become addicted and we’d one day have to pull it and go through a torturous withdrawal process.  Well, no nipple confusion, but she did most definitely fall in love with the pacifier.  This love affair ended up being such a great thing for her and getting rid of the pacifier was so much less painful than we had imagined.

So, when our second daughter was born this summer, we quickly reached for the pacifier as our trusty soothing device.  Much to our dismay, she spat out each and every one and would only suck on our fingers.  We tried and tried and tried.  On one particularly bad night I ran to the internet looking for the pacifier that would allow my daughter the sucking for soothing she clearly needed that was neither our finger or my breast.  And I found it.  It’s called the Gumdrop Pacifier.

I am a firm believer that babies need to suck for soothing and that this is one way to trigger the soothing reflex.  If you are one of those parents who worries that there is something wrong with using a pacifier, I would argue that you could be doing your child a big favor and could find yourself having a more contented baby.

navigating the nyc nursery school system

August 18th, 2009

If the title of this post raised your blood pressure even a little bit, then it’s probably a good idea to head to apple seeds in Chelsea on Thursday night to attend a nursery school seminar being offered by New York Family Magazine.  An expert panel of neighborhood nursery school administrators will be available to provide an overview of the admissions process and answer all questions.

Seats are limited and dwindling.  Register now at www.newyorkfamily.com

best sunscreen

July 2nd, 2009

I know I seem like I’m on a bit of a kick here, but it seems that my confusion about sunscreen has a basis.  According to the Enviornmental Working Group’s most recent research on the industry, there has been a product explosion over the past two years.  Thanks to pressure from the EWG, the number of sunsreens containing any of the 4 recommended UVA/UVB blockers jumped to 70% from just 29% last year.  Most notably, the number of sunscreens protecting from harmful UVA rays has more than doubled.  Their 2009 sunscreen guide has a best of list with comprehensive pros and cons on each sunsreen.