Sleep Information and Tips

For the majority of children, sleep problems steadily decline from infancy-5 years old.

For a minority, continued problems with sleep regulation have been associated with adjustment and self regulation difficulties in school.

Helping your child learn to sleep in their early childhood creates a lifelong skill!

Sleep is part of your child’s social-emotional development, as well as their physical development. It involves:

  • Self-regulation–the ability to calm down, settle, adjust to different physiological and environmental conditions
  • Compliance–the adherence and resistance to a bedtime routine and bedtime
  • Autonomy–learning to sleep alone
  • Communication–letting you know when they are tired

We all vary when it comes to sleep-wake behavior.

Continue reading “Sleep Information and Tips”

Diaper Changing an Active Child

Diaper changing and dressing time can be really hard with very active children. Here are some tips:

Sometimes it hurts

Children with diaper rash can be resistant to diaper changing time not only when they have a rash, but because of the memory of a rash. Treat it early, treat it thoroughly and see your pediatrician if it persists.

Some children with sensitive skin may be resistant to dressing because of itchy seams or tags. They may be too young to tell you why they are resisting. Look for breathable fabrics, soft cottons, seamless pants, shirts and socks. Remove tags. Look for loose buttons or unraveling threads. I was very sensitive as a child, and grew up in the 1970s-the height of synthetic fabrics! My dear, loving Grammy would sew cotton strips on all the seams of my clothes. If she didn’t, wearing shirts and pants felt like I was on fire.  Continue reading “Diaper Changing an Active Child”

Help Your Child Build Resilience

Resilience is the ability to “bounce back” despite hardship.

We have all been through some degree of hardship these last few years. Not only have our “regular” lives continued on with all their related stressors, they’ve been accompanied by the discordant soundtrack of a pandemic.

How can you nurture your child’s resilience?

Have Hope
There are decades of really good studies about resilience. These studies have looked at children’s development over very long periods of time, and in extremely adverse conditions (like living in war-torn countries). The great news is that you are most likely already doing more than you realize to support your child’s ability to thrive despite difficult times. Continue reading “Help Your Child Build Resilience”

Toddlers and Waiting

You’re trying to finish a phone call or have stopped to chat with someone you met while out shopping.
This is the very moment your toddler decides they desperately need your attention!

So, you say, “Wait–I’m busy.”

This often causes an escalation of attention seeking behavior because toddlers don’t yet know how to “wait.”

What does “wait” mean, anyway, and how do we do it as adults?
When we are “waiting” in line at the grocery store, for example, how many of us just stop and stare into space?

We are much more likely to pull out our phones, read a magazine from the rack, review our shopping list, listen to music on our headphones, etc. Continue reading “Toddlers and Waiting”

Hold and Reach

Encourage Infant Hand and Arm Use

You make a difference in your baby’s development!

Most babies are unable to reach for objects in the first 3 months of life. If you have participated in Parent Trust’s developmental screening program and have done a 4-month screening, you may remember an activity of holding a dangling toy over your infant to see if they reach for it. But even before that, in the 2-month screening, we practice putting a toy in baby’s hand to encourage holding objects.

A recent study found that most caregivers only start encouraging hand use after babies learn to reach. The study suggests that we can actually encourage reaching and holding (and thus hand and arm use) before a baby is attempting to reach on their own. Two suggested approaches emerged from the study:  Continue reading “Hold and Reach”

Music for Sleep…Maybe Not

Parents truly appreciate the importance of a good night’s sleep.  A recent experiment  shows that listening to music before bed-contrary to much current advice-can actually reduce your quality of sleep.

The study focused on the phenomenon of “earworms”–when a song or tune plays over and over again in a person’s mind.  Although this typically happens during waking time, the more music you listen to before bed, the higher the likelihood you’ll experience an earworm at night.  And nocturnal earworms, in turn, can cause disruptive sleep.   Continue reading “Music for Sleep…Maybe Not”