Will napping make my baby smarter?

Will napping make my baby smarter?

by Dr Caroline Hendry (PhD Developmental Biology)
Many studies have shown that sleep is important for learning and memory in adults1 - 5. During sleep, new experiences acquired during the day are integrated into our memory, providing valuable new knowledge to help us to navigate our ever-changing lives. But is the same true for babies? Could taking a nap enhance your baby’s memory, even helping them to learn? 

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Nightmares and night terrors

Nightmares and night terrors

by Dr Caroline Hendry (PhD Developmental Biology)

Night terrors. As if the phrase itself isn’t scary enough, the reality of dealing with a night terror can be frightening. Imagine you wake to a blood-curdling scream, your child thrashing around in the sheets; sweaty, pulse racing, glassy-eyed. Nothing you say or do can get through to them. That’s what it’s like to face a night terror, which affect approximately 5% of children in the Westernised world. But what are night terrors? What causes them and is there any way to stop them?

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101 reasons why your toddler won't sleep tonight

101 reasons why your toddler won't sleep tonight

It's been a long day, you haven't had dinner yet and you still have to pack lunches for tomorrow, deal with Mt Foldmore and, if you're really lucky, watch last week's episode of Parks & Recreation. But before any of that happens you have to accomplish the impossible: getting the toddler to sleep. The Baby Sleep Company proudly presents the definitive list of 101 delay tactics toddlers pull at bedtime. Do you have one you can add?

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Toddler waking in the night: a case study

Toddler waking in the night: a case study

When Angela first contacted us about her beautiful little girl’s sleeping issue she had hit rock bottom – she even said in her email “I’m ready to admit I’ve hit a dead end. I don’t know where to turn or how to break bad habits...” Little Miss A (pictured) had consistently great naps, she even self settled like a dream of an evening; but it was after she had gone to sleep at night that things got really tricky in their house…

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Is melatonin safe for children?

Is melatonin safe for children?

by Dr Caroline Hendry (PhD Developmental Biology)

There’s no denying it, we live a fast-paced life. There’s everything from instant meals to instant tan and even instant drugs. We expect results, stat. So when it comes to falling asleep, it’s no wonder that a little tossing and turning has a lot of Australians reaching for a quick fix. One of the most popular sleeping drugs for adults is melatonin, and an increasing number of parents are also giving it to their children. But do we really know what we’re doing? And is it safe? 

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Does screentime affect children's sleep?

Does screentime affect children's sleep?

by Dr Caroline Hendry (PhD Developmental Biology)

There are quite a few studies that report a link between screen watching and subsequent sleep patterns in children and teens2,3,4,5. The consistent conclusion from these studies is that watching a screen prior to sleep, whether it be TV, computer or any other type of screen can be bad for sleep. It may mean that the amount of sleep is less, and/or it might take longer to fall asleep. Importantly, if this occurs often enough, it may lead to increasing feelings up tiredness for months, or even years. 

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Maintaining Toddler Sleep with a Newborn

Maintaining Toddler Sleep with a Newborn

For your toddler to be healthy and happy, his sleep habits must be consistent.  This does not have to change when you bring a new baby home from the hospital. When your child's sleep habits are not disrupted by the new baby and his familiar routines are not changed, he will be much more likely to maintain his good sleep track record! As a result, he will no doubt be more secure with the new addition to his family. A few tips can be useful to both your children and yourself.  

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Is my baby ready to drop to one nap?

Is my baby ready to drop to one nap?

As your baby grows into a toddler and their need for sleep decreases, it is still extremely important to provide an opportunity for naps and rest time through to about 3-4 years of age. Most toddlers are ready to transition to just one nap somewhere between 14 and 18 months of age. (some toddlers transition as early as 12 months and some as late as 2 years)

As your baby’s nap times transition, your baby might not continue to nap the same amount of hours and the night time sleep may lengthen (temporarily or permanently) to accommodate the missing hours.

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Kids Sneaking Into Your Bed?

Kids Sneaking Into Your Bed?
This is such a common problem – I have a lot of people telling me that their kids won't sleep in their own bed and they're constantly coming into their parent's room.  If you don't mind and it works for your family then that's great! However, if you are like many of my clients and feel that everyone would get a better night's sleep if there were no nocturnal bed visitors then the tips below might help you address the issue.
 
Spend time during the day talking to your child about how important it is that they stay in their own bed. It can help to have them repeat it back to you so that you know they've really heard and understood you.
If you've grown so used to kids sneaking in you should consider putting a bell on your door so you wake up when they're on the move. The best time to reinforce the new plan is when they're in the process of moving rather than when they're already snuggled up with you.
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