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When Your Kid Won’t Stay in Bed

November 12, 2014 |  by  |  1 YO, book review, guest author, Success Stories  |  88 Comments
Toddler bedtime battles

One night, my husband and I relaxed on the couch after we put our toddler to bed, as usual, in her crib. Suddenly: “Hi, mommy!” We looked over. There she was, standing in the living room, quite proud of herself. At 22 months old, our toddler had climbed out of her crib. Recovering from our surprise, we put her back to bed with a laugh. She’s a climber! we said. We’d figured this day would come. We had an easy solution: put her in her sleep sack. Surely then she couldn’t get her leg up over the railing. “Hi, mommy!” You know how...

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Bedtime: Everything Starts Here

bedtime and baby sleep

I tend to emphasize night sleep because it's easier to sort things out at night (stop laughing, I'm totally serious). When everybody is sleeping better at night, improving naps is far more likely. And your efforts to improve your child's night sleep is entirely dependent upon one thing. Bedtime. What happens at bedtime, when bedtime occurs, and how you approach bedtime will determine how well your child sleeps (and thus how you sleep) at night. Bedtime is the linchpin of the entire night. Much of what happens during the 11-12 hours that makes up your child's night is determined by bedtime....

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Why Consistency in Cry it Out is Critical: A Case Study

July 16, 2014 |  by  |  cry it out, parenting, Q&A, Sleep Consults  |  113 Comments
Why Consistency in Cry it Out is Critical: A Case Study

If you read many of the posts here you'll find that the term "consistency" comes up approximately 1,203,468 times. Consistency is a really powerful component of helping your child sleep. Where does your child sleep? Who cares, just be consistent! What does your bedtime routine look like? Who cares, just be consistent! I use the phrase "consistent" as many times each day as I say, "Stop hitting your brother." Consistency is doubly important when it comes to cry it out. Because when it comes to sleep training, even small well-intended inconsistencies can blow up on you. Almost immediately. Here's a great illustration of...

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7 Sleep Lessons from a Stanford Pediatric Sleep Specialist

June 18, 2014 |  by  |  parenting  |  27 Comments
meeting with raphael pelayo

Last week I had the opportunity to enjoy some of the gentle joys of California which included beautiful desert flowers, outstanding wine, and a lovely meeting with leading pediatric sleep and apnea specialist Rafael Pelayo from the Stanford School of Medicine. You should also know Rafael is often interviewed by O (for Oprah) Magazine. So according to the transitive law of mathematics, my blog is as cool as O Magazine. You cannot argue this point, because math. Rafael generously spent a few hours with me and we covered topics ranging from the best rock band to how to make limoncello. Thus...

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7 Days to Chunky Naps and 11 Hour Nights – Reader Q&A

May 6, 2014 |  by  |  1 YO, cry it out, Q&A, Sleep Consults  |  69 Comments
reader mailbag sleep training

Alexis, I'm really glad I found your blog. Sheesh, the internet is a SCARY place, and I'm so relieved to find your safe, understandable unbiased little island of inspiration! What I need help with is establishing a routine. I need an initial outline. I'm a terrible habit-former. As in, I smoked cigarettes for a few months, then one day realized I hadn't smoked a cigarette in a while because I FORGOT TO SMOKE THEM. I don't wake up to an alarm because I can't get into the habit of setting one in the first place. I eat, generally, during the day at...

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