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Babies

The Best Time for Your Baby's Morning Nap

Getting your baby to sleep the right amount and at the right times can be a sanity-saver as a new parent. But figuring out just what that means can be a puzzle in itself. Luckily there are some patterns that many parents and pediatricians alike swear by. While newborns tend to snooze much of the day, when they’re around three or four months old, many babies start to consolidate their sleep into two to three naps a day, starting with an hour or two in the morning. More important than the precise time that this nap happens is the spacing. Babies can keep their eyes open for only a limited period of time—about two…

When To Put Your Baby Down for an Afternoon Nap

Avoid naptime wars with these four sleep-saving strategies. With a baby in the house, naptime can become either a desperately needed break or one more battle to fight. But knowing how to time it right may help you call a truce—and make sure that your little one gets the sleep that she needs. From after the newborn period (about four months) until sometime after the first year, most babies nap twice a day: an hour or two in the morning and an hour or two in the afternoon. Some babies even add a third late afternoon nap, though it usually disappears by about nine months. While there’s no magic formula for naps—or for any part…

“Top Off” with Milk or Formula to Help Your Baby Sleep?

A MythBusters-style investigation into the idea that a large meal before bed helps baby sleep better. As every parent knows, waking at night to feed a baby—whether by breast or bottle—can be incredibly hard. High on the list of tricks to eek out more precious minutes of sleep is the advice to feed the baby extra milk, to “top off” or “fill the tank” before bed. A bigger meal, or even the addition of formula or rice cereal, will make her sleep longer. So the reasoning goes. This turns out to be a widespread myth. Newborn babies eat frequently and sleep in short stretches because their nervous and digestive…

How to Swaddle Your Baby to Sleep

These tips will help you wrap your baby safely and securely—and lead your tot toward sounder sleep. Chances are, you already know what a swaddle is—the blanket that you wrap your infant up in like a burrito to foster calmness and sleep. But how do you actually go about using it? Your technique is important. Loose blankets aren’t recommended for sleeping infants (because they can cause suffocation), so if a swaddle gets loose, it can create an unsafe environment. Then again, if you wrap it too tightly, that may cause your infant to overheat. Once you get the hang of it, though, the technique isn’t hard or complicated. These are the steps to…

What are Swaddles and Sleep Sacks?

Learn the real deal on how you should dress your baby for sleep.   Swaddles, sleep sacks—whether you’re looking for a gift on a friend’s baby registry or preparing to bring your own little one home, options for baby sleepwear can all start to sound like a foreign language. The one common theme with both options: safe sleep. Since infants aren’t able to move purposefully yet, covering them with loose blankets for warmth while they sleep can actually lead to suffocation and increase the risk for SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Both swaddles and sleep sacks—which are made by a variety of different companies—can provide a safer sleep environment for babies. Sleep Sacks To make…

Traveling With Baby? Don’t Leave Home Without These 5 Tips.

Follow these 5 easy suggestions to make travel a breeze Traveling with a baby can be a nerve-racking endeavor, and almost every new parent feels a little anxious about how it will go. Meltdowns mid-flight, skipped feedings, excessive amounts of gear and over-stuffed diaper bags—there’s a lot to think (read: worry) about. One of the top concerns for parents is how a trip will throw off their child’s well-honed sleep schedule. At home the environment is controlled, the routines are consistent, and the sleep times set. When you’re traveling, this can all go out the window. But if you’re prepared, it doesn’t have to. Nothing feels worse than a sleep-deprived family on the road, so keep…

Is it Safe for Babies to Sleep With Blankets?

Learn what’s safe to put in your little one’s crib—and what should stay out. If you’re a new parent, you probably have loads of questions about your baby’s sleep. Is she getting enough sleep? When should she start snoozing through the night? What’s that strange sound coming from the baby monitor? Will she ever fall asleep without your having to be in the room with her? But if you’re wondering what you can do to help keep your child safe at night, you can cross that question off your list. Read on for the answers. Is it okay to let my baby sleep with a blanket at night? If your child is under 12 months…

The Sleeping Power of the Lovey

  To an outsider, a lovey seems like an ordinary blanket or stuffed animal. But to a parent and child, a “lovey” can be magic. When my son was a toddler, we were flying across the country to see my parents. I had diligently packed all the smart travel items—stocked diaper bag, Ziplocs, stickers, two dozen containers of snacks. I had debated carrying the lovey—the cherished object he’d been sleeping with for a year—and decided to do it so he could nap on board. He clutched the satin square and I wore him in a front pack through the terminal. I set my luggage down to adjust and headed towards the gate. When I realized the lovey was…

What Babies Should Wear to Sleep

  Newborns, infants, and toddlers all have different ideal sleepwear. When picking pajamas for a newborn, infant, or toddler, comfort is only half the story. The other main factor is safety—especially when dressing newborns for sleep. Below, find out how to decide what to put on a newborn, infant, and toddler at bedtime. Newborns: Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) can occur until a baby is a year old, but the first four months are the most dangerous. SUID can occur due to suffocation or unknown reasons. That’s why it’s important to dress babies in clothing that isn’t too loose (because that lowers the risk of suffocation). One-pieces with built-in…

Don’t Let Post-Partum Zombies Eat Your ZZZ's

  A humorous look at the trials and tribulations of new parenthood The past few months my house has been filled with zombies.  My three-year-old learned about zombies right around Halloween, and since then, as part of his bedtime routine, he has been inventing stories about them.  Zombies coughing. Zombies fighting. Zombies marching. Zombies fishing. And, of course, zombies eating brains. I’m not sure why zombies appeal to him so much. Maybe it’s because they shuffle around and grunt. Maybe it’s because they are clumsy and silly-looking. Or maybe it’s because after his little brother arrived in late October, his mom turned into one. My adorable newborn boy needs to eat every two to three hours, and as…