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What to Do When Your Toddler Refuses to Nap

You’ve reached a stalemate: You know your child needs to nap, and he or she isn’t having it. Here’s how to deal. Naps can be the ultimate sanity saver for worn-out caregivers and toddlers alike. But for many parents, there comes a time when despite all the signs of sleepiness, your little one flat out refuses to close his or her eyes. There are plenty of reasons toddlers may fight sleep, from not wanting to miss out on all the fun to simply exerting some independence. Of course, none of that matters in the heat of the naptime battle. When you know your youngster needs more shut-eye than just nighttime sleep, follow these strategies…

When Daycare’s Sleep Schedule Doesn’t Match Your Child’s Sleep Schedule

Help your child transition to a new routine with these strategies. From day one, you’ve been doing everything in your power to help your baby develop healthy sleep habits. So what do you do when you find out she isn’t getting the amount of sleep she needs while in childcare? It’s a common problem: Some babies nap at home but struggle with the stimulation of a group care environment; some toddlers have to adapt to a one-nap-a-day schedule when they’re accustomed to two. Luckily, there are ways to help daycare’s schedule and your child’s normal routine get in sync. These strategies will set everyone up for success. Work Together Some organizations will follow a little one’s cues,…

How to Help Your Kids Sleep Soundly at Sleepaway Camp

Spending nights away from home can feel scary to kids and prevent them from getting the zzz’s that they need. But these small steps can make a big difference. Overnight camp can be so exciting for kids—it’s a chance for them to spend a week or two away from home, be active, make friends, and have fun in the sun. But if this year is the first time that your child is sleeping outside his or her own bedroom for an extended period of time (and away from you and the rest of your family!), it can be pretty jarring. That stress and homesickness can make it hard for your kid to fall asleep or sleep…

Should New Parents Sleep When the Baby Sleeps?

If you’re a new parent, you want to do what’s best for baby. But it’s also important to take care of your own health and wellness and try to get as much sleep as you can. Newborns often sleep no more than three to four hours at a time, even at night. That’s because babies aren’t born with the circadian rhythm that you have—it needs time to develop. So while nighttime for you means that you’re tired and want to sleep, the same doesn’t go for your baby. And if your baby is awake, so are you. That means that you’re getting a lot of fragmented sleep, making you feel tired, causing you to…

When Will Your Toddler Be Ready for a Single Nap?

Chances are, by the time your baby is a year old, you’ve finally settled into a comfortable rhythm of a morning and afternoon nap. But for most toddlers, somewhere between the first birthday and the second, that second nap disappears. While you may worry about your little one getting all the sleep that she needs with only a single siesta, being ready to shift to one nap is actually a sign that she’s sleeping more deeply at night—and that’s a good thing. Consolidating naps also leaves more time in the day to be out and about without sacrificing sleep. The big question is when to make the switch. There are a few different ways…

Help Your Kids Share a Bedroom (Peacefully)

Sharing a bedroom, whether by choice or necessity, can be an opportunity for siblings to bond and learn important life lessons about cooperation. But for many parents, the real concern is whether their cohabitating kids are going to get any sleep. Here are some tips for making the most of your kids’ shared sleep space after lights out. Respect each child’s bedtime needs. Sharing a room doesn’t have to mean sharing a bedtime. Create a special nighttime routine that allows each child to be tucked in when it best suits his or her individual sleep needs. That may mean putting the baby to bed before getting an older child into pajamas and reading books in…

The Best Sleep Schedules for Kids

You schedule your children’s soccer practices, school activities, and play dates—but don’t forget to schedule their sleep, too. Setting your little one up with a consistent nighttime routine will give the whole family a better night’s sleep (and hopefully end the “I don’t want to go to bed!” tantrums). Follow these rules for sleep schedule success. Rule #1: Know how much shuteye your kid needs The first step in establishing a sleep schedule is determining when bedtime should be. Use this guide to ensure that your child is hitting the sheets with enough time to get the recommended amount of sleep for his or her age. If your tot’s bedtime needs tweaking, make gradual…

Is Your Child Ready to Stop Napping?

Naps: Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em. At least that’s how it can feel when your child fights an afternoon nap so much that you spend as much time trying to get him down as he spends actually sleeping. The million-dollar question is, does he not need the nap anymore? Or does he just not want to nap because it’s more fun to play? There are plenty of reasons that naps are essential for small children, and not just because you need a break to load the dishwasher (and check Facebook). Sleep is essential for both the physical and mental development that is happening at breakneck speed from birth through the preschool years—and…

How to Get Back to Sleep After Your Kids Wake You Up

It’s an unfortunate reality for parents: When your baby or child wakes up in the middle of the night, often, so do you. Whether you’re roused from sleep because you hear your baby crying, your school-age child is sick or had a bad dream, or an older kid is making noise with his nocturnal wanderings, it can be difficult to return to the Land of Nod after these unwanted wake-up calls. Instead, you can end up lying awake, worrying about getting back to sleep. Not what you want! Of course, the ultimate goal is to train your kids to sleep soundly all night long. In the meantime, it helps to use these strategies to avoid…

5 Ways to Get Your Family to Sleep on Christmas Eve

It can be hard to get your kids to fall asleep on a normal night, but Christmas Eve? Forget about it. Anticipation over a visit from Santa Claus, excitement about the soon-to-be-opened presents, lots of sweet treats, and a complete shift from their normal schedule can make even the easiest kid impossible to put to bed. On top of that, you’re probably feeling a lot less rested than normal. But all’s not lost. Here are five simple things to do so that everyone in the family can go to bed early and wake up feeling refreshed on Christmas morning. Do something active on Christmas Eve. The best way to get your kids to…