How do children respond to a mother’s voice?

fascinated baby watches mother talking on phone

© 2021 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved A mother’s voice has special power. It can provide comfort — and improve outcomes — for babies hospitalized in the NICU. It can shape the way infants process language in the brain. And it can help children cope with pain and stress. What happens when a baby Read More »

The effects of television on speech development: Is it helpful or harmful?

toddler watching television

Studies report a link between TV and language development in young children. The more time kids spend watching television, the more slowly they learn to talk. What’s going on? Some people conclude that the effects of television on children are direct and negative. According to this view, television is noxious, like cigarette smoke. Cigarettes damage Read More »

When do babies sleep through the night?

yawning mother holds baby in her arms

© 2021 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved Studies suggest that most babies begin to “sleep through the night” (at least 5-6 hours without parental intervention) by 3-6 months of age. But some infants take longer, and the road to progress can be bumpy. Even after babies experience their first, long episodes of nighttime sleep, Read More »

What’s the right age to start potty training? It depends on your goals

toddler lifts the lid of a toilet

© 2021 Gwen Dewar, all rights reserved In Western countries like the United States, many children begin toilet training sometime between 24 and 36 months.  But from an historical and cross-cultural standpoint, this timing is very late, and it comes with a downside. So what’s the right potty training age? It depends on your child, Read More »

Baby sleep deprivation: How to tell if your baby isn’t sleeping enough

baby rubbing eyes with hands

Is there such a thing as “baby sleep deprivation” ? It’s clear that babies can cause sleep deprivation in others. But whether or not babies themselves suffer from sleeplessness is less clear. In my search for published studies about infants with insomnia, I’ve come up with almost nothing. Researchers acknowledge all sorts of infant sleep Read More »