When do babies sleep through the night?

© 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 »

Bedtime problems in children: Solutions for the science-minded parent

© 2020 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved Bedtime problems are pretty common, especially among young children. But are these problems inevitable? No. Cross-cultural research — and clinical studies — indicate that we can quash most troubles by making a few, key changes. What should we do when our children fail to fall asleep at Read More »

Bedtime fading: An evidence-based, step-by-step guide (with examples)

Parenting Science infographic depicting gradual shift of bedtime over several nights

© 2020 Gwen Dewar, all rights reserved Bedtime fading is a gentle, “no cry” technique for re-aligning your child’s internal clock with the bedtime you desire. You start by asking your child to go to bed late — late enough that your child experiences a powerful physiological urge to sleep. Then, over multiple days, you Read More »

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

© 2020, Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved 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 Read More »

How to reset your child’s internal clock for an earlier bedtime

A comprehensive, troubleshooting guide © 2020 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved How can we help kids adapt to an earlier schedule? Morning sunlight, exercise, and other environmental cues can help reset a child’s internal clock. But to make sure kids feel physiologically drowsy at bedtime, we need to use additional strategies. Understanding the big Read More »

Night wakings: A guide for the science-minded

© 2019 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved Night wakings have a bad reputation, and no wonder. Just about everybody has experienced it: awakening spontaneously in the middle of the night, unable to fall back to sleep. If you are a parent, you also know what it’s like when somebody else keeps waking you up. Read More »

How television affects sleep — and what we can do to sleep better

© 2019 GWEN DEWAR, PH.D., ALL RIGHTS RESERVED How does television affect sleep? In adults, it can push back bedtimes and disrupt sleep patterns. In young children, even more can go wrong. Here’s what to look out for, and some evidence-based strategies for protecting your family’s sleep health. Researchers have identified several ways in which Read More »

Nightmares and night terrors in children: How to identify the problem, and help kids sleep more peacefully

artist's rendition of a ghostly horse - a night mare

© 2008 – 2019 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved Night terrors in children–also known as “sleep terrors”–are sometimes confused with nightmares. Both cause distress and disrupt sleep, and though terrors are less common than nightmares, they are hardly unusual–particularly among young children. What’s the difference between nightmares and night terrors, and what can be Read More »

Dream feeding: An evidence-based guide to helping babies sleep longer

Breastfeeding baby is dream feeding

© 2018 GWEN DEWAR, PH.D., ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Dream feeding has been defined as the practice of feeding a sleeping infant, with the aim of encouraging the baby to sleep longer. The term has also been used to describe any big meal (delivered during sleep or waking) that is timed to occur immediately before the Read More »

15 baby sleep tips: A guide for the science-minded parent

Sleeping baby close-up

© 2018 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved Baby sleep tips for calmer, quieter, more restful nights Baby sleep habits can be baffling, and they can turn our lives upside down. Whether it’s the crazy-making, nocturnal schedule of the newborn, or an older baby who won’t get settled, the results are the same: A parent who Read More »

What’s normal? An evidence-based baby sleep chart

© 2018 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved This evidence-based baby sleep chart can’t tell you exactly how long your baby needs to sleep. Researchers don’t fully understand baby sleep patterns, let alone baby sleep requirements. But researchers have collected information from parents about their babies’ sleep habits. Based on these surveys, we have a Read More »