Children's Health

Infant Sleep Development and Challenges: How is it Working for the Whole Family?

October 27, 2008

family sleep with babyMarin Mommies is presents another great guest article, this time by Marin parent coach, infant/toddler sleep researcher, and family therapist Angelique Millette. She works throughout the Bay Area and across the country supporting families and helping them meet life's challenges. You can learn more about her and her services at

Working as a sleep consultant, parent coach, and infant-toddler-child therapist intern, I am always struck by how often I hear questions—that cross cultural and demographic lines—related to infant/toddler sleep issues and how infants and young children are affected by sleep challenges. Many parents report they are confused by conflicting suggestions and opinions in the various sleep books. A meta-analysis looking at 40 different books not only found conflicting information on how to treat sleep problems, including contradictory recommendations about co-sleeping and acceptable crying methods, but also that many books (approximately half of those in the study) had a first author with no professional credentials at all. What, then, is a sleep-deprived parent to do?

Nature Deficit Disorder? No Way!

October 24, 2008

"Nature deficit disorder" is a real thing, and families can prevent it by getting up and heading outdoors. Go on a hike, head to the beach, or even just visit the park. Whatever you do, it's important just to get outside and get active. The SF Chronicle's outdoors writer, Tom Stienstra, explores this problem and tell us what we can do about it.

Luckily, in the Bay Area and Marin in particular, there is no shortage of amazing state and national parks, open space areas, beaches, hiking trails, and nature preserves. It's all in our own backyard, so take advantage of it.

How Much Sleep is Enough?

October 22, 2008

Now that my son has started kindergarten, he seems to be more tired than he was before he went to school every day. We had been letting him to go bed at his regular pre-kindergarten bedtime of around 8 pm or so, but that really didn't seem to be working, especially after all the stories, books, stalling tactics, bathroom trips, and requests for glasses of water.

New Research into SIDS Prevention

October 7, 2008

Baby sleeping in cribThe mysterious SIDS or “crib death” is always a concern for new parents, even though it’s extremely rare. Researchers at Kaiser have found that it might be preventable by using a simple household appliance: a fan. Apparently, researchers have found that babies who sleep in a room ventilated by a fan have a much lower risk for sudden infant death syndrome.

Read the entire story on

The Importance of Tummy Time

August 4, 2008

Marin is happy to present another guest article by baby sleep expert Marsha Podd, RN, CLE.

Did you know that most babies under 6 months rarely have enough time on their tummy? Since the SIDS foundation has been recommending all parents put baby down to sleep on its back, tummy time has diminished.

Recently, the SIDS foundation issued a new recommendation--more tummy time! Why? Because a young infant needs to develop good strength in lifting its head, and pushing up with its arms. A baby is at greater risk to die from suffocation or SIDS if it is without good strength and control of the head and upper body.

When baby learns to roll over from back to tummy, it is important for him to have strength. If strong, he will easily be able to lift his head and breathe and move. A strong baby is a safe sleeper.

The Weaning Dilemma

July 30, 2008

OK, I know this sounds crazy, but I am still nursing my 2-year-old daughter. I’ve been trying to wean her for the last couple of months with little luck. I have been successful at cutting back, but she does seem a pretty attached to the whole thing still. I’ve tried replacements, like a pacifier or food, which in both cases haven’t worked. When looking into suggestions about weaning, I found some good info online from Dr. Sears and the La Leche Group. Both websites had similar suggestions. I have listed some of the basic ones below:

Laptop Lunches: A Waste-Free Lunch Box

July 28, 2008

Now that most schools begin some time in August, it’s time to start buying those back to school items. My son will be starting kindergarten this fall, so we are started shopping for a new backpack and lunchbox. When we were shopping for a lunchbox, we came across Laptop Lunches. These cool waste-free lunch boxes are American-style bento boxes that were developed by two moms in Santa Cruz. They’re designed to help families pack nutritious, environment-friendly lunches that do not contain lead, phthalates, or bisphenol A (BPA). Laptop Lunches also come with a book of healthy lunch ideas and lunch-making recipes. They are reusable, recyclable, and dishwasher safe. The basic Laptop Lunches starts at $20.99 (shown on right) online. You can buy them online at

Chicks-n-Chickens at Lucy in Corte Madera

June 23, 2008

Lullaby Exercise classThis Friday, June 27, the Lucy store in the Corte Madera Town Center presents a special event with Darcy Novo Albrecht of Chicks-n-Chickens. Darcy, a Bay Area mom and founder of Chicks-n-Chickens, will present two Lullaby Exercises "mommy and me" dance classes and demonstrations, the first from 11:30 to noon and the second from 1:30 to 2 pm. In this new kind of workout, new moms can get in some exercise and sooth their babies at the same time. Recommended for moms with babies 8 weeks to 1 year in age.

Attack of the Light Brown Apple Moth!

April 26, 2008

light brown apple mothsThe light brown apple moth has been getting a lot of press lately, mainly because of the State of California's plans to spray over the Bay Area in an attempt to eradicate the little critter (pictured here). While the government says that there's nothing wrong with the chemical used in the spraying, many people aren't so sure. Apparently the plan is to use an airborne pherimone called CheckMate to confuse the male moths and prevent them from breeding, however, there's some contention as to whether this pherimone and other stuff in the spray is actually harmful.

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