Just when I thought my baby "just needed less sleep" than the others...

I read the following article by Elizabeth Pantley, author of the popular No-Cry Solution series. Visit her website to learn more about her techniques and you'll see right away why she is a trusted expert far and wide.

Why Short Cat-Naps Are Not Good Enough
By Elizabeth Pantley, Author of The No-Cry Nap Solution

If your child's naps are shorter than an hour and a half in length, you may have wondered if these brief naps provide enough rest for your little one. You might suspect that these catnaps aren't meeting your child's sleep needs - and you would be right. The science of sleep explains why a short nap takes the edge off, but doesn't offer the same physical and mental nourishment that a longer nap provides.

It takes between 90 and 120 minutes for your child to move through one entire sleep cycle, resulting in a Perfect Nap. It has been discovered that each stage of sleep brings a different benefit to the sleeper. Imagine, if you will, magic gifts that are awarded at each new stage of sleep:

Stage 1 - Very light sleep
Lasts 5 to 15 minutes
The gifts:
Prepares body for sleep
Reduces feelings of sleepiness
Stage 2 - Light to moderate sleep
Lasts up 15 minutes
The gifts:
Increases alertness
Improves motor skills
Stabilizes mood
Slightly reduces homeostatic sleep pressure (The biological process that creates fatigue and irritability.)
Stage 3 - Deep sleep
Lasts up to 15 minutes
The gifts:
Strengthens memory
Release of growth hormone
Repair of bones, tissues and muscles
Fortification of immune system
Regulates appetite
Releases bottled up stress
Restores energy
Reduces homeostatic sleep pressure
Stage 4 - Deepest sleep
Lasts up to 15 minutes
The gifts:
Same benefits as Stage 3, but enhanced

 Next Stage - Dreaming
Lasts up to 9 to 30 minutes
The gifts:
Transfers short-term memory into long-term memory
Organizes thoughts
Secures new learning
Enhances brain connections
Sharpens visual and perceptual skills
Processes emotions
Relieves stress
Inspires creativity
Boosts energy
Reduces homeostatic sleep pressure
Longer naps
For as long as your child sleeps
The gifts:
Repeat all of the above stages in cycles
In order for your child to receive all of these wonderful gifts he must sleep long enough to pass at least once through each stage of sleep. Longer naps will encompass additional sleep cycles and provide a continuous presentation of gifts.

Newborn babies have unique cycles that slowly mature over time. A newborn sleep cycle is about 40 to 60 minutes long, and an infant enters dream sleep quickly, skipping several sleep stages. Infants need several sleep cycles to receive their full allotment of gifts. If your infant is sleeping only 40-60 minutes at naptime it is an indication that your baby is waking between cycles instead of returning to sleep on his own. We'll cover a plethora of ideas to help your baby learn to go back to sleep without your intervention.

Now you can clearly see why a short nap doesn't provide your baby or young child the best benefits of napping. You can also see why a mini-nap can fool you into thinking it is enough - since the very first five to fifteen minutes reduce feelings of sleepiness and bring that whoosh of second-wind energy that dissipates quickly, resulting is fussiness, crying, crankiness, tantrums and whining.

This is a copyrighted excerpt from The No-Cry Nap Solution: Guaranteed
Gentle Ways to Solve All Your Naptime Problems
by Elizabeth Pantley.
(McGraw-Hill, December 2008).

You may reproduce this on your website or in your work. Please include my
name and book title. More excerpts (available for reprint) are posted on my

More online games for todllers and kids

Aven's Corner -
We are always happy to hear from fans but even more so when they send a new games page!
Aven's daddy built this site for him but I'm betting all the kids out there will enjoy the work he's put in.

I'll be adding this to our regular games page - I'm working on a new surprise for the mommies so check back again soon!


St Valentine's Day (or is it just Valentines Day now?) for toddlers and kids

I am pretty sure there used to be a 'saint' involved!

Today I'm planning ways for my 3 kids to celebrate Valentines Day. I'm open to everything fun but I lean towards the 'cleaner' crafts - I have 3 artists to clean up after.

This one I'll try though - clean or not!
Faux stained glass - heart themed idea for Valentines Day - all you need is food coloring, plain 'ol white glue and waxed paper.

Kaboose Valentines Day coloring pages
- absolutely PURRfect graphics for kids to colour in and they even provide different sizes so you can make foldable mini-cards, too!

Free Valentines Day online coloring book - this online coloring book is great because they let you send your colored in creation to an adoring gramdmother across the continent.

As always, you can visit MostlyMommies free games page to find all your favorite toddlers and kids' games online.