Archive for the ‘Sleep’ Category

I Am Not a Paid Endorser of the Final Harry Potter Movie

By Daddy Clay Monday, June 6th, 2011

Reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone aloud to your kids before bed is pure magic. You go into the child’s room, begin to read, and when you emerge all the dirty dishes have disappeared. That’s why I read that book to all three of my kids.

But that’s not the only reason. I also like showing off. I deploy character voices and accents. And, unlike my adult peers, the children think my Irish accent is “spot-on.” You should hear my characters — Hagrid is a gruff pirate prone to shouting loud enough to wake the other kids, the Weasleys all have a charming Australian/Cockney thing going on, and Mr. Dursley is an almost spooky homage to Fawlty Towers-era John Cleese.

I’ve gotten so good at it, that my youngest only has to stop me a few times a night to ask “who is that talking?” I particularly struggle to differentiate the bad guys: Snape, Mr. Malfoy and Voldemort all sound like Vincent Price with laryngitis. Read the rest of this entry »

Parenting News: Energy Drinks, Breastfeeding and Maternity Leave, Sleep and Obesity, Internet, Education

By Dad News Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Pediatricians: No Energy Drinks For Kids; Greatly Limit Use of Sports Drinks: Most children and adolescents do not need sports drinks according to a clinical report published in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The report also finds that energy drinks are never appropriate for children or teenagers– water should be the primary beverage choice. (

Want to Boost Breast-Feeding Rates? More Maternity Leave is Key: If the United States wants to significantly increase its breast-feeding rates, extending women’s maternity leave would be a good place to start, according to new research published today in the journal Pediatrics. (

More Sleep May Cut Kids’ Risk of Obesity: Youngsters who do not get enough sleep on a regular basis are more likely to be overweight, a new study has found. Conversely, when children got more shut-eye, they had a reduction in body mass index (BMI) and a significant drop in their risk of being overweight, the researchers found. (HealthDay)

Parents Should Screen Kids’ Summer Web Surfing: Expert: As the school year wraps up, many kids will replace class time with cyber time — a trend leading one researcher to caution parents to watch out for online hazards such as “sexting” and cyberbullying. (HealthDay)

Do Schools Share Too Much With Parents?: Student management systems, as they are known in the educational world, began trickling into U.S. schools about 10 years ago. They are now so popular Ann Flynn, director of Education Technology at the National School Boards Association, considers their use “commonplace.”(

Parenting News: Sleep, Children’s Book Parody, Chemicals in Baby Products, Premature Birth, College Kids

By Dad News Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Six Big Kid Sleep Problems: Parents often think kids’ sleep problems are over once their babies slumber through the night, but at least a quarter of school-age children have nighttime troubles, says Gregory Stores, M.D., emeritus professor of developmental neuropsychiatry at Britain’s University of Oxford. (

‘Go the F*%$ to Sleep’ Proves a Popular Lullaby with Bleary-Eyed Adults: “It’s pretty wild,” said Adam Mansbach, the 34-year-old author who was inspired to write the book “for fun” last year based on the “grueling” experience of putting his then 2-year-old daughter to sleep. (

Chemical Suspected in Cancer Is in Baby Products: More than 30 years after chemical flame retardants were removed from children’s pajamas because they were suspected of being carcinogens, new research into flame retardants shows that one of the chemicals is prevalent in baby’s products made with polyurethane foam, including nursing pillows, car seats and highchairs. (

A Blood Test to Predict Premature Birth Could Hit the Market Next Year: Doctors historically have had little luck predicting which women will deliver early, but now a new study presents a way to detect more than 80% of preterm births ahead of time, with a second-trimester blood test. (

Families Adjusting to College Kids Home for Summer: Summer at home — so often eagerly awaited by the students, their parents and siblings — is often a mixed-up time of happy reunions, unexpected challenges and weird new family dynamics as not-quite adult kids return temporarily to the nest. (ABC News)

Parenting News: Behavior, CT Scans, Preschool and Play, Jealousy, Sleep

By Dad News Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Are You Raising a Douchebag?: “It’s then that you must reckon with the real possibility that your drive to make little Johnny better, smarter, and hipper has merely turned him into a douchebag.” (Details)

Kids’ CT Scans Increase Fivefold: The number of children getting computed tomography, or CT scans when visiting an emergency room increased fivefold over a 14-year period according to a new study in the journal Radiology. (

Let Preschool Kids Play!: Worksheets, computers—America’s hypercompetitive education system is trickling down to preschool. But growing research shows that pushing academics at an early age can backfire, writes Joyce C. Tang. (The Daily Beast)

Are You Jealous Of Your Kid?: “You’re an involved and attuned Dad who’s provided top-notch schooling and limited-edition footwear. Your kids are smart and discerning, sneering at the Jonas Brothers and revering Johnny Cash. You couldn’t be prouder, really. Until one day that parental pride takes a dark turn. It hits you suddenly, while you’re driving carpool to surf camp or getting your ass handed to you in a Super Mario Galaxy matchup or watching your son IM with six girls simultaneously: You’re jealous.” (Details)

Free Online Help for Children’s Sleep Problems: Parents have a lot on their minds when it comes to their infants and toddlers, and one of the most common worries is their children’s sleeping habits. About 25 percent of parents believe their child has a sleep disturbance, typically difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep through the night. There’s now a new tool that can help put parents at ease. (ABC News)