‘It’s Just a Little Cortisol’: Why Rises in Cortisol Matter to Infant Development

The dismissal of the importance of a rise in cortisol on the developing brain is very popular with extinction sleep training apologists. Although we do not know the exact influences, there are reasons to be cautious of this dismissal, which ignores key evolutionary and biological information.

Distress, Self-Soothing, and Extinction Sleep Training

The premise behind extinction sleep training is that infants (and toddlers) are being taught to "self-soothe"; however, this ignores key points of what self-soothing abilities can be expected from children and how distressed they are at the time of separation. Instead of focusing on these extinction methods, gentler methods that respect where the child is developmentally should be considered.

Tantrums: Moving Beyond the Black and White of Ignoring or Giving In

Tantrums happen. Even to the best of us. The problem is when we feel our only options as parents are to ignore or give in. That isn't true. We need parents to know how to effectively handle tantrums for long-term emotional growth.

Bedsharing Beyond Infancy: The Question of Independence

Bedsharing beyond infancy is something that is often looked down upon in our society, with fears of dependent, clingy children being the focus. But what do science, history, and other cultures tell us? Is this fear grounded or simply just that - fear?

How Not to Lie To Your Children

Lying is a parenting tool that is being used far too often and advocated for far too frequently. Lying is not a tool we should have to use, but we also have to know how to tell the truth to our kids and to others to avoid it.

The Role of Breastfeeding in Self-Regulation

The ability to self-regulate or show delay of gratification is linked to many positive outcomes later in life; interestingly, one of the earlier predictors of this ability is breastfeeding.

Facing Fears: Avoiding or Changing Fearful Memories

Most parents face the time when their kids show a fear due to a fearful event. What if we could avoid that or change the fears our children already have?

“My Toddler Won’t Listen to Me!”

How many times do you hear parents frustrated that their young child or toddler doesn't listen? What can you do and what can you expect from toddlers when it comes to "listening"?

What Are We Teaching Our Children?

When you think of instilling your child with kindness and empathy, do you think about the various ways we inhibit this development in modern parenting?

Recovering and Moving on from Crying-It-Out

This is for those of you who have gone the cry-it-out route and now regret it. The two biggest questions I'm asked on the topic - have I done irreparable harm and can I fix it? - are discussed herein.