(Especially at Grandma and Grandpa’s)

a special feature from Jessica Anfang,* parent extraordinaire

We know that bedtime, naptime and going to sleep can be a problem time for children, so we have some great suggestions and tips from pediatric sleep specialist Dr. Natalie Barnett, founder of Seven Oaks Sleep Science based in New York City. She specializes in teaching healthy sleep habits to babies aged 3 months to 18 months, as well as continuing to offer support and advice through the sleep training process. Dr. Barnett is a scientist with postgraduate training in pediatric sleep science.

Here are some of Dr. Barnett’s tips to make that sleepover extra special!

-For the very young baby (under two), it is important to try to recreate the baby’s same home sleeping environment as best you can. A very dark, clutter-free room with a white noise machine is ideal. Make sure your grandchildren have the same “lovee” at your house as they do at their own home.  Try a great white noise machine from HoMedics, about $20 on Amazon https://amzn.to/18bmTTE, or Bed Bath & Beyond.

-It is important that young babies be kept on their regular routine as much as possible when they are visiting grandparents. We know it’s tempting to keep little ones up for extra cuddles and fun! But honestly, the happiest babies are the ones who get all the sleep they need. It will make the visit much more successful if you can stick to their routine.  (Note the underscore.)

– Older babies (over two years) are more aware that they are going somewhere different and special. It’s especially helpful to have some “special friends” (dolls or stuffed animals) or other toys that are only to be used when having a sleepover at grandma’s house. That will add to the excitement and enjoyment for all of you.

And most importantly AVOID SUGAR! As tempting as it is to give into those pleas for candy and ice cream, resist this urge!  Extra sugar can make it much harder for your little ones to get to sleep. If you really want to spoil them, we suggest toys or books, rather than sugary treats.

Interested in learning more? There’s a lot of great information about sleep solutions; visit Dr. Barnett’s website at https://sevenoakssleep.com/Contact.html


*Jessica Anfang is a mother of two young children and lives with her husband in Scarsdale, NY.  With a background in fashion and product development, she is always on the ‘lookout’ for anything that is interesting, new, and innovative for her family and friends.