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Playing Alone Carries Special Value for a Child. Imagination develops faster during solitary play than when playing with others.

March 24, 2015

Jamie was about 2.5 or 3 years when his mom decided he needed a playroom.  As an only child, he had most of the house to play in but he always wanted his mother to play with him. She did, quite a lot, but eventually she would grow tired of playing and needed to get […]


A Good Week With Parents

March 8, 2015

I love looking back on a week of successful conversations with parents.  This week I talked with parents of of a three year old boy who was …spitting at them whenever they said “no” to some demand of his. I spoke with parents of an 8 month old baby who used to be an excellent […]




Toddler Biting? Expert help from Kitty Raymond

February 23, 2015

“OW!” is usually the first word out of a parent’s mouth when a beloved toddler, determined to experiment with her mouth, chomps down on mom’s shoulder.  It hurts and is shocking and it’s very hard not to take it personally. How to react if your child bites you First say a loud “Ow!” This is […]




Unquestioned Leadership

February 20, 2015

Mathew, age 3, is yelling at his mother.  He doesn’t want to go to bed.  He has been lining his trucks up making a ‘truck stop’ and he isn’t finished.  His mother has already given him 10 extra minutes and now it’s past bedtime.  She is pleading with him and soon resorts to threatening.  “If you don’t come now, you won’t be able to use your bike tomorrow or go to Gregory’s house to play!  I’m warning you!”


This is a huge, nightly power struggle between Matthew and his mother.  Matthew’s reasons are different each night but the result is the same.  Mom gives Matthew a heads up about bedtime approaching and Matthew begins to dig in his heels.  Soon mom is reminding him that the time is getting shorter…begins to nag him about putting his toys away “NOW!” Soon Matthew is yelling, “You can’t make me!”


How Kids Really Learn Empathy, Manners, and How To Use the Potty!

February 17, 2015

It’s not from what we teach. It’s all about what we model. Our kids are watching us.  By instinct – and when the age is right –  they tend to copy what they see us doing, paying attention to and caring about. That’s how they learn to: Pretend to put make-up on if they can […]


Book a “Mini-Consultation” with Kitty (February only)

February 4, 2015

A Mid-Winter special! Celebrate the launch of my new website at Take a look at the website here, let me know if you find it easy to navigate. Write to me at   Then, take advantage of this Bleak February offering: book a “Mini-Consult” with Kitty on any parenting topic to do with […]


Not a Fan of C-I-O?

January 26, 2015

Recently I had a call from a mother who began by saying “I’m not a fan of CIO. But I think we are going crazy here.” She had tried other sleep strategies. She mentioned Weissbluth, Ferber,  Baby Whispering ,“shhh”, “pick-up-put-down, etc.  She was hoping there was something else to try that would be gentle, compared […]




Demand Versus Scheduled Feedings – A Hot Topic

There is a debate raging about newborn feeding needs.  Author Penelope Leach (and nurses in the Calgary Health Area) advises new parents to “feed on demand” which means even when you’ve feed your baby recently, you feed again if she is fussing or sucking on her hands.  You may find yourself feeding every hour. This […]




Your Newborn Baby – What Wasn’t Covered in Your Prenatal Class

January 19, 2015

Did you know that newborns can be helped to develop good sleep skills from the first week of life?  Do you know that babies are very good at handling their gas pains?  Have you been told that your baby simply needs to be fed – and the method of feeding is not a measure of […]




Cardboard Boxes, Sand and Water

September 28, 2014

The the remarkable early education a young child gleans from imaginative play hasn’t changed one iota since forever ago.  Neither has the irreplacable value of having mud, sand, water, mixing bowls, dolls and dress-up clothes available.  What has changed, sadly, is that many parents have come to view “early education” as being based on enrichment materials, curriculums and extra-curricular activities like dance, swim and music classes.




How Does a Baby Spend It’s Day?

September 18, 2014

One third – One third – One third

How does a baby spend it’s day?
One-third of a baby’s day will be spent being fed, dressed, bathed, changed and sleeping.




How Much Sleep Does My Child Need?

September 6, 2014

I’m often asked “How much sleep does my baby need?” (or toddler or preschooler).  I respond with the guidelines I use in my sleep counseling with parents: Aim for an 11-hour night from birth to six months (including night feeds); thereafter, move toward a 12-hour night. While children may not actually sleep for 12 full hours every night, this allows them to, at times when they need it.  If theydon’t need that much sleep on some nights, this gives them time to talk or play on the way to sleep or in the morning before 7 am. 

Also, I sugges parents aim for an appropriate number of 2- hour (approx) naps through the day, depending on age. 

Like parents I speak with, I wish there were universally agreed upon guidelines, based on firm research.  The following abstract from a yet-unpublished article in the Sleep Medicine Journal tells why this definitive research on children’s sleep needs – is hard to come by.