The “Perfect Sleep Environment” Edition

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Elizabeth Newcamp: This episode contains explicit language. Welcome to Mom and Dad are Fighting Slate’s parenting podcast for Thursday, June 9th, The Perfect Sleep Environment Edition. I’m Elizabeth Newcamp. I write the homeschool and family travel blog. Dutch, Dutch. I’m the mom to three littles. Henry, who’s ten, Oliver who’s eight, and Teddy who’s five. And we live in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Zak Rosen: I’m Zak Rosen. I make the best advice, show podcasts, and I live in Detroit with my family. My oldest, Noah, is four and my son Army is one.

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Jamilah Lemieux: My name is Jamilah Lemieux. I’m a writer, contributor to Slate’s Care and Feeding Parenting Column and mom to Naima, who is nine. And we live in Los Angeles.

Elizabeth Newcamp: Well, today we’re bringing you part two of sleep week, where we gathered all of your burning sleep questions and brought them to some highly qualified experts. Today, I’m talking with Dr. Rebecca Spencer from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the Somneurolab. She’s got some really great answers, including some insight on how to create the perfect sleeping environment for your kids. So be sure to stick around then on Slate. Plus, we’re going to be talking about how even the royal family can’t avoid the fuck you force. Here’s a sneak peek if you have sleepless.

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Zak Rosen: I think we’ve got to stop calling him Prince Louis. I think that’s going to his head. Why don’t we just call this little fucker Lou? He’s just a little kid. Like, of course, he’s going to be acting out and being cute and annoying. That’s. That’s what these kids do. Even princes. Because princes are just people.

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Elizabeth Newcamp: If you rely on this show for parenting advice, consider signing up for sleep plus. It’s the best way to support the show. Members will never hear another ad on any other Slate podcast. To sign up now, go to Slate.com, slash mom and dad. Plus again that Slate.com slash mom and dad plus.

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Elizabeth Newcamp: All right. We’re going to take a quick break. And when we come back, we’re going to jump into triumphs and fails. We’re back. Jamilah, what have you been up to this week?

Jamilah Lemieux: I’m failing because I’m a failure. It’s not even a failed. It happened. It’s nothing that I’ve done wrong. But it’s something I feel terrible about. Though I should know that I am going to New York for a week and if in two weeks this trip was originally planned for November and I postponed it because the COVID rates were really bad, and then I was going to go in February and I was like, you know, kind of sucks to go to New York when it’s cold outside. It would be much nicer to do this in the summertime.

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Jamilah Lemieux: And so, you know, this trip the Naima is known was coming for a while. It’s finally like really coming. And she’s devastated. She’s like, Why do you have to leave for a whole week? You know, it’s bad enough that you keep leaving. And it’s not that I keep leaving. This will be my second trip this year without her, but it’s also one of three coming up in a somewhat short time span.

Jamilah Lemieux: So it kind of went from Mommy’s not doing this anymore. It’s like, oh, Mommy’s back on the road again. And even though this is the longest trip, I feel bad and I can’t get past feeling bad about it. And like, you know, it’s almost hard for me to remember that there was a time in my life where I routinely dropped Naima off at school with a suitcase in my hand, you know, because I was always going somewhere. And that’s just not how life is anymore. And I’ve, you know, adjusted to that. And it’s I guess it’s hard for me to. Kind of reconcile. And it’s not that she she was never enthusiastic about me traveling, don’t get me wrong. It’s not that, you know, she was like, okay, see you later, you know, but it was a part of our rhythm in a way, and it didn’t upset her quite as much as it does now.

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Jamilah Lemieux: And I get that part of it is, hey, for the last two years, you haven’t had to deal with this. You’ve had more time with me, you know, at this point than you’ve had at any other time of your life, sort of infancy, you know, because we’re always together, you know, and I just feel like a crappy mom because I thought about, like, you know, you could make the it’s a I’m going for a gala and a social trip. You know, I’m going to and I’m going to be with my editor. You know, I’m writing a book, so I will be doing some work stuff on there. But it is largely this is kind of like my summer vacation, you know, like in theory, I could have brought her to this, but like I thought about it and I was like, I need some New York time to myself, you know, like I’m so isolated in California, you know, like, I don’t have a lot of people here. And while it would be nice to go back with Naima and I do plan on bringing her back maybe for Thanksgiving. That is her home town. I need this, you know, but it just feels so shitty.

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Zak Rosen: But now you got to get your New York time. You’ve got to take a summer vacation, you got to recharge your batteries. And also, does she have some fun stuff the week that you’re gone to look forward to?

Jamilah Lemieux: Well, we’re trying to figure that out now. I think she’s going to end up going to this camp for two weeks. This she really liked the camp she wanted to go to the most. But her dad and step mom found something more affordable. So she’ll be going there for the majority of the summer. But I do think that during that window I’m going to send her to the camp that she wanted. So at least she will have something to look forward to.

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Zak Rosen: Do you find that she once you actually leave, does it get any better or is it still tough for her?

Jamilah Lemieux: You know, there was one exception. I had surgery and she was with her dad for a few days and she called me on like the second night in tears and she had a bad day and she was like, I want my mommy, you know, and, like, buried to the point, like, this ain’t working. I’m not. Please, I’m not. Okay. But for the most part, she usually ends up having a good time. And, you know, when we see each other, she’ll say, Did you cry? Or You know who cried? Raise your hand and we’ll both raise our hands, you know? But overwhelmingly she does fine.

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Elizabeth Newcamp: She wants to know that you missed her, too. Mm huh. That’s hard, but I am glad you’re getting to go to New York.

Zak Rosen: Yeah. Have fun.

Elizabeth Newcamp: Please. I think you have fun. Cry on the plane and then have a great.

Zak Rosen: Yeah.

Elizabeth Newcamp: Exactly.

Elizabeth Newcamp: What’s going on in your world this week?

Zak Rosen: Well, we are five days past Noah’s surgery, and I had surgery last week where she was put under, and it was scary. Shira went was actually in the room with her when they anesthetized her. And she described, you know, the the scene of the the nurses, like engaging Noah and asking her questions and asking her about her favorite things. And then like a couple of minutes in, like they’re asking her questions and Noah’s eyes are still open, but she’s not responding and she closes her eyes.

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Zak Rosen: Um, and then the surgery went very well. Took an hour. The doctor was. Everything’s fine. Don’t, don’t worry. She’s, she’s great now. But, yeah, when she got up from, you know, coming out of that stuff out of the the gas is she was just, like, disoriented and just just just she was she was so sad and just uncomfortable. She had an I.V. in her, didn’t know what was going on. She just wanted to be held by Sarah. It was very sweet. The three of us were together, but it took her like an hour to kind of get back to herself and then a couple of days to, you know, of soreness where she didn’t go to school. Obviously, we gave her lots of TV and whatever she wanted in her recovery, and now she’s doing great. I mean, she played she had her first tee ball game this weekend. She was able to play. She’s back to doing flips and stuff. So she’s great.

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Zak Rosen: But man, it just gave me so much respect for parents who have kids with with chronic illness, parents who are who are constantly in the hospital with their kids. My heart goes out to you. I got just the tiniest little taste of it and it was so, so challenging. And so for that experience to be stretched out over days and months and years, just my goodness, the resilience that both kids and parents have to demonstrate for that is mind blowing. So thankfully, she’s great now.

Elizabeth Newcamp: Well, I’m glad that went well.

Elizabeth Newcamp: And every time we’ve ever done the.

Speaker 4: Going under thing is is awful. I know I’ve talked about it here before.

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Elizabeth Newcamp: It’s just like that controlling your adult brain to not run away. So it’s so hard, like just to try to be like, I’m just here dealing with what? I can deal with the things that need dealt with and not.

Speaker 4: Worrying about all this.

Elizabeth Newcamp: Other stuff.

Zak Rosen: 100%. What about you?

Elizabeth Newcamp: I have a fail to lighten everyone’s mood. I have this whole other thing to tell you, which I’ll share another time. But then today I dropped Henry off at dive camp. But she’s having a great time and is very intense, and I was sort of worried about no problems. Then I was going to the gym and I had the two others with me to check into the gym day care and go to my gym class. And I thought that went fine. And I got up to gym class and I’m adjusting the back of my pants and there is a piece of gum that someone has stuck down my pants.

Elizabeth Newcamp: It was my youngest son, Theodore, who I’m still not entirely sure why, because I after the class was over, my friend is taking them to the pool and I didn’t want to, like, sink that whole thing. But as I picked him up from the daycare to get him changed, he said, I don’t want to go swimming. And I said, You don’t have to go swimming, but you have to go with our friend. And he said, No, or I’ll stick another piece of gum down your pants. And I was like, okay.

Speaker 4: Just remain calm.

Elizabeth Newcamp: He’s clearly never getting them again.

Jamilah Lemieux: That is the the short answer.

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Elizabeth Newcamp: I’m not really sure where else I’m going with this. I’m still pretty mad. Now, the gum did come out. I have, like, amazing friends who went to the ice machine and got some ice and rubbed it on my pants and got it off my pants. And we were able to get it off and it stuck to my back. I’m pretty mad about the whole thing. And also like he was so devious and held it for so long.

Speaker 4: Yes.

Elizabeth Newcamp: I don’t know, like a little bit of practice.

Jamilah Lemieux: I was going to say, you didn’t know how it got there. You thought it was just an accident.

Speaker 4: Yeah.

Elizabeth Newcamp: I mean, I guess you could accidentally spit your gun down once. I mean, initially, I was like, is there any way this gun was on the toilet? That’s what I said to my friends. And they were like, No. I mean, he has been chewing gum for a while and been so responsible about it. Like he always puts it in paper, like we’ve talked about that. Oliver still does not really doesn’t get gum because he still doesn’t really understand, like, what to do with it. Like, that is just not something he does very well. So I, I am angry at myself. I’m angry at him. But I’m also just like, okay.

Speaker 4: Like.

Zak Rosen: Why are you angry or so gum?

Elizabeth Newcamp: Cause I gave him the gum and then I didn’t notice when he put it on my pants.

Zak Rosen: I mean.

Speaker 4: How could you notice.

Jamilah Lemieux: That?

Speaker 4: Yeah.

Zak Rosen: All right, Gomez.

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Speaker 4: Let’s go first. Yeah.

Zak Rosen: I’m disappointed in myself for not feeling.

Speaker 4: The go to my bag. You think this.

Jamilah Lemieux: One, they’re still coming out with new stuff? This is not.

Speaker 4: A.

Jamilah Lemieux: Typical.

Elizabeth Newcamp: This is unique.

Zak Rosen: Yes.

Elizabeth Newcamp: But now I’m stuck in this, like, chess game because the the the deviousness of which he was like, I’m going to stick another piece of gum down your pants. Like he knew. I knew, but was waiting.

Jamilah Lemieux: You know.

Elizabeth Newcamp: So. Yeah. Well, see, I’ll get that moment of satisfaction when he asks for a piece of gum.

Speaker 4: You guys. There’s nothing worse than your underpants. That is a new.

Elizabeth Newcamp: I think I take getting. It was awful. It was really awful. Thank you, dear friends who rubbed ice on my butt.

Speaker 4: All right. Well.

Elizabeth Newcamp: On that note, let’s take a quick break. And when we come back, we’re going to jump into your sleep questions. So long time listeners of the show know that we get a lot of questions about sleep. And to be fair, it’s not only a big part of our lives, but when sleep gets rough, it can make everything else feel even trickier. Plus, different kids have different sleep patterns and problems. Clearly, we have a lot to talk about, and we’re lucky to be joined by Dr. Rebecca Spencer. She’s the principal investigator at the Somneurolab at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Welcome to the show. Thank you. Thanks for having me. Well, can you tell us a little bit about the work that you do?

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Elizabeth Newcamp: Yeah. So we’re interested in this age old question of why we sleep. So you can imagine I have a whole career ahead of me to really figure that out. But one area that we really focus on is how important sleep is for learning and memory and emotion processing in ways that might seem obvious. Like when you’re sleep deprived, these are things that you feel like go awry.

Elizabeth Newcamp: But also what is sleep actively doing and how? We’re also interested in particular, how does that change with development? Infants, children, they sleep a ton. And how does that relate to what we think sleep is doing? And then also, even on the older adult side of things like sleep starts going downhill. Well, is that why your memory and your emotion processing and all of that goes downhill? Do we struggle so much with sleep? Because it’s one of those things that like we feel like should come naturally, but actually you have to put some work into it. I mean, is that or it’s that’s just life?

Elizabeth Newcamp: Yeah, I think we do for that reason for sure. Like, I think that it should come naturally. So why do I have to work at it? And you certainly do at times have to work at it. I also think that we’re still getting over this kind of assumption or equation of sleep with laziness. And so there’s still some bribery too. Like I pulled the all nighter, I’m working on 4 hours of sleep and stead of really admiring that person who dedicates six, eight or more hours to getting the sleep that they need so that they do function appropriately. So I do think we’ve got a bit of a culture of still stigmatizing sleep a bit and stigmatizing napping and stigmatizing those things that are actually probably good for us in the long run. If you had to boil it down to just a couple quick tips for people like what do you even offer them?

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Elizabeth Newcamp: Yeah, it’s a great question. That’s the age old question, right? Like, I want my kids to sleep better. What’s the magic formula? I think number one is thinking about the environment. What environment are you putting your child in and expecting them to sleep in? And our environment that we sleep in is always best to be cold, dark and quiet. And so just targeting those things in the room that can really promote sleep, you know, it’s in New England, come in on summertime here. And so suddenly we have light coming into the room at 5 a.m.. Well, this is a time when we need some room darkening shades to make sure that the kiddos can sleep past five.

Elizabeth Newcamp: But the other thing I think about is our light exposure all day long. It’s not just that you don’t want light exposure at night. It’s also making sure kids are getting light during the day, getting access to natural light during the day, giving access to dim light before bedtime. That’s how we control our own natural melatonin. And so we don’t really need to be thinking about giving kids melatonin, but we do need to be thinking about how can we capitalize on the melatonin that they already have? Those are wonderful.

Elizabeth Newcamp: Before we jump into the questions, the listeners and I’m going to put you on the spot because my co-host and I have a have a debate that like going on all the time because we get these sleep questions and we provide advice. And of course, all we know is our own experience. But we get these questions all the time that are sort of like, my kid isn’t falling asleep right away, we’re having trouble at bedtime. And I always advise trying an earlier bedtime under the idea of sleep, get sleep. And that has worked for me. But my both of my co-host.

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Speaker 4: Believe.

Elizabeth Newcamp: That they should put the kids to bed later. That led later. Bedtime is better. So anytime we have someone with sleep that comes on the podcast, I have to ask them who’s right? Well, I’ll. I’ll play neutral and say you both could be right. Right. Like it depends upon the kid, because just like you and I could differ, like I’m a total lark. I’m a morning person, and you might be a night owl, right? Kids can differ in the same way, so the right time to put a kid to sleep is probably different.

Elizabeth Newcamp: I do think depending upon the age, some parents do make the mistake of being like, my kid needs to be in bed at six or 7 p.m. and there is a too early for kids. So yeah, you know, they’re going to go to bed earlier than me, but at the same time, like six, 7 p.m. might be too, too early. Now sometimes we do those really early bedtimes out of convenience for us. Well, I want them to be awake by summer. Early morning hour. And so yeah, that might be convenient for you, but then you’re trying to put them to sleep outside of when their body clock is really aligned to be going to bed. So it’s possible that it’s too early. But, you know, it really depends upon the kid. It depends upon the situation. The age of the child will matter, too. So, of course, like those those really young ones will be more ready to fall asleep at seven.

Elizabeth Newcamp: Yeah. Then as they grow out of it and they are growing out of that already by five, six, seven, I mean you’re going to see these natural transitions in their sleep, especially as they consolidate their sleep so they’re no longer napping during the day. Then they do need to maybe go to bed a little bit earlier for a while, but then they’ll gradually move that backwards. And so going to bed a little bit later, you’ve got to give the kids credit for that because trying to get the kid to sleep outside of when their circadian body clock wants them to sleep, if you’re lucky, you can get them to fall asleep. But if you do, it’s also it can cause sleep to be a bit more fragmented. So we want to try to get the kids sleep, but even our adult sleep to be as much as possible within that window that our body clock is set for.

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Elizabeth Newcamp: Okay. I’m going to read you our listener question and see if you have any advice for them. So they say, here we go, dear mom and dad, what is a good plan for as smooth as possible sleep while getting my kids used to sharing a bedroom. Right now our six month old sleeps in a crib in our room and her three and a half year old brother sleeps in a twin bed in the next room. We’d like to move baby out of our room and eventually have the kids share a room. How should we prepare our toddler for his new roommate? When and how should we sleep? Train the baby? She’s waking 2 to 3 times a night right now, and we did a modified Ferber method with our first at ten months. Do you have any? That’s a loaded one. There’s a lot of that in there.

Elizabeth Newcamp: Okay. There’s some fun, fun things to talk about. So room sharing with kids, you know, we don’t talk enough about this. We find it super interesting. From what I understand, though, just like from some of the work we’ve done on bed sharing and room sharing, kids are actually quite adaptable. And so actually the little sibling might be less apt to wake up to their siblings crying in the bed next to them than the parent is. Like we as parents, we’re a little our sleep is a little more sensitive, our sleep is a little less deep, and we’re also sensitive to our baby’s cries. So you’re probably having a harder time sleeping through that than the sibling will be. And you’ll probably find, in fact, that that toddler can sleep through their new roommate’s crying more than you might think. So. So I actually think that that might not be as tricky as we sometimes worry it to be. And then the question was in there of like, when should you start sleep? How do you when should you sleep? Train?

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Elizabeth Newcamp: Yeah, yeah. And certainly this varies by child in terms of how ready they are. I mean, I also always have to admit it varies in terms of whether people kind of their beliefs around sleep training in the first place. I think it’s like talking religion and politics to say whether there’s a right answer to it. Yes, but I personally believe that sleep training is good.

Elizabeth Newcamp: But then we can also talk about like, well, what do we mean by sleep training? And I think of it as fading, which means that you just gradually shift how responsive you are, how quickly you respond. If you think of having the infant always trying to go a little bit longer than they do the night before. So as opposed to trying to go cold turkey, we’re going to like not respond to a single cry. You just take a little longer to to respond to a cry, try to get them to go a little bit later in the night to before you respond and try using some of that approach in a gradual approach. And then I think it is fair to try to, you know, get the infant as far as long as possible before switching.

Elizabeth Newcamp: But sometimes bed, bedrooms and beds, the cribs and, you know, a lot of things dictate when we’re going to switch to a sibling room. But I think, you know, trying to fade them down to maybe one awakening is good and preparing that other toddler. You could always think about putting one of the sound monitors into the toddler’s room so they get a little used to having those sounds closer to them. But I think overall, the the the new roommate will probably have a pretty smooth transition.

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Elizabeth Newcamp: Is there anything you wish parents knew about napping? The number one thing is parents often see naps as a bad thing and kind of rush the transition out of naps because naps can be inconvenient, particularly for a second child or third child, and it’s understandable that it’s inconvenient. But those naps are super important and they’re helping like a kid is building up this amount of information in the brain and it needs to be kind of cleaned out and their brains are tiny and so they need to clean out more often. That sleep is really important as they’re trying to learn at this really young age, sleep is actually helping them learn. And so we kind of. This tendency to be like, Oh, and like they could learn more, they could start swim lessons or something. But, but this is like super critical to them being able to learn everything that you want them to learn.

Elizabeth Newcamp: And so I think we just don’t value naptime enough, particularly in that preschool range where we’re starting to hear like, Oh, my friend’s kid’s done napping. We don’t share a common age of like, they’re all going to stop napping at 3.5 years, right? And so that we have to respect like for some kids, it might be really high twos. I think that’s really rare. But for some kids it might not be until after they’re five years old. And so you really have to, like I say, give your child the opportunity to nap and they could go for a while and they honestly don’t need to nap, but that that need can come back for a while, giving your child that opportunity to decompress, to snooze, if they can snooze, knowing that that snooze is really important to all of their trying to learn all of their emotion processing and also their brain development.

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Elizabeth Newcamp: When you say give them opportunity, because I this is something I definitely struggled with, even my five year old, even now, it’s like I see him kind of afternoon feeling like this kid needs a nap like that. You know, when you get those behaviors that you’re like, this is just a overtired child, so we still need to make it another, you know, so many hours. But so is your advice when you say give them opportunity, put them kind of in that sleep environment with some books, maybe say, hey, let’s spend time as part of our routine. We’re going to spend 10 minutes, 20 minutes kind of in this space doing something quiet and allowing them to have that kind of opportunity to get tired. I mean, is that. Yep. So the first thing I would say to you is if your child acted like that at 10:00 at night, would you be like, oh, he must not have to sleep tonight, right?

Elizabeth Newcamp: No. Right. So they are going to go through this period of sleep defiance. They’re going to be defiant. They’re pushing boundaries for emotional, psychological reasons. But we don’t just say like, oh, they must not have to sleep. Right? We do have to work through those things. And that’s about teaching them how to be responsive to sleep, how to be able to sleep, promote them. And if you sleep, promote them and they’re not able to sleep, that’s fair.

Elizabeth Newcamp: But making sure that they learn and you might go through a phase where they’re going to defy it every single day, but, you know, continue to work on that skill of, no, we need to wind down for a bit and here’s what we’re going to do. Some of that can be facilitated by building really good routines around nap time, by having good communication, particularly as a child gets older, they are more aware and cognizant and you can say, we’re going to nap today and here’s what we’re going to do after the nap, but you really need a nap first. And so as they get older, you can use more and more language about describing why the naps important. But during that phase, yeah, you’re going to fight it for a little bit, but know that, you know, you might be fighting it at nighttime and you’re still going to get them to sleep. You might you might fight about teeth brushing hygiene, but we still have them brush their teeth.

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Elizabeth Newcamp: Right. And so making sure to not just interpret that fight as, oh, they don’t need to nap that fight could just be that the presence of some, you know, a little bit of backlash and not just a developmental thing that they’re going to have some conflict, but it doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily done napping. And so I think that that’s the common thing, is to misinterpret that as, oh, they’re done napping as opposed to no, we need to work through some skills. We need to work through this social emotional thing to help them know, to still keep trying to go to school like they feel. I think often they feel like they’re going to miss out on something, you know, like, hey, I know you’re really fun. Yeah, yeah. I mean, that’s why adults don’t sleep, right? Like, we’re out, we’re scrolling because we’re like, what else is going on? Totally.

Elizabeth Newcamp: I think my final question is about technology before bed. We know it’s bad. How bad is it? What what kind of buffer you may be giving? The number one thing is that content is alerting, right? Like I’m going to watch some movie even if it’s not sun, like, you know, like Superintendent Silent movie. It’s still like it’s novelty, it’s exciting, it’s alerting and all that alerting is going to wind your head up instead of wine them down. And so that’s the one thing is to think about the content of what your child is watching. If it’s a show that they’ve watched ten times over, that’s going to be less alerting than letting them watch some new show every single night so you can make better decisions about what they’re watching.

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Elizabeth Newcamp: And the other thing is to think about, well, it doesn’t matter what they’re watching because it’s all shiny lights like right into our eyes. And what does light do? It prevents you from tapping into your own melatonin resource. That’s true for adults, too, is that we shine lights into our face and that that’s going to keep our melatonin from coming out. Melatonin we call the vampire hormone, because it comes out in the dark. And so you have melatonin. You don’t need to go take melatonin. You have it. It’s just that we’re not in dim light for that to come out. So it is much as. Of all the ways to use technology wisely. I, for one, try to avoid it within about an hour of bedtime. You want that final hour to be in dim light? A number to keep track of that content. Because as you get closer to bedtime, you want less alerting content. So go for those shows that are super familiar. You know, they’ve watched it ten times. And this, you know, 11 isn’t going to be as stimulating as trying something new.

Elizabeth Newcamp: Oh, my gosh. I feel like you just answered so many questions and hopefully, hopefully we’re giving people ways to get a better night’s sleep, or at least to just understand that this, like many things with children, is something you have to figure out for your kids and help instill, you know, good sleeping habits, good value. It almost even sounds like good valuing your sleep and teaching them to appreciate that. So hopefully they can sleep better as adults, too. Yes. Yes. Because and we do know that from science even shows that good sleeping kids, they grow up to have better sleep. So it’s a good investment.

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Speaker 4: Well, thank you.

Elizabeth Newcamp: So much for joining us. We appreciate it so much. You’re welcome. Thanks for having me. All right. That’s it for our show. We’re back in your piece Monday with recommendations and an interesting listener question. So be sure to tune in. Or better yet, just subscribe to the show so it’ll show up automatically.

Elizabeth Newcamp: If you found any of the advice helpful, be sure to share it with a friend. We could all use more sleep. Finally, if you have any questions for us, they don’t have to be sleep related. Email us at Mom and Dad at Slate.com. This episode of Mom and Dad Are Fighting is produced by Rosemary Belson and Jasmine Ellis. They had help this week by Kristie Taiwo-Makanjuola for Jamilah Lemieux and Zak Rosen. I’m Elizabeth Newcamp. Thanks for listening.

Elizabeth Newcamp: All right, Slate Plus listeners, let’s keep going. The world’s eyes have been on Prince Louis as he was a typical four year old at the Queen’s Jubilee. I, for one, am glad to know that not even the future King and Queen of England can escape dealing with the fuck you flaws. And honestly, pretty much everything I’ve seen reminds me of Teddy. I think it’s just screams third child chaos. And it’s nice to know it’s not just me, you know, trying to get grabbed in the face and gently telling them to stop. But what do you guys think about all the attention that he’s getting?

Zak Rosen: I think we got to stop calling him Prince Louis. I think that’s going to his head. Why don’t we just call this little fucker Lou? He’s just a little kid. Like, of course, he’s going to be acting out and being cute and annoying. That’s. That’s what these kids do. Even princes. Because princes are just people.

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Jamilah Lemieux: Princes are just people. The world loves cute kids and he’s a cute kid. So it’s not surprising that he’s getting a lot of attention. I do think it’s a relief when you see other kids, especially when you have children that age, when you see other people’s children misbehaving in public, especially wealthy and powerful kids, because there’s somewhere in there. We believe that these people have figured out some things or just have access to some stuff that we don’t, you know, like somehow they should be able to keep their children in control. Right now, their kids kids are awful and they’re going to do awful things no matter where you take them, especially at four.

Zak Rosen: Right. Like they’re not going to have all their like helpers during the jubilee, like sitting in the first row with them. Like there’s going to there’s nowhere for them to hide there.

Elizabeth Newcamp: I just want all the grace to be given to the rest of us. Like, you know, if you see a child treating I don’t know, I feels like the you know, the coverage for the most part is like, oh, look, there he is being being a little rebel again, you know? Oh, how cute. Right. Which it is. I mean, he’s being a child. That that is how four year olds behave. But it seems like if my child acts like that in the grocery store and is like grabbing at my face or somewhere. Right. Other parents or other adults are like, oh, my gosh, your child is out of control. It’s like.

Speaker 4: This is just this is just what children are like. Mm hmm.

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Elizabeth Newcamp: So just, you know, extend that grace to us, too, to. I don’t know.

Zak Rosen: I also like that shirt that he’s wearing. It’s got, like, that white button down t shirt with, like, the thin blue lines. I’d wear that they break.

Elizabeth Newcamp: What do you say they break loose? Well, Slate Plus, let us know what you think. You can email us at mom and dad at Slate.com. And be sure to join us on Monday for a regular show and Thursday for another bonus segment. See you later.