More proof your kid needs solid sleep habits—and 6 other studies worth your time

Kids

A quick roundup of the latest research every parent should see.

A little-discussed annoyance of modern parenting is the firehose-like stream of research and “findings” that make their way into our parent group chats and news feeds. That’s why Today’s Parent is compiling regular roundups of the studies we think are worthy of your limited—and therefore precious—attention.

Go the f*** to sleep: In mid-July a study determined that ten hours of sleep is the magic number for kids entering kindergarten, leading to better social and academic outcomes; now researchers are saying that anything less than nine hours could lead to cognitive trouble and reduction in gray matter of the brain. (University of Maryland)

We are the world! The singsong-y tone we use to speak to babies is consistent across cultures — including in remote hunter-gatherer groups — leading researchers to believe it serves an evolutionary function. (University of Auckland)

A pain point: Thousands of kids a year are diagnosed with them, so why can’t the medical community agree on a definition of “growing pains” — and whether they have anything to do with growing in the first place? (University of Sydney)

Airing grievances: Air pollution exposure in fetuses and young children can affect brain development (think: behavioural problems and lower IQ), even for children in cities with relatively low pollution. (University of Washington)

Take it outside: Half of parents don’t realize that too much screen time for kids can cause nearsightedness, a condition that may be prevented by increased time outdoors. (University of Michigan)

And, in “I didn’t need a study to tell me that” COVID parenting news:

Parents faced increased caregiving responsibilities as a result of the pandemic, and, when it came to opposite sex coparents, moms took on most of that burden. (Duke University)

No shade, but parents maybe, probably, definitely overdid it on the screen time. (University of Washington)

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