Month: January 2016


Children need a lot of sleep. The actual amount varies quite a bit depending on your child’s age. The following is a general guideline of total sleep in a day (including naps). Keep in mind that your child may need a little more or a little less. If you find that your child is grumpy, yawning, irritable, falling asleep in random places (school or car seats), then your child probably isn’t get enough sleep. 1-4 months: 14-15 hours per day 4-12 months: 14-15 hours per day 1-3 years: 12-14 hours per day 3-6 years: 10-12 hours per day 7-12...

Read More


Infants have a very unique sleep pattern and must get adequate sleep for proper brain development. Having a good understanding of healthy infant sleep can help everyone in the household sleep better. Why is infant sleep important? An infant’s brain is still developing. When born, an infant’s visual system and other systems are not fully developed. Sleep plays an important role in proper development and learning. If my baby needs so much sleep, why is he/she having such trouble falling asleep? Just as in adults, the need for sleep doesn’t drive your ability to fall asleep. Everyone has experienced...

Read More


Thanks R.F. from Utah for your recent question about health safety concerns with installation of new carpet, especially in regards to young children. I must admit that this question allowed me the opportunity to do some digging into a topic I didn’t know that much about. By all apparent scientific evidence, the short answer is no, there are no major health concerns with installing new carpet. Here’s what I found: The American Academy of Pediatrics appears not to have any particular stand, policy, or commentary about safety and new carpet. I did learn that there is a whole group...

Read More


It’s a bit horrifying the first time you hear about new, potentially deadly games kids are playing. If you haven’t heard the about the latest, the “choking game,” and you have an adolescent, keep reading. The “choking game” is sometimes called the “fainting game,” “black out,” “the pass out game,” “the scarf game,” “space monkey,” to name a few. How the “choking game” works The choking game is a dangerous activity among adolescents wherein a person is choked, either by hands, a belt, a tie, rope, scarf, etc., in order to deprive the brain of oxygen. When the brain...

Read More


Thanks B.J.S. from Utah for your recent topic suggestion on ear wax. Why is it that some kids produce tons of ear wax and others hardly produce any? I don’t have a great answer. The good news is that ear wax is not something to worry too much about. Ear wax has some natural protective effects for the ear. So, to answer your question, you don’t need to worry about removing ear wax. Why does your pediatrician bother to take out ear wax? Your doctor may take out the ear wax in order to see the tympanic membrane (or...

Read More

Dr. Monica Wonnacott

I'm a pediatrician and a mom. is my blog where parents can get the straight scoop on their child's health, largely based on my experience in the office and at home. I don't diagnose on the site, so please don't ask. These are just my opinions. Use this site as a resource. And trust your parent gut.

Subscribe Now