Summer Homework for Little Ones

School’s out, the days are longer, and there is so much to see and do outdoors. There are fewer colds and tummy viruses, and for the baby and toddler crowd, now is a good time to think about making changes at home that support your child’s growth and  development.

After the first birthday, your baby should transition to the cup. Drinking milk from a cup helps your baby focus on eating healthy foods: fruits, vegetables, beans, meats and grains.

Falling asleep without the bottle is a developmental stage every child masters. Babies over 4 months of age who weight 16 pounds should be able to sleep 5 to 6 hours at night. Developing healthy sleep habits gives your child a better night sleep–and you may sleep easier too–making you better able to face the next day’s challenges.

Start a new bedtime ritual for the summer: drink milk at the table with something small and healthy to eat, brush teeth, read a bedtime story, sing a lullaby, and then put your child to bed with teddy or a favorite lovie.

Information on your child and sleep can be found here.

About Lisa M. Asta, MD

Lisa M. Asta, M.D. is board-certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, for which she is also a Media Representative (she has been interviewed for “Kids Health” on Health Radio, and quoted in Parenting Magazine, USA Today, and the New York Times, among other publications). She is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco and past pediatric chair at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. She graduated from Temple University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Asta is also a writer whose fiction has appeared in Inkwell, Philadelphia Stories, Schuylkill, and Zeniada. Her essays have appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Hippocrates, the San Jose Mercury News, and The New Physician Magazine. She is an occasional contributor to KQED public radio’s Perspectives series, and has written articles for Bay Area Parent, Valley Parent, Parents’ Press, and Parents Express, as well as online at,, and She wrote a chapter in The Field Guide to the Normal Newborn, ed. Gary Emmet, M.D. currently has two how-to videos for parents in production which feature Dr. Asta. For more on Dr. Asta’s writing, visit
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