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Sleep Strategies for NICU Babies and Families

Sleep is critically important for optimal health for parents and children, yet sleep can sometimes be difficult to achieve. This session will review expected sleep needs and patterns across infancy, how to establish good sleep habits once home from the NICU, strategies to promote sleep (for infants and parents!), safe sleep practices, and how sleeping and feeding interact at night.


Robyn Stremler, RN, PhD is a Nurse Scientist whose research is aimed at improving sleep for children and parents. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto in the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing and an Adjunct Scientist at the The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). Specific areas of research focus include sleep for families with a child with health challenges in hospital or community settings, sleep across pregnancy and the postpartum, and e-health and m-health interventions to improve sleep for infants, children and adolescents. Dr. Stremler’s past clinical roles have been in various maternal-child health care settings and a multidisciplinary sleep clinic. Dr. Stremler’s past honours include a CIHR New Investigator Award, Canadian Sleep Society Young Investigator Award, and an Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation Early Researcher Award.

Kate Robson, NICU Family Support Specialist

Kate Robson is the mother of two girls born preterm, one at 25 weeks and one at 32 weeks. She has spent time as a patient and as a parent in 4 different hospitals and 3 different NICUs. She now works at Sunnybrook Hospital as a family support specialist, working closely with families and helping the unit deliver family centred care. She is also the Executive Director of the Canadian Premature Babies Foundation and co-chair of the Canadian Family Advisory Network.

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