Sleep Tight: Family Sleep Goals for the New Year

New Jammies Sleep SackAs New Jammies winds down after the holidays, we welcome a new year of learning, adventure, discovery and fun.

Not to mention plenty of sleep to get us through our busy days.

As the calendar advances to 2016, we’ve set some goals we think might be easier to achieve if our New Jammies friends are joining in the challenge. From infants to adults, we all appreciate a good night’s sleep. These New Year’s resolutions will help sleep dream’s come true in 2016, friends!

Tune Out to Zone Out at Night

Young and old, beware of the effects of electronics use at nighttime. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), robust scientific data documenting the role of light in promoting wakefulness is stressing the point that electronics and sleep really don’t mix.

“Signaling of light and dark helps us to be alert in the morning and be able to fall asleep at the appropriate time at night,” reports the NSF. “Careful studies have shown that even our small electronic devices emit sufficient light to miscue the brain and promote wakefulness. As adults we are subject to these influences and our children are particularly susceptible.”

The Foundation suggests that many children are not fulfilling basic sleep requirements and adequate sleep is essential for growth, learning, mood, creativity and weight control. Solutions, and in this case new year’s resolutions, include less TV in the bedroom and electronic media, including watching Internet videos and using social media, before bedtime.

“Understanding the influence of light and evening engagement on sleep is the first step in helping parents address the dilemma of electronics in the bedroom,” according to the NSF.

Eat Right to Sleep Tight

Studies consistently prove that better nutrition equals better overall health. Including how well we sleep. So it only makes sense to eat foods that help us get some proper ZZZs. The website health.com suggests including these nutrients in your diet for better sleep each night:

GrapefruitLycopene, found in grapefruit, tomatoes, papaya and watermelon.

Selenium, in fish such as halibut, tuna and cod, as well as shellfish, barley, turkey and nuts.

Vitamin C, from fruits such as pineapple, strawberries, papaya, and citrus, and veggies such as bell peppers, broccoli, and kale.

Carbohydrates, in cereal, rice, potatoes or white bread. Health.com reports that a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition said eating easily digested carbs four hours before bedtime led people to fall asleep faster.

Quit Bad Habits to Improve Sleep Hygiene

Losing weight. Eating better. Quitting smoking. New Year’s resolutions can sound like a broken record, but for many adults who can’t shake their bad habits, and even kids battling childhood obesity, the struggle is real. And many bad habits lead to poor sleep hygiene, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines as the promotion of good sleep habits and regular sleep. We encourage kids and adults to get outside and play for a healthy exercise regimen that encourages best sleep practices. Both the CDC and the National Sleep Foundation agree that the following sleep hygiene tips can be used to improve sleep:

New Jammies Football• Go to bed at the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning.

• Avoid large meals before bedtime.

• Avoid caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime.

• Avoid nicotine.

These all sound like achievable New Year’s resolutions that can lead to better sleep and a healthy 2016.

Happy New Year from New Jammies!

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New Jammies Butterfly Magic Sleep SackSleep sacks are where it’s at!

Keep your little ones crib safe while they snooze with our study and comfortable New Jammies double-layered sleep sacks. They’re great over footies in the winter months and onesies in warmer weather. New Jammies sleep sacks promote safety while encouraging infants to sleep on their backs and keep babies warm without loose blankets in the crib for the prevention of SIDS. Offered in a plethora of colors and age-appropriate sizes, our 100% organic cotton sleep sacks are breathable to prevent overheating. A great way to start off the new year in comfort and safety!

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Play Right: Homemade Holiday Gift Ideas for Kids to Create

Happy HolidaysAt New Jammies, we love the idea of kids learning and playing in the kitchen to help make gifts for their loved ones with found objects and fresh-from-the-pantry ingredients. From homemade pine cone bird feeders to a healthy vegetarian bean soup mix, these kid-friendly ideas for gift-giving help us inspire creativity and nurture imagination. They can be gifted during the holidays or year-round for birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions. Happy holidays from our family to yours!

Homemade Bird FeederBirds of a Feather
The Outdoor Parent, online at theoutdoorparent.com, is a useful website for moms, dads and caregivers with a message we love featuring content from “surfers, climbers and skiers who have embarked the greatest adventure — parenthood.” They offer their stories, perspective and reflections on parenting, children and the outdoor lifestyle. One holiday or birthday gift idea great for bird watchers and nature lovers that attracts a wide range of winged species winter through fall is Outdoor Parent contributor Becca Cahall’s Pinecone Bird Feeder project for kids.

Materials
Pinecones (preferably opened)
String or ribbon
Peanut butter/suet/vegetable shortening
Oatmeal and/or cornmeal
Birdseed (make it high-energy with sunflower seeds and or chopped nuts)
Plate or pie tin

Directions
1.Tie ribbon or string around the pine cone.
2. Mix ½ cup peanut butter/suet/shortening with ½ cup oats/cornmeal.
3. Use a spoon (or fingers!) to spread the mixture onto the pinecone. Make sure to get the mixture into the open areas of the pinecone. It’s easier if the mixture is warm.
4. Place birdseed in pie tin. Roll and press seed onto pinecone until well covered.
5. Hang your pinecone feeder in a tree just outside you window. Try to place it away from the tree trunk so it’s more difficult for squirrels to get to it.

Reindeer ChowAll Santa’s Reindeer
The birds won’t be the only creatures enjoying homemade treats when you and the kids whip together easy-to-make Reindeer Chow, also called Puppy Chow or Muddy Buddies. This favorite holiday snack can be given out as gifts in cute treat bags, decorated mason jars or plastic containers with red, green or blue lids adorned with ribbon. The recipe is easier than pie, and kids can join along in the fun of making homemade gifts that everyone loves to receive.

Ingredients
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine
12 ounces chocolate or butterscotch chips
1 large box Chex or Crispix
2 ½ cups confectioners sugar

Directions
1. Melt peanut butter, margarine and chocolate or butterscotch chips in a saucepan.
2. Pour mixture over Chex or Crispix; coat well on a baking sheet.
3. Place confectioner sugar in a paper or Ziploc bag.
4. Add coated cereal.
5. Shake well and place in gift containers.

Tip: Add red-and-green holiday-colored M&Ms to the mix for a splash of color. Make this treat anytime of the year by adding M&Ms in seasonal colors on Valentine’s Day, Easter, Fourth of July and during the fall.

 

Courtesy Hello Natural

Courtesy Hello Natural

So Minty Fresh and So Clean
The kids may not know what a mojito is, but Grandma Sue or Aunt Patty, and maybe even Grandpa Jim and Uncle Bob, will enjoy the idea of a rejuvenating soak in a cool minty bath. On her site Hello Natural, at hellonatural.co, writer and mom-of-three Stephanie Gerber offers up this Mint Mojto DIY Bath Salts recipe. It’s fast and perfect for homemade holidays gifts that kids can take part in mixing up since all the ingredients are fresh and safe. This gift can be especially fun for those who love mojtos by adding a drink recipe and spirits components so cocktails can accompany that refreshing, minty soak.

Materials
2 cups Epsom salt, sea salt or kosher salt
Fresh mint, finely diced
Juice and zest of one lime
Mint essential oil
Green food coloring (optional)

Directions
In a small bowl, add salt, mint and lime juice and zest. Stir everything together. Then add 3-5 drops of mint essential oil. You can also add 1-2 drops of food coloring to give it a hint of green. Mix together until fragrance and color are well combined. Add 1/2 cup of salt to your bath. Enjoying while sipping a fresh mojito is highly recommended.

Tip: Package in cute mason jars with a burlap bow and a spring of pine tied to the center.

 

Hortus Ltd./Mark Fonville

Hortus Ltd./Mark Fonville

Just Like Mom Used to Make
Soup’s on this winter as HGTV lifestyle expert P. Allen Smith shares his recipe for a savory, healthy, and cost-effective Vegetarian 5 Bean Soup Mix on hgtv.com. Smith suggests this easy gift idea for kids as a way for them to help out at the kitchen table, sorting the dry beans and filling up the mason jars. According to Smith, the recipes makes 4 jars, but feel free to double and triple as needed. And make sure to save a few for your own pantry for those cold winter evenings by the fire. These also make great housewarming or get well gifts Bon appetite!

Ingredients
1 lb. pinto beans
1 lb. split green peas
1 lb. great northern beans
1 lb. black beans
1 lb. kidney beans
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons dehydrated onions
2 tablespoons sea salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
8 bay leaves
4 vegetable bouillon cubes

Materials
4 clean quart-sized mason jars with lids and rings
Parchment paper
Decorative twine
Fabric to cover top (optional)
Paper for cooking instructions

Directions
1. In each of the mason jars, layer 2/3 cup of each bean, shaking gently after each layer to even out. Set jars aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine all spices except bay leaves and bouillon cubes.
3. On a 10-by-10-inch piece of parchment paper, spoon 3 tablespoons of the spice mixture in the center and top with 2 bay leaves and one bouillon cube. Fold paper around the spices to make a spice envelope and seal with tape.
4. Place spice envelope on top of the layered beans, cover with a square piece of decorative fabric and seal jar.
5. Decorate as desired. On a piece of cardstock or decorative paper, write:

Preparation directions for labels
Rinse beans and place in large stockpot, cover in 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, remove from heat and let soak for one hour. Drain and rinse. Return beans to the pot and add in spice envelope, one 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes and 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for two hours until beans are tender and soup is thick. Remove bay leaves before serving.