Sleep Tight: Helping Your Preschooler Get That Sleep

New Jammies_TrainsAsk many New Jammies moms and dads if they want to take an afternoon nap, and they’ll likely respond, “Sign me up!”

Preschoolers, well they can be a different story.

Parents know how precious sleep is, but kids sometimes need a little persuasion. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) stresses that babies, children, and teens need significantly more sleep than adults to support their rapid mental and physical development.

“Most parents know that growing kids need good sleep, but many don’t know just how many hours kids require, and what the impact can be of missing as little as 30 to 60 minutes of sleep time,” the NSF says.

For healthy preschoolers in the 3-5 years age range, the Foundation recommends 10 to 13 hours of sleep each day. Between 8 to 9 hours — up to as much as 14 hours — of sleep are deemed appropriate. Less than 8 hours, and no more than 14, are not recommended.

“If you suspect your child isn’t sleeping enough, it’s important to talk to your pediatrician,” suggests the NSF. “If there is an underlying sleep disorder or another medical condition at play, your doctor may refer you to a sleep specialist to discuss various treatments options. In many cases, though, sleep deprivation in children can be helped with changes to the environment and habits surrounding bedtime.”

According to the NSF, research shows an early bedtime — between 7-8 p.m. works best for babies and kids through school age — and a consistent, soothing, wind-down routine with no screen time from TVs, tablets and smart phones accommodate better sleep. Tuning out from excitement and and turning off electronics can be the secret to your child falling asleep faster.

“A recent study found that for every hour a child is sedentary — watching TV or reading — it takes an additional three minutes to fall asleep. According to a BBC News article, researchers observed 519 seven-year-olds and found that the majority of children fell asleep in 45 minutes and the average time to fall asleep took 26 minutes,” the NSF says,.

Most parents know the nighttime benefits for preschoolers after a day spent swimming at the pool or playing with other kids at preschool. The more active the children, the more likely they fall asleep faster. And the longer they sleep throughout the night, studies have shown. Mandy Gurney, founder of Millpond Children’s Sleep Clinic, told the BBC that a routine wind-down hour can be essential to achieving a successful bedtime, says the NSF.

New Jammies StripesSuccessful bedtime rituals for preschoolers involve consistent routine that includes taking a warm bath to help kids relax and reading bedtime stories. The Mayo Clinic also agrees that avoiding active play and electronic devices, which might be too stimulating, before bedtime.

“You might give your child a bath, brush his or her teeth, read stories, and say prayers. Praise your child for a specific accomplishment or talk about the day. If you play bedtime music, make sure it’s soothing. Then tuck your child into bed and say good night,” says the clinic. “Experiment to find what works best for you — but once you settle on a routine, follow it consistently every night.”

For those parents of preschoolers who have become frustrated with their child’s bedtime problems, the Mayo Clinic understands that bedtime battles can test a parent’s resolve. Even if you want to give in and let your child fall asleep in front of the TV — or in your bed, the clinic says to stay the course of not creating an expectation for that every night.

“It’s important to hang in there. Be patient and ignore cries and pleas,” the clinic says. “It’s never too late to teach your child good sleeping habits. If your child is pushing the limits, state your expectations and stick to the routine. Eventually, your consistency will pay off in a good night’s sleep for everyone.”

Read more from “Child sleep: Put preschool bedtime problems to rest.”
New Jammies was born as an environmentally responsible company offering 100% certified organic cotton and flame retardant-free children’s pajamas. Learn more at newjammies.com.

Play Right: Celebrate National Wilderness Month Outdoors

ColoradoBoyAs New Jammies welcomes the change of seasons, National Wilderness Month is the perfect time for families to get outside and explore.

The Federal Facilities of Environmental Stewardship suggests celebrating America’s wilderness in September, and throughout Autumn, by visiting the nation’s wilderness areas and learning about the issues facing these pristine environments. In his Presidential Proclamation of National Wilderness Month in September, President Barack Obama, agreed.

“I invite all Americans to visit and enjoy our wilderness areas, to learn about their vast history, and to aid in the protection of our precious national treasures,” he proclaimed.

The country’s vast wilderness areas provide acres-upon-acres of natural playground for kids and parents to hike, fish, camp, boat, birdwatch, sightsee, and numerous other ways to enjoy the Great Outdoors. The country’s preserved spaces were protected 52 years ago when the Wilderness Act was passed, marking the beginning of an era when Americans were empowered by Congress to propose protection of special wild places, watersheds, wildlife habitat and outstanding recreational opportunities such as hunting, fishing, camping and hiking.

“The law immediately set aside approximately nine million acres of U.S. national forests as wilderness, defining the highest level of protection, uses and enjoyment of these federal lands,” said the Wilderness Society, founded in 1935 to advocate for protection of America’s roadless wild places.

“Today the National Wilderness Preservation System encompasses nearly 110 million acres of wild country in 44 states and includes lands in national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and Bureau of Land Management areas.”

In 2014, when the Wilderness Act celebrated 50 years, Wilderness Society President Jamie Williams expressed the importance of protection of our wilderness areas.

“Today we need wilderness more than ever,” Williams said. “In an urban nation, we need a place to get away, to enjoy and restore ourselves. The people who wrote the Wilderness Act called it an essential human need, and that’s why they wrote the Wilderness Act – to protect wild places for all of us, and for our quality of life. There’s one constant since the Wilderness Act was passed – people want to protect more of our wild places, which define us as a nation. They are our American legacy, something we can leave to future generations.”

New JammiesOutdoor gear company REI offers its tips on camping in the wilderness with the younger set, providing the opportunity for priceless family memories for New Jammies kids. To start, REI says to prepare for outdoor overnight trips by practicing camping at home.

“If your kids are outdoor newbies, pitch a tent in the backyard or even inside your home. Let them hang out in it and sleep in it so they become comfortable with a new sleeping environment,” said the company, which donates percentages of its sales to conservation efforts.

“Take a trial run: Before your overnighter, try a family day outing at a close-to-home park. Spend a half-day or so at a lakeshore or park and see how your kids react to the experience. Take notes: Write down reminders for future trips: ‘Pack more sunscreen.’ ‘Bring long pants.’ ‘Leave bongos home.'”

REI also suggests these fun items to bring along on camping trips with kids:

• Paddleball set
• Marshmallow launcher
• Animal-shaped flashlights
• Kits, discs and flying toys — REI’s faves include glowing, multicolor LED flying discs and Djubi balls
• Low-tech fun with a boot-around plastic ball that doubles as an ice cream maker
• Water toys to cool off
• Foot bags
• Educational games, including “Pass the Pigs” and “Why Knot?”

Most of all, New Jammies hopes kids get outside and have fun in the beauty and wonderment of the nation’s beloved wilderness areas as the leaves change.

New Jammies was born as an environmentally responsible company offering 100% certified organic cotton and flame retardant-free children’s pajamas. New Jammies are WRAP certified for socially responsible manufacturing practices, created in GOTS certified knit, print, and dye facilities, and made of OE100 100% certified organic cotton. Learn more at newjammies.com.