Sleep Tight: Naps and Why Kids Need Them

Ask some New Jammies parents about naps, and you may see a longing in their eyes. They might be wishing for one themselves. Or daydreaming about the days when their children’s naps were as common as a diaper change. Often, as a child grows older, naps can become a distant memory. That doesn’t always mean parents should give up on them.

According to KidsHealth, the importance of naps is vital, as “sleep is a major requirement for good health, and for young kids to get enough of it, some daytime sleep is usually needed.”

“Crucial physical and mental development occurs in early childhood, and naps provide much-needed downtime for growth and rejuvenation,” KidsHealth says. “Naps also help keep kids from becoming overtired, which not only takes a toll on their moods but may also make it harder for them to fall asleep at night. And naptime gives parents a brief oasis during the day and time to tackle household chores or just unwind.”

Sleep Needs by Age

KidsHealth reminds parents that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer regarding how much daytime sleep kids need.

“It all depends on the age, the child, and the sleep total during a 24-hour period,” KidsHealth says. “For example, one toddler may sleep 13 hours at night with only some daytime catnapping, while another gets 9 hours at night but takes a solid 2-hour nap each afternoon.”

Though sleep needs are highly individual, these age-by-age guidelines give an idea of average daily sleep requirements:

Birth to 6 months: Infants require about 14 to 18 total hours of sleep per day. Younger infants tend to sleep on and off around the clock, waking every 1 to 3 hours to eat. As they approach 4 months of age, sleep rhythms become more established. Most babies sleep 9 to 12 hours at night, usually with an interruption for feeding, and have 2 to 3 daytime naps lasting about 30 minutes to 2 hours each.

6 to 12 months: Babies this age usually sleep about 14 hours total for the day. This usually includes two naps a day, which may last 20 minutes for some babies, for others a few hours. At this age, infants may not need to wake at night to feed, but may begin to experience separation anxiety, which can contribute to sleep disturbances.

Toddlers (1 to 3 years): Toddlers generally require 12 to 14 hours of sleep, including an afternoon nap of 1 to 3 hours. Young toddlers might still be taking two naps, but naps should not occur too close to bedtime, as they may make it harder for toddlers to fall asleep at night.

Preschoolers (3 to 5 years): Preschoolers average about 11 to 12 hours at night, plus an afternoon nap. Most give up this nap by 5 years of age.

School-age (5 to 12 years): School-age kids need about 10 to 11 hours at night. Some 5-year-olds might still need a nap, and if a regular nap isn’t possible, they might need an earlier bedtime.

To Nap Or Not to Nap?

The National Sleep Foundation reminds parents not to become discouraged, as naps, or the lack thereof, are a phase all kids go through.

“About half of all children stop napping by age four, and 70 percent are done with daytime sleep by age five,” the NSF reports.

What are some signs little ones are ready to drop the nap habit?

“Consistently taking 45 minutes or more to fall asleep for a daytime snooze or getting 11 to 12 hours of sleep overnight are two big ones,” the Foundation says. “If you think it’s time to give nap-less living a try, follow these steps to ease the transition.”

Nap as Needed

The National Sleep Foundation agrees that napping doesn’t have to be an “all-or-nothing proposition.”

“While some children might be fine quitting cold turkey, others may do better with a gradual approach. For instance, consider skipping naps for three days, then napping again on the fourth,” the NSF says.

“Alternately, you could shorten the naps by waking your child within the hour to keep daytime sleep from interfering with bedtime. Even a 20-minute nap can have benefits for a small child. There is no one-size-fits-all formula, so follow your child’s cues to figure out the right sleep strategy.”

Turn Naps into Quiet Time

“Skipping an afternoon nap doesn’t mean your child is ready for constant action from morning to night. An hour of quiet time in the afternoon can offer an important opportunity for a non-napping child to re-group (not to mention restoring the caregiver’s energy, too),” says the Fiundation. “Reading books, coloring quietly, and listening to calming music are all good ways to rest up for the evening ahead.”

Also, the National Sleep Foundation suggests moving bedtime to an earlier time.

“If your child is no longer napping, bedtime hours may need to be adjusted to be sure you still provide enough time for sleep,” the NSF says. “Preschoolers should get 10 to 13 hours of sleep a day, with or without naps, which could mean going to sleep as early as 6:30 PM depending on what time your child wakes up in the morning.”

For more information on naps, sleep and additional topics involving kids’ health, visit these helpful online resources:

American Academy of Family Physicians
http://familydoctor.org
This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.

National Sleep Foundation (NSF)
http://www.sleepfoundation.org
NSF is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public health and safety by achieving understanding of sleep and sleep disorders, and by supporting education, sleep-related research, and advocacy.

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
http://www.aap.org
The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.

American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM)
http://www.aasmnet.org
AASM strives to increase awareness of sleep disorders in public and professional communities.

 

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.

Sleep Tight: Transition from Toddler to Big Kid Beds

Toddlers. They‘re always on the move, and constantly learning new information and activities. So when it comes to bedtime, it seems like they would go right to sleep in their new toddler beds set up with cozy, new bed sheets and comforters, and New Jammies PJs.

If only it were that easy.

Toddlers can have habits that change on a dime. Adjusting from sleeping soundly in the crib as a baby to fighting nighttime rituals in the toddler bed can be tough. There may be tears — from both toddler and tired Mom — and frustration. But also sweet moments of bonding time over bedtime stories and snuggles before sleep finally comes. Each child is different, so the scenarios play out in a variety of ways. There’s always a chance the transition may not go as planned, so be prepared for anything and everything this change may bring.

With two young boys, one still in diapers and the other potty training, New Jammies founder Nicole Ludlow knows personally how the struggle is real.

“As for bedtime, I am wondering how that transistion is going to go for me with my second son. It seems like most parents struggle with this transition, especially if you have more than one child,” she says.

Nicole recalled a recent conversation shared with a mother of toddler twins, a boy and a girl, as she herself approaches her second child’s transition from crib to big kid bed.

“She was just telling me the tough time she’s having with her twins, particularly the little girl. I lucked out with Brandt (first born) because he was such a good sleeper. Landon might be a different story, and right now he still hasn’t tried to jump out of the crib so I’ve left him in there,” Nicole says. “I transitioned Brandt around 22 months so it’s coming soon!”

Nicole suggests including a child’s favorite stuffed animals, blankets and routine to help with bedtime. Dad is involved every night, says Nicole, and it’s usually a family affair.

”Our routine right now is story time (not always, but we try), potty or diaper change, putting on New Jammies, teeth brushing, singing a song in bed with all the lights out except night light and turtle with stars in Brandt’s room,” she says. “Then we take Landon and put him in his crib.”

”Last night, Landon was so upset he didn’t want to go to bed and I had skipped the routine because I thought he was tired. I took him out of the crib and we stayed up for about 20 minutes more playing and then I made both of them go through the routine together and no problem — off to bed!”

These real-life scenarios are often experienced by parents transitioning young children from crib to toddler bed. For New Jammies blogger April Allford, her 2-year-old (approx. 28 months) son, Will, is experiencing a new type of bedtime routine that requires patience. He was no longer staying in his crib, and she and her husband felt it was time for the change.

She tries to make every night consistent after starting the transition from crib to “big boy” bed after WI’ll made a nightly habit of climbing out of his bed, and they were concerned for his safety. As well as their own sanity, as he would wander into their room in the middle of the night after climbing out of bed looking to go back to sleep.

“We gave it some time not knowing if he was being adventurous or he was just trying to see if he could climb out and what would happen. It became an every night thing, so we switched the bed from crib to toddler bed,” she recalls. “It’s the same bed, just a different configuration. The first night was probably the toughest, as we have a three in-one convertible bed that converts from crib to toddler bed to child’s bed and we didn’t know how he would adapt. It didn’t have a rail for the side, so I think maybe he didn’t feel as secure as the crib enclosure made him feel,” she says.

“It’s very low to the ground, but he still rolled on to the floor in his sleep the second night. That was a rookie mistake on my part. We made sure to go out the next day and buy a safety rail that attaches to the side of the bed. That made a big difference for him, as well as for our peace of mind.”

April says the bedtime routine of bath and New Jammies, then book reading or a little relaxing play, helps her son wind down for the night. As they transition to toddler bed, sometimes Will runs right into his room and climbs into bed.

”Other Times he wants to rock in the rocking chair and read a book first or have me sit in the room and tell stories about the nightlight that has animals that reflect on the ceiling,” she says. “We like to name and count the animals we see in the dark. He gets a kick out of that and it’s calming for him.”

April says consistency in bed times is key, but there are nights he is may be put into bed on time, then a few minutes later he‘s back up, then again and again after returning him to his bed a few more times.

“It’s hard, but sometimes he just seems more restless than other nights, and I give him the benefit of the doubt there. Not every day is the same … Sometimes he has more activity or stimulation during the daytime hours than others,” April says. “The transition takes patience, as about most everything a toddler brings to the table.”

”In having an 8-year-old brother in the room next door, he sometimes gets in his mind that he’s going to jump in bed with him, so that happens as well. I can probably see them in bunk beds next year because they have a close relationship and love being together. So far, he’s getting very used to his new bed and the sleeping transition that’s taking place.”

Along with advice from other parents and caregivers, there are many suggestions from experts on transitioning a child from crib to a toddler bed in his own room. We thought these tips from Dr. William Sears, in his Q&A for “Parenting” magazine, were a good start (Read the full article here.):

• Sell the idea. Make a special family trip to the “big boy bed” store. …
• Continue your usual bedtime routine for a while. …
• Try the “fade away” strategy. …
• Snuggle to sleep. …
• Move in and out. …

“Whatever sleep strategy you use, be sure to relieve your child’s nighttime anxiety by helping him develop a healthy attitude about sleep,” says Dr. Sears. “You want him to learn that sleep is not only a pleasant state to enter, but a safe one to remain in.”

These “8 Tips For Transitioning To A Big Kid Bed” by blogger Katie Hurley on the Scary Mommy site are also helpful. She begins by reminding parents there is no “best” time to move your toddler from a crib to a bed.

”While most little ones begin transitioning to a big kid bed somewhere between ages 2 -3 ½, there really are no rules about making the switch,” she says. “Moving from a crib to a bed is a huge transition for little ones that can result in night wandering, new fears, and new insecurities.”

As we said earlier, every child is different. And every life change during toddlerhood requires patience. Take your time and do what feels right for your child along the way. Everything will eventually fall into place.

Good luck, and happy holidays!

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.

Sleep Tight: Clean Sleeping For Sleep Wellness


In 2017, the term “clean sleeping” has taken the spotlight as a trend that can help create a wellness routine to benefit the whole New Jammies family. Clean sleeping originated with Gwyneth Paltrow’s newest book, “Goop: Clean Beauty,” and her website, goop.com, which offers tips on improving sleep habits to help with your body’s dietary needs and energy levels.

According to Paltrow, sleep is a priority, and she has a goal of getting at least eight hours of good, quality sleep at night. Even nine and 10 are ideal for some. The idea behind clean sleeping is that your body repairs itself and detoxifies overnight. So, healthy skin and body are achieved with better sleep.

One way to achieve clean sleeping is to go to bed and wake up around the same time each day. The “Clean Beauty” book also suggests spending time outdoors during the day so your body can get in sync with the sun’s schedule. Avoid caffeine later in the day, nighttime snacking, and relying on sleep aids. Also try to make your bedroom completely dark during your sleep routine.

Read more from Goop.com on How to Get Better Sleep.

Good sleep hygiene is also achieved by unplugging at the end of the day. Turning off electronics before bedtime is strongly advised, especially by the National Sleep Foundation.

“Careful studies have shown that even our small electronic devices emit sufficient light to miscue the brain and promote wakefulness,” says the NSF. “As adults we are subject to these influences and our children are particularly susceptible.”

The National Sleep Foundation reminds us that we should give ourselves at least 30 minutes of gadget-free transition time before hitting the hay.

”Even better: Make your bedroom a technology-free zone — keep your electronics outside the room (that includes a TV!),” the Foundation adds.

For those who think they may have a screen addiction, commonplace in this tech-savvy Digital Age, and need a digital detox, Goop.com has suggestions. On Paltrow’s health and wellness site, Dr. Nicholas Kardaras advises unplugging from screens for 4 to 6 weeks (the extreme version also eliminates TV). Dr. Kardaras is an internationally renowned speaker, addiction expert, and author of “Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kids-and How to Break the Trance.”

”This allows a person’s adrenal system to re-regulate itself and get back to baseline. One also should plan to replace screen time during the tech fast with meaningful and/or healthy recreational activities,” says Dr. Kardaras, executive director of The Dunes in East Hampton, NY — one of the world’s top rehab centers. “After the detox period, the person slowly reintegrates some screen usage, and sees what level they can tolerate without falling down the compulsion rabbit hole. Some can go back to some moderate level of screen time, others can’t.”

Other ways to detoxify mind and body from Goop is to engage in journaling and guided meditation prior to bedtime.

”Another great trick for calming the mind is journaling before bed. Order your thoughts and get your problems in perspective by focusing on positive things in your life,” says Lauren Roxburgh, a structural integration practitioner known as the “body whisperer.” “It’s simple, but studies show it improves sleep. In a similar vein, doing a guided meditation before bed can really help.”

Warch this 10-minute clip to help you deeply relax.

Roxburgh also recommends a Detoxifying Magnesium-Salt Bath via Goop, for a “relaxing and detoxifying spa treatment in your own bathtub.”

”Magnesium is nature’s anti-stress mineral and contributes to health in numerous ways, including fascia, muscle, and cellular relaxation. It’s a great bath addition at the end of the day to support optimal beautifying sleep, recovery, digestion, and overall vitality,” Roxburgh says.

“Magnesium baths are good for post-workout recovery, too, and as part of a relaxing meditation to complement yoga practice. Soothing music and candlelight helps as well.“

Order magnesium bath flakes online here.

Visit Goop.com for more tips on health and wellness, beauty, style, food and more. Goop helps raise awareness and donates a portion of its profits to great causes including The Edible Schoolyard, The David Lynch Foundation, and Pencils of Promise, all of whom have touched the world with their proven success in helping children, as well as the nonprofit DonorsChoose.org.

 

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.

Sleep Tight: Tech and How We’re Sacrificing Sleep

At New Jammies, we’re always cognizant of how electronics are affecting us and our children. Especially with kids headed back to school. The National Sleep Foundation’s latest Sleep Health Index (SHI) shows significant associations between technology use in bed and sleep health.

“Forty-eight percent of American adults reported using a device like a computer, tablet, or smartphone in bed before trying to go to sleep,” the NSF reports. “These people averaged two points lower on the overall SHI (75 vs. 77, on a 1 to 100 scale) and five points lower on the sleep quality subindex (65 vs. 70) than those who refrained from technology use in bed.”

Even more eye-opening, the Foundation found that 21% of American adults (52 million people) reported awakening from sleep and using an electronic device before trying to go back to sleep at least once in the past seven days.

“These individuals averaged 10 points lower for overall sleep health and 13 points lower on the sleep quality subindex than others (68 vs. 78, and 57 vs. 70, respectively),” according to the NSF. “Additionally, about 43% of these people reported sending a text or email after awakening. This means that 9% of American adults made the decision to engage with technology when awakening in the middle of the night, rather than trying to fall back asleep.

In short, electronics are changing our sleep patterns, and not necessarily in a positive way.

“The Sleep Health Index shows that bedtime electronics use is a problem. We can’t know if this use of tech is a cause of poor sleep health or a result of it,” says David Cloud, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation. “It is clear, however, that if you are having trouble sleeping, you should stay away from using technology while in bed.”

According to the American Sleep Association, sleep loss from using electronic devices before bed occurs from light coming from the screen of your device that interferes with circadian rhythms and melatonin production.

“The circadian rhythm is the internal clock that controls our biological patterns such as body temperature, blood pressure, and hormone release, and has a lot to do with how we sleep,” the Association says, in its report on sleep and electronics by Kristina Diaz, a Registered Respiratory Therapist and a health and wellness enthusiast and writer. “Circadian rhythm is affected by light, time, and melatonin production. Light and darkness tell us when to feel awake or sleepy.”

Diaz notes that time affects this cycle because we are clock readers and follow schedules to which our bodies have become adapted.

“Melatonin, a hormone secreted in the brain by the pineal gland, induces the tired feeling. This hormone helps keep our sleep-wake cycles on track,” Diaz says. “The light emitted from our devices, even just from a cell phone, passes through the retina of the eye, causing a delay in the release of melatonin making it harder to fall asleep.”

In regards to children and technology, kids are especially susceptible to having difficulty failing sleep wit’s electronics.

“Many children are now given an electronic device, such as an iPad or television to soothe and relax them before bed, but this is actually doing more harm than good,” the American Sleep Association says. “Children need sufficient sleep for growth, learning, mood, creativity, and weight control. But children who use electronics before bed tend to have later bedtimes, get fewer hours of sleep, and because of this suffer from daytime sleepiness more than children that do not use these devices before bed.”

This is also true for adolescents and teenagers, who not only use these devices for entertainment purposes, but also for homework, says the ASA.

“Using electronics before bed also stimulates our mind by getting our brains ‘fired up,'” the ASA says. “Electrical activity then increases and neurons start to race, making it difficult to sleep”

With electronics becoming such as big part of our daily lives, this begs the question of how we can improve sleep. Diaz advises just unplugging or turning off.

“Even going just 15-30 minutes electronic free before bedtime can make a difference. Make your bedroom completely device-free, including the television,” she suggests. “For children, refrain from giving them the iPad or letting them watch their T.V. shows, and have them read a book instead. It may not be easy at first to make this change since we have become so dependent on technology, but you will be happy when you are waking up feeling much more rested.”

For bedtime reading ideas, see our blog on New Children’s Books Perfect for Bedtime.

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.

Sleep Tight: New Children’s Books Perfect for Bedtime

New Jammies Feathers

New Jammies Feathers

New Jammies loves those sweet bedtime moments with the kids, reading them to sleep after a relaxing bath and cozy pair of footies. Books are key in developing vocabulary, learning words, and forming bonds.

In welcoming 2017, we’ve found a host of cute books to help kids wind down after a fun day of play and learning. Check out these new titles that will be favorites when it comes to making memories during the nightly bedtime routine.

I'll Hug You More1. I’ll Hug You More
In her latest addition to her “I Love You More” books, New York Times bestselling author Laura Duksta wants kids to know hugs can say a lot, including “hello,” “thank you,” and “I’m sorry.” “But underneath it all, every hug says ‘I love you,'” she says. Duksta learned valuable lessons about love, compassion, and understanding for humanity, as well as for herself, when she lost all her hair at age 11 to Alopecia Areata. In its review of Jan. 1 release, Publishers Weekly described “I’ll Hug You More” as, “Cheery, multi-textured illustrations highlight the sheer versatility of hugs one can give a small hippo offers a one-handed, behind-the-back number as it eats cereal at the breakfast table, a ladybug uses all six limbs to cling to its parent, and two snakes entwine in a cozy, circular embrace … [Duksta’s] reassuring message comes through loud and clear.”

Super Happy Party Bears2. Super Happy Party Bears (Volume 2)
Arriving Jan. 17, this second book in Marcie Colleen’s witty chapter book series is described as, “filled with full color illustrations and adorable animals.” The author is a former classroom teacher and current educational consultant for the Picture Book Month initiative. She also creates teacher’s guides for picture books and middle grade novels and is a advocate for using children’s fictional literature in the classroom. Illustrator Steve James has 10 years experience in the art industry (animation, greeting cards and video game artwork). Super Happy Party Bears is his first children’s book. The book’s description, from publisher Macmillan, says it all: “The Grumpy Woods dislike Wallace Woodpecker only slightly less than the Super Happy Party Bears. They find his pecking preposterously loud, but the bears think Wallace is beating a nice rhythm — it’s great for early-morning dancercise. The bears convince Wallace he has great skills to offer the woods, and they give him ideas for unsolicited handy work. Instead of endearing him to the neighbors, it annoys them even more. Can the bears really help this noisy neighbor?”

Pete the Cat3. Pete the Cat: Five Little Ducks
Written and illustrated by #1 New York Times bestselling children’s book author James Dean, “Pete the Cat: Five Little Ducks is a cool adaptation of the classic children’s song “Five Little Ducks.” “Fans of Pete the Cat will love rocking out to this classic tune with a groovy twist,” says publisher HarperCollins, regarding the newest book in the Pete the Cat series, which comes out Jan. 24. James Dean’s art has sold in more than 90 galleries and shops across the U.S., and he has devoted his paintings to Pete the Cat for 15 years, turning his natural love for cats into his life’s work. He has also published “Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes” and “Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes.” Visit him online at www.petethecat.com.

By the Light of the Moon4. By the Light of the Moon
Published in the fall of 2016, By the Light of the Moon by Tom Percival is a gently emotional story to reassure fears about moving, with stunning artwork and a wonderful magical element. In the book, main character Ivan’s old house had always been so warm and friendly, but he finds out his new one is not. In the book, publisher Bloomsbury says, “Ivan finds his new house strange and can’t sleep. He lies awake and then sees a shimmering light come down. The light turns into a creature called a Moji, and it takes him on a magical nighttime adventure, up high into space, bounding through magical forests and down deep into the oceans. Ivan has never had so much fun! And the magical Moji shows him that soon the new house will feel like home.”

Be Who You Are5. Be Who You Are!
The end of 2016 also saw a new children’s book by New York Times bestselling author Todd Parr, “Be Who You Are!” the follow-up to his beloved classic, “It’s Okay to Be Different.” With nods to everything from race to gender expression to economic background, he encourages kids to be proud of who they are inside. “Be old. Be young. Speak your language. Be Who You AreBe proud of where you’re from. Just be who you are!” “Todd’s collection of work occupies a unique space in the children’s book market, addressing topics in a way that feels wholly necessary, inclusive, and appropriate with a sensibility that’s wacky, kid-friendly, and fun. The time is right for a book about acceptance in all forms, and we have no doubt this will resonate with many fans new and old,” says the publisher, Hachette Book Group, for its youth division, Little Brown Books for Young Readers.

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.

Sleep Tight: Tips for Turning Off Technology Before Bedtime

Kids and TechnologyIn today’s tech-savvy society, it’s hard to remember life before smartphones, tablets and social media. The Pew Research Center estimates that 68% of Americans have smartphones and 45% own tablets. With electronics all around us, it’s no surprise our kids are affected.

The National Sleep Foundation says when it comes to children, electronics and sleep, there’s an increasing prevalence of electronics in kid’s bedrooms. New Jammies agrees this can present some challenges.

“That creates a culture of evening engagement and light exposure that negatively impacts sleep time, sleep quality and daytime alertness,” says the NSF. “Many children are not fulfilling basic sleep requirements and adequate sleep is essential for growth, learning, mood, creativity and weight control. 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.”

There are several results of mixing electrics and bedtime for kids of all ages. The Foundation says children using electronic media as a sleep aid to relax at night have been shown to have later weekday bedtimes. They also experience fewer hours of sleep per week and report more daytime sleepiness.

“Adolescents with a bedroom television have later bedtimes, more difficulty initiating sleep and shorter total sleep times,” says the NSF. “Texting and emailing after lights outs, even once per week, dramatically increases self-reported daytime sleepiness among teens.”

Increased academic demands, busy social and extracurricular schedules, and the lure of entertainment keep our children electronically engaged at night, according to the Foundation.

“Not all electronic usage is recreational as the burden of homework is great for many of our children and their work is often completed on the computer, a significant light source late in the evening,” the NSF says.
Liraz Margalit, Ph.D., who analyzes online consumer behavior, recently penned an article for “Psychology Today” discussing kid’s exposure to electronic media. She suggested to tread carefully on the topic because technology isn’t always a bad thing.

“Educational apps and TV shows are great ways for children to sharpen their developing brains and hone their communication skills — not to mention the break these gadgets provide harried parents,” she says. “But tread carefully: A number of troubling studies connect delayed cognitive development in kids with extended exposure to electronic media.”

Dr. Margalit says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates American children spend a whopping seven hours a day in front of electronic media.
“Other statistics reveal that kids as young as two regularly play iPad games and have playroom toys that involve touch screens,” the article says.

The key is to wait and introduce kids to electronics until at least the age of two. And to power off regularly to establish clear boundaries between the virtual world and the real one.

“Despite the danger that overexposure to smartphones can pose for young brains, there are a lot of benefits to letting little ones use technology. Once a child is over the age of two, feel free to allow limited screen time — think an hour, max, of playing with tablets and iPhones each day— to help develop coordination, hone quick reactions, and even sharpen language skills,” Dr. Margalit says. “As with all the other toys and tools available to your developing child, smartphone use should stay in moderation, and never stand in for human interaction or real-world face time.”

The Internet Keep Safe Coalition (iKeepSafe) is an international alliance of more than 100 policy leaders, educators, law enforcement members, technology experts, public health experts and advocates established in 2005. The nonprofit says for both kids and adults, the time for a technology curfew is always right, and are essential for a healthy life and family. Establishing a nightly digital wind-down ritual, benefit us in many ways, says iKeepSafe, and these tips can help you and your family:

• “Unplug” two hours before bed. This gives your brain a chance to unwind and get ready for sleep.

• Create a schedule and stick to it. Confusion and arguments will be kept to a minimum once your kids understand that the technology curfew is a nightly event that’s here to stay.

• Make family fun time a part of the nightly ritual. Idea: Assign a night to each family member and make him or her in charge of choosing the activity.

• Don’t forget to add some invaluable me-time to the mix. This could include, reading, writing, pampering or meditating.

• Store all digital devices (e.g., smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc.) in an area of the house other than the bedrooms.

• Use an alarm clock rather than your smartphone or tablet as a wakeup device.

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Personalized PJsSleep tight this holiday with Personalized PJs!

New Jammies is now offering Personalized PJs. Embroider your child’s name on our soft organic cotton New Jammies for the perfect holiday gift!

www.newjammies.com/Personalized-Kids-Organic-Cotton-Pajamas

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.

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.

Sleep Tight: Back-to-School Sleep Habits

 

New Jammies is getting ready for back to school, helping kids with nighttime gear in our fun, 100% organic cotton pajamas. Plus we have some great tips on a good night’s sleep for back to school.

This school year features updates on sleep recommendations for kids by the American Academy of Pediatrics, through recommendations developed by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. The consensus group of 13 sleep medicine experts and researchers recommend:

• Infants 4 to 12 months – 12 to 16 hours of sleep every 24 hours (including naps).*

• Children 1 to 2 years – 11 to 14 hours of sleep every 24 hours (including naps).

• Children 3 to 5 years – 10 to 13 hours of sleep every 24 hours (including naps).

• Children 6 to 12 years – 9 to 12 hours of sleep every 24 hours.

• Teens 13 to 18 years – 8 to 10 hours of sleep every 24 hours.

*Recommendations for babies younger than 4 months not reported because of the wide range normalcy in sleep patterns in newborns, and there isn’t enough research to back up guidance in the youngest of infants.

Other sleep recommendations that remain consistent as kids return to school is to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, and avoid blue light emitted from phones, tablets, and computers at night. That can be said for kids as well as adults.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies, toddlers, and younger children should have a regular, structured bedtime routine, including reading books together and brushing teeth, as well as going to bed at the same time every evening.

The academy also suggests the 4 B’s of Bedtime to best prepare for a proper night’s sleep. ​​​

“The reality of habits is that (a) they can be hard to break and (b) they are not always bad. Take away one habit and you often need to find something to take its place,” says the AAP. In the case of the bedtime breast or bottle, be reassured that we don’t intend to leave you empty-handed once you take away your baby’s primary source of bedtime comfort.”

These 4 B’s of Bedtime offer a soothing substitute proven to be one of the AAP’s most tried-and-true routines for bedtime success — both for babies and older children.

• Bathing. Baths are a soothing, hygienic, and decisive way of separating the evening’s eating activities from sleeping. No way around it — only the unbelievably fatigued child will sleep his way through a bath. That means that when feeding time is over, your child will get the message that eating is not in any way, shape, or form a cue to go to sleep.

• Brushing. Whether you choose to brush your child’s teeth (or gums) right after the last feeding or just before the actual bedtime itself, we strongly encourage you to get in the habit of having a toothbrush (or washcloth or gauze) be the last thing in your baby’s mouth at night (other than, perhaps, a clean pacifier during the first year as an added method of sudden infant death syndrome prevention).

• Books. We’ve found nothing more suitable as a breast/bottle stand-in than books at bedtime. Since you don’t want food or drink to become your child’s bedtime source of comfort, books can serve as the perfect cue that it’s time to cuddle up and go to sleep. Think about what happens when you’re tired and you try to read?

• Bingo—you fall asleep. When it comes to lifelong healthy habits, we can’t think of a better one.
Bedtime. Short of drugging kids (which we don’t condone, no matter how tired or tempted you might be), it’s mighty hard to force a child to fall asleep. We suggest you stop trying and instead stick to implementing a routine time for your child to get ready for and get into bed. Once you’ve set the stage so that bathing, brushing, and books signal bedtime, you should just let your child fall asleep independently. Sure, this may involve some additional challenges, protests, and even the need to consult additional parenting resources (of which, we can assure you, there are many), but in the end we have always found that if you do a good job of making the bed, your child will learn to lie in it.

New Jammies Sleep Sacks

New Jammies Sleep Sacks

Sleep Tight to Summer’s End

Gearing up for back to school takes plenty of rest, so help those little ones sleep tight through the night while their big brothers and sisters make the most of the end-of-summer sun. Through August 15, enjoy 20% off Sleep Sacks and Toddler Footies for a great night’s sleep. Our Classic Stripes sleep sacks, seen here, are a popular print this season. Shop online for Sleep Sacks and Toddler Footies today and receive 20% off (code? DREAM056).

Sleep Tight: Sleep Tips for Mom and Dad

Parents and SleepNew Jammies knows it’s just as important for parents to have a proper night’s sleep as their kids and babies. And we’re here to help make that happen.

The Mayo Clinic has suggestions for the weary, those parents still waking in the middle of the night for early morning feedings, coping with teething, or just feeling overall sleep-deprived.

“While there’s no magical formula for getting enough sleep, these strategies can help,” the clinic says.

New Jammies Butterfly Magic Sleep Sack• Sleep when your baby sleeps. Silence your phone, hide the laundry basket and ignore dishes in the kitchen sink. Calls and chores can wait.

• Set aside social graces. When friends and loved ones visit, don’t offer to be the host. Instead, ask if they could watch the baby while you nap.

• Don’t ‘bed share’ during sleep. It’s OK to bring baby into your bed for nursing or comforting — but return baby to the crib or bassinet when you’re ready to go back to sleep.

• Split up nighttime duties. Work out a schedule with your partner that allows both of you to rest and care for the baby. If you’re breastfeeding, perhaps your partner could bring you the baby and handle nighttime diaper changes. If you’re using a bottle, take turns feeding the baby.

• Give watchful waiting a try. Sometimes, middle-of-the-night fussing or crying is simply a sign baby is settling down. Unless you suspect baby is hungry or uncomfortable, it’s OK to wait a few minutes to see what happens.

For parents who have trouble going back to sleep after a sleep cycle is interrupted, or find themselves staying up thinking of all they need to do the next day as baby sleeps, organic solutions are often a safe approach. Hot teas with chamomile, honey and lemon, and foods with melatonin, the hormone that helps send us to sleep each night – including oats, banana and tart cherries – can help at bedtime.

The inconsistent sleep struggle for moms and dads can sometimes become all-too real when parents look for help from over-the-counter sleep aids or alcohol to alleviate problems associated with interrupted schedules. While the FDA reports OTC sleep aids are non-habit-forming and do not present the risk of allergic reactions and complex sleep-related behaviors, child caregivers may want to proceed with their doctor’s advisement.

“Just because they’re available over-the-counter doesn’t mean they don’t have side effects,” says Marina Chang, R.Ph., pharmacist and team leader in FDA’s Division of Nonprescription Regulation Development. “They don’t have the same level of precision as the prescription drugs. They don’t completely stop working after 8 hours—many people feel drowsy for longer than 8 hours after taking them.”

Chang advises reading product labels and exercising caution when taking OTC sleep aids until learning their effects. “They affect people differently,” she says. “They are not for everybody.”

The FDA suggests parents, especially nursing mothers, consult healthcare providers with questions before starting medications. Read patient information before taking a product. Do not increase the dose prescribed, and do not drink alcohol or take other drugs that depress the nervous system.

Alcohol and SleepAlthough it can seem like a chance to relax and unwind, consuming alcohol can make important sleeptime for parents less valuable. Paul Clarke, an addiction therapist in the UK, has researched many studies focusing on how alcohol consumption affects sleep. His blog article, “The Comprehensive Guide to Alcohol and Sleep,” is an useful resource to explain how alcohol consumption negatively impacts sleep.

“You may wonder why alcohol weakens the quality of your sleep,” he reports. “Here is why: Alcohol reduces the quality of your sleep because it induces your body to fall into a state of ‘deep sleep’, also known as Slow Wave Sleep (SWS).”

Clarke says SWS helps the body regenerate cells located in all tissues and bones, as well strengthens the immune system.

“However, skipping to SWS means you miss out on rapid eye movement (REM) sleep during the initial part of the night (first 3-4 hours),” he reports. “When you don’t drink alcohol, your body goes through around 5-6 cycles of REM over the course of the night. Each cycle lasts for around 5 to 30 minutes. REM is also associated with vivid dreaming and powers up your concentration and memory forming abilities the following day.”

“Scientists believe when the effect of alcohol wears off as you continue to sleep, the body slips out of deep sleep (SWS) and reverts to REM sleep (known as REM rebound) to compensate for a loss of REM,” he says.

See more at: http://www.cassioburycourt.com/article/77/the-comprehensive-guide-to-alcohol-and-sleep#sthash.FIBoLquE.dpuf

Sleep Tight: Music to Soothe Babies to Sleep

Bunny New JammiesThe old saying goes that music makes the world go ’round. At New Jammies, music helps our kids express themselves through movement, sharpen motor skills, and even fall asleep.

According to Kindermusik International, new research has shown that music therapy benefits babies, especially those born premature, in many ways. Kindermusik recently reported on the work of Deanna Hanson-Abromeit, assistant professor of music education and music therapy at the University of Kansas, in learning how music helps premature infants not just survive, but thrive, according to an article from the Kansas Health Institute.

Kindermusik says Hanson-Abromeit’s findings can be helpful for parents of infants, especially those born premature, but also for full-term babies, with these tips:

• Simple is best. Singing a favorite lullaby or children’s song to your little one can be the best kind of therapy you can give.

• Live music is better than recorded music. Premature babies in particular benefit the most from attentive, interactive musical experiences.

• Watch for baby’s cues, or non-verbal communication. For example, breaking eye contact, squirming or arching the back, or wrinkling the forehead are some of the signs from baby that it may be time to try something different.

• It doesn’t always have to stay the same. Changes to the music’s volume and tempo are ways of adapting and adjusting to baby’s cues.Musical experiences have the power to soothe. For a small baby who is often overwhelmed with external stimuli, music can help the brain organize at staying calm.

• Intentional loving experiences with music help the bonding process. There’s something very personal about a shared musical experience, especially one within the arms of loving parent-child connection.

PBS Parents suggests providing a “library of variety” for kids with a mix of genres and styles. In the story, “What Music Should My Child Listen To?” by Laura Lewis Brown, children need to sing, clap and dance along with the tunes in order to get the full benefits of music.

“Singing and moving to music tells the brain to make meaning of it, a cognitive process called audiation,” says the PBS Parents report. “Audiation in music is like thinking in language.”

To build a child’s music library, PBS Parents says to focus on interaction with the music that helps train the young musical ear.

“Remember above all to model your love for music. Sing, hum, dance or air guitar to your favorite songs, even if your child doesn’t like them. It doesn’t matter if you can’t sing in tune or dance well, because you are showing them the joy of music.”

Rockabye BabyRockabye Baby
For music fun for both parents and kids, the Rockabye Baby is a series of rock and pop music transformed into soothing instrumental, baby-friendly lullabies. The rock lullaby series consists of more than 70 releases to date, including lullaby renditions of Bob Marley, U2, The Beatles, Coldplay, and Muse.

“The resulting albums are revolutionary yet reverential,” says the Rockabye Baby website, at http://www.rockabyebabymusic.com. “First and foremost, we’re fans, so we take care to make every album musically interesting enough to satisfy adult listeners. Believe me, making an album that’s gentle enough for sleeping babies but still entertains Mom and Dad is trickier than it sounds.”

In honor of the late David Bowie, Rockabye Baby is releasing renditions of his biggest hits this spring, on April 29. The CD features Bowie songs such as “Heroes,” “Changes,” “China Girl,” “Lets Dance,” “Rebel Rebel,” “Modern Love,” “Young Americans” and more. Fans can listen to clips and pre-order on iTunes here at http://www.rockabyebabymusic.com/david-bowie.html.