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.

Eat Right: Dietary Guidelines to Curb Childhood Obesity

At New Jammies, the health of our children is a top priority. We developed our 100% certified organic cotton pajamas not just as products of the highest standard, but to also adhere to safety standards and be accountable for the health and well being of our children and their environments.

Childhood obesity is one common health issue our society faces, with more than 3 million U.S. cases being reported per year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.

The Mayo Clinic warns that childhood obesity can lead to diabetes in kids and young adults as well as high blood pressure and cholesterol, leading to further health complications. The bad news is there may be no symptoms other than weight that’s above normal to warn parents of a child’s obesity level.

The good news is, childhood obesity is treatable.

“Improving the entire family’s diet and exercise habits is one of the best ways to achieve a healthy weight in the child,” the Mayo Clinic says.

Dr. Joanna Dolgoff, MD, child obesity specialist for “The Biggest Loser” and author of “Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right,” says improving a child’s diet does not have to be an arduous task. “Little changes add up to big nutritional gains,” she says.

In her “10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Child’s Diet” article on doctoroz.com, Dr. Dolgoff provides quick, easy steps to makeover your child’s diet and prevent weight gain.

To start, Dr. Dolgoff suggests not allowing junk food in the house.

“If it isn’t in the house, your kids can’t eat it. Or at least they will have a more difficult time getting their hands on it,” she says. “Your first line of defense starts at the grocery store. Leave your kids at home when you are grocery shopping, if possible.

Make a list before you leave your house and stick to it. Don’t get distracted by the tempting treats in the market. Buy healthy snacks to keep at home and save the junk for when you are out and can’t avoid it.”

Dr. Dolgoff also says don’t let your kids drink their calories with sugary beverages, especially found in soda and juices. Replace sugary drinks with water or flavored seltzers. Also, pay attention to portion size and overeating — everything in moderation — and don’t always stick to the “clean plate club.”

“The best thing you can teach your children is to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full. Do not push your kids to eat more than they need, even if you think they have not eaten enough,” Dr. Dolgoff says.

Natural foods, in their purest forms, such as fruits, vegetables, meats and grains should make up the bulk of your child’s diet, according to the doctor. Consider low-fat or fat-free cheese, yogurt and milk to help cut down on regular dairy products containing saturated fat, known to cause heart disease. Also, avoid fried foods and grill or bake when possible.

“Save the fast foods and processed foods for occasional treats. My rule of thumb: If you can’t easily pronounce all the ingredients on the food label, skip it!”

New Jammies Whale PJ BeachMeal planning helps to manage calories and sugar intake. Dr. Dolgoff notes that cooking over the weekend helps with the hustle and bustle of eating healthy on school nights. Keeping kids moving with daily activities that increase movement is also helpful in improving your kid’s health.

“Encourage family walks and bike rides. Grab a ball and play some basketball,” Dr. Dolgoff says. “When going to a store, pick the worst parking spot so you have to walk further to get to your destination. Ban elevators; take the stairs instead.”

In short, eat right, play right, sleep tight.

To learn more about tips for preventing childhood obesity for parents and caregivers, read this American Heart Association Healthy Kids article.

 

New Jammies was born as an environmentally responsible company offering 100% certified organic cotton and flame retardant-free children’s pajamas. Our products 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.