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: Meditation for a Better Sleep

New JammiesAt New Jammies, we all know how important sleep is for a healthy lifestyle. Without it, sleep can be a detriment to how we function at home, work, and school. With it, sleep can improve our moods, stress levels, and productivity.

In short, bring on the sleep.

Sleep isn’t always easy for parents, and especially kids, to achieve at bedtime, though. For some, a good night’s sleep takes work. A diet rich with Vitamin B6, calcium, potassium and less caffeine can help. Meditation and relaxation exercises also aid in achieving healthy sleep.

“One of the most powerful techniques for quieting the mind is meditation, which allows you to go beyond the mind’s noisy internal dialog into a space of silence and stillness,” says Deepak Chopra, M.D., on his Chopra Centered Lifestyle website www.chopra.com.

The Chopra Center suggests committing to a consistent sleep ritual by creating a soothing evening routine. Take a light walk shortly after dinnertime and minimize intense mental activity in the evening. Prepare for bed about an hour before sleep by running a hot bath and performing a slow, oil massage on your body.

“Put a few drops of lavender oil in the bath water and play some soothing music. Have the intention to allow the stress of the day to leave your body,” Chopra says. “Once you’ve completed your bath, try drinking a warm herbal tea or heated milk with a pinch of nutmeg.”

The Chopra Centered Lifestyle says the ideal bedtime is 10 p.m. Once in bed, try and avoid watching television or reading mentally stimulating material and spiritual or inspirational literature to help shift your awareness away from the usual demands of your life to a more expanded perspective.

“Avoid work on your taxes, balance your checkbook, or watch a violent thriller on television right before bedtime – all of these activities can over stimulate the Vata dosha and make it hard to fall asleep. Turn off the lights, close your eyes and just lie comfortably on your back observing your breath. Allow your attention to float through your body. If you notice areas of tension, consciously release the pressure,” Chopra says.

See more at: http://www.chopra.com/ccl/5-tips-to-end-insomnia-and-get-restful-sleep#sthash.cdkF6kwd.dpuf

Sleep Meditations for KidsKids can also benefit from sleep mediation, especially in today’s age of apps available to help soothe them to sleep. The free Sleep Meditations for Kids Android app on Google Play, created by leading yoga teacher and Montessori teacher Christiane Kerr for children of all ages, helps guides kids to the creative part of their minds through a number of carefully scripted story meditations.

“Each meditation story has an underlay of subtle sound effects and gentle music which combined with Christiane’s calming voice make them irresistible and a deeply relaxing. This recording will help children to relax and will enhance feelings of contentment. It can be used for a general relaxation, or as a teaching resource and is suitable for children up to the age of 12,” says the app’s description.

The app features a deeply relaxing 13-minute audio track and Kerr’s calm, reassuring voice that guides children, as well as adults, into a completely relaxed state of mind and body. She founded Calm For Kids children’s yoga and mindfulness training in 1999. She has has been practicing and teaching yoga for over 15 years in the UK and offers training, CDs and free mp3s on her website at calmforkids.com.

The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall AsleepIn August, fortune.com featured a children’s sleep aid in the form of a book by Swedish author and psychologist Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin that’s on the top Amazon’s best-selling book. The article says “The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep” is like hypnosis for children, and “will put your kid to sleep in minutes.” In the kid’s book, Roger the Rabbit and friends Sleep Snail and Uncle Yawn try to help him find sleep.

“This is a new safe and innovative way to help your child fall asleep and is recommended by psychologists and therapists,” says the review on Amazon. “‘The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep’ will help you accomplish the task of getting your child to have its beauty sleep and sleep well all night.”

The book is available in five formats: Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle, Audible or Audio CD.

New Jammies sleep fashions for fall help kids rest easy

Space Cadets

This fall, New Jammies is helping kids relax right and sleep tight at bedtime with comfortable, all-organic new designs that reflect the changing season.

Fashionable fall collections for girls and boys include Unicorns, Bicycles, Ballerinas, Elephants, Trains, Monster Trucks, Space Cadets, Moose Tracks, Rainbow Unicorns, and Ranching Cowboys. New Jammies are 100% organic cotton, are not treated with flame retardants, and feature tagless labels for comfort.

For example, nature-loving boys or girls can be ready for bedtime in the popular Moose Tracks prints, back this season in soft sage green with stretchy rib knit. Our Space Cadets collection explores the galaxy in this whimsical organic cotton footie pajamas. The whimsical Elephant Kites organic cotton pajama set will send girls off to dreamland in cozy, comfort.

Visit newjammies.com here to shop online this fall.

Sleep Tight: Help Mom Relax with Natural and Homemade Gifts

imageIf there’s one common denominator between New Jammies moms, it’s that they probably would love a little rest and relaxation on Mother’s Day. Since the second Sunday of every year is dedicated to Mom, we thought it would be nice to compile our favorite ways to help her get what she deserves, and most likely desires, on her big day.

• There’s nothing more soothing and all-natural than a good, old-fashioned foot rub. Foot rubs can be done organically at home or by the skilled professionals who provide massages or pedicures for a living. There are many homemade foot soaks on the web, and this fruity concoction found on Pinterest could be a fun option for treating Mom at home:

Strawberry Foot Scrub
This easy scrub helps revive and soften feet.

Ingredients
8 strawberries
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoons kosher salt

Directions

Mix ingredients into a paste. Massage well into feet, then rinse and dry.

• Make your own homemade whipped massage oil with coconut oil and essential oils of your choice (available online and at health food stores), including peppermint or wintergreen for a rejuvenating tingle, lavender or chamomile for relaxation and lemongrass for aches and pains.

Whipped Massage Oil
These make great gifts for Mother’s Day, birthdays and holidays, and can be personalized with homemade paper labels and adorned with ribbon or flowers.

Ingredients
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil, at room temperature
30 drops of essential oil of your choice

Directions
Measure oil and place in mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, whip the coconut oil for 30 seconds. Add drops of essential oil and whip another 30 seconds. Using a spatula, transfer the whipped oil into a clean container with a lid such as a mason jar.

Note: Coconut oil is solid at room temperature and begins to melt at about 76°F. If whipped oil begins to melt, refrigerate for a few minutes, then whip again if needed.

• Not only does it feel great to have muscled and tendons softened, but many foot rubs and massages have the added benefit of aromatherapy since lubricants used can include aromatic essential oils. In its “8 Natural Remedies That May Help You Sleep” article, Health Magazine features aromatherapy as #5. “Lavender is the trick here, as studies have proven that it aids in sleep. It’s also a cheap, nontoxic way to slip into a peaceful slumber. Find a spray with real lavender and spritz it on your pillow before bedtime. Or buy a lavender-filled pillow.”

Bath and Body Works offers a line of Spa & Skin aromatherapy products dedicated to sleep with soothing and relaxing items including body cream, pillow mist, bath soak, and sugar scrub. Visit a location — find a store here — or purchase the Bath & Body Works Sleep online here.

• A nice, peaceful organic meal that can be easily prepared, even with the help of kids, is an all-natural way to help Mom relax on Mother’s Day. This simple, slow-roasted garlic lemon chicken recipe from the Deliciously Organic website can be baked in a few hours and is as aromatic as it is delicious.

Slow-Roasted Garlic and Lemon Chicken
Serving Size: Serves 4
Recipe from “Forever Summer” by Nigella Lawson, also a great Mother’s Day gift available on Amazon

Ingredients
1 3-4 pound chicken, butterflied
1 head garlic, separated into unpeeled cloves
2 organic lemons, cut into eighths
5 sprigs fresh thyme
3 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
1/2 cup white wine (you can substitute with chicken stock)

Directions
Preheat oven to 300°F and adjust oven to middle position. Place chicken skin-side up in a large roasting pan and arrange garlic cloves and lemon around the chicken. Pull the leaves off of 3 sprigs of thyme and sprinkle over chicken, garlic and lemon. Pour the oil over the chicken and using your hands, rub the oil onto the skin of the chicken. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper. Pour white wine in pan, around the chicken. Place a piece of parchment paper over the pan and then cover tightly with foil. Place in the oven and cook for 2 hours. Remove the foil and parchment paper from the pan, and turn up the oven to 400°F. Cook the uncovered chicken for an additional 30-45 minutes, until skin is golden brown and breast registers 170°F on a thermometer. Remove chicken from oven and let rest for 20 minutes before serving.

Pair with cooked carrots or green beans and finish with angel food cake topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream (pre-made is fine!).