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: 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: Surviving Baby’s Sleep Regression

It’s the question New Jammies moms and dads hear once consistently when their babies reach at least three months.

Does he sleep through the night yet?

Just when parents can confidently answer yes, it seems, sleep regression makes sleeping through the night seem like a distant memory. What exactly is sleep regression again?

According to babysleepsite.com, sleep regression is described as “a period of time (anywhere from 1-4 weeks) when a baby or toddler who has been sleeping well suddenly starts waking at night, and/or skipping naps (or waking early from naps) for no apparent reason.”

“Parents often describe being caught totally off guard: you think your have conquered all your little one’s sleep challenges, when suddenly, out of nowhere, you’re back to constant night wakings and nonexistent naps,” says the website.

In the babysleepsite.com article “4-Month Sleep Regression Explained (sometimes 3 and 5 months too),” it notes that changes that happen with the 4-month sleep regression are permanent changes.

“By 4 months, your baby has ditched her babyish sleeping patterns and is sleeping more like an adult – and that translates into frequent night waking (and lots of fussing) along with shortened naps.”

New Jammies Classic Stripes Sleep Sacks

Changes in sleep can also happen at 8-10 months and 11 or 12 and 18 months, and even at 2 years old, and beyond. The “Sleep Regressions: Everything You Need to Know” article’s author, Emily DeJeu, says the key to coping and moving past sleep regression is to “know the what, the why, and the when behind common baby and toddler sleep regression – now how about the ‘how to’? As in, “How the heck do I fix this and get back to my peaceful nights of sleep again?!?!”

“Well, for starters, remember that the 4-month sleep regression is a permanent change – there is no going back to the way things were,” DeJeu writes. “Once you are through the worst of the 4-month sleep regression you will want to focus on helping your baby break her sleep associations, and on heaping her learn to fall asleep without help from you. Once she can do that, she will be well on her way to sleeping through the night, and establishing a more predictable daytime schedule.”

For mom-of-two Nicole Ludlow, New Jammies founder and CEO, she found herself up every night with one child or the other just last week for various reasons. Her 3-year-old often kicks his sheets off at night, then is cold or wakes and is afraid of the dark.

“I just ordered him a nightlight because the one we had wouldn’t stay on all night,” she said.

Her younger 16-month-old used to wake for a bottle after she stopped nursing, but now she can mostly just change his diaper and he will go back to sleep.

“Last night both kids slept through the night. Overall I would say they are good sleepers, just those quick wake-ups when they need comforting disrupts my good sleep,” she adds. “I am finding daytime naps sometimes seem to help them sleep better at night.”

Nicole says she always tries to determine what is really the cause of any sleep change, especially if it has to do with teething.

“We can usually tell before bed if it’s his teeth and he is really fussy,” she says. “If teething is causing extra fussiness, we usually look for signs like rubbing face and putting hands in mouth, and then check his gums. If it looks like one is coming through I will give him the recommended dose of Tylenol before bed. It’s pretty rare, but helps on occasion.”

For free resources from the Baby Sleep Site, click here.

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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: 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: Back-to-school sleep tips

New_Jammies_schoolNever underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep.

Especially on a school night.

That’s the message New Jammies parents are sharing with their kids as summer wraps up and going back to school moves front and center. According to a 2014 poll by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), many children receive less sleep on school nights than they should.

“For children, a good night’s sleep is essential to health, development and performance in school,” said Kristen L. Knutson, PhD, University of Chicago. “We found that when parents take action to protect their children’s sleep, their children sleep better.”

The poll reported that parents’ estimates of sleep time are only 8.9 hours for children ages 6 to 10; 8.2 hours for 11 and 12 year olds; 7.7 hours for 13 and 14 year olds; and 7.1 hours for teens ages 15 to 17. Those numbers fall short, by NSF’s standards. The nonprofit sleep organization recommends kids ages 6 to 10 receive 10 to 11 hours of sleep per night, and that children in the other three age groups secure 8.5 to 9.5 hours per night.

“It can be tough to make time for sleep when we’re too busy; making sleep a priority can give all family members the energy to function at their best every day,” said Hawley Montgomery-Downs, PhD, West Virginia University. “Sometimes performing better in fewer activities can be a healthy trade for too many activities while fatigued.”

In today’s digital age, many kids have a hard time achieving optimal sleep because of the prevalence of electronics in youth bedrooms. The NSF reports that families who turn off electronics off while sleeping can improve this growing trend.

“To ensure a better night’s sleep for their children, parents may want to limit their children using technology in their bedroom near or during bedtime,” said Orfeu Buxton, PhD, Harvard Medical School.

To help parents approach the better-sleep subject, the NSF has created an educational SleepforKids.org website. The site reminds children and their parents that with more sleep, kidspay better attention in school, are more creative, generate more ideas, fight sickness better, have improved moods and relationships with friends and family, and are quicker problem solvers.

SleepforKids.org offers these sleep practices for preschoolers:

  1. Maintain a regular and consistent sleep schedule
  2. Follow-through with a bedtime routine every night
  3. The child should have the same sleeping environment every night.  It should be cool, quiet and dark and without a TV
  4. Watch for difficulty breathing, unusual nighttime awakenings, chronic sleep problems, and behavioral problems during the day.

And these tips for school-age kids:

  1. Introduce healthy sleep habits, disease prevention and health promotion
  2. Continue to emphasize the need for a regular and consistent sleep schedule and bedtime routine
  3. The child’s bedroom should be conducive to sleep: dark, cool and quiet. TV’s and computers should be off and out of the bedroom
  4. Set limits
  5. Avoid caffeine
  6. Watch for signs of chronic difficulty sleeping, loud snoring, difficulty breathing, unusual nighttime awakenings and frequent daytime sleepiness.
Turtle-Ap-Organic-PJ

Teetering Turtles New Jammies

New Jammies encourages kids to eat right, play right and sleep tight. Our 100% pure, natural organic cotton New Jammies pajamas make heading off to bed a fun and comfortable experience for parents and their children. Make bedtime, and a good night’s sleep, a priority by including a pair of New Jammies in all your back-to-school shopping lists.