Play Right: 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.
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).