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Tag Archives: routine

  • 4 Ways to Make an Easy Daylight Savings Time Change for Your Family

    daylight savings time sleep tips for babies and kidsEvery parent understands the importance of a schedule. Our bodies thrive on consistency and that goes double for little kids. When they go to bed and nap at consistent times, they have energy and great moods. But when their schedules are erratic and unpredictable, they’re somber and cranky. Plus, sleep deprivation can affect a child’s development.

    That’s what makes Daylight Savings Time so hard for a lot of parents. The “falling back” part in autumn is easy because everyone gets more sleep, but the “spring ahead” can be difficult.

    Fortunately, the time change doesn’t have to be a nightmare with a little preparation. Here are some essential tips to help your family adjust to Daylight Savings Time.

    1. Start adjusting early

    Daylight Savings Time starts on March 13th this year. It’s a Sunday, which is nice because it gives us at least one buffer day before we have places to be on Monday.

    Start your adjustment early – at least four days in advance. The goal is make the first day of DST as painless as possible by adjusting each previous day just a little bit.

    Each day, put your kids to bed 15 minutes earlier than the day before. You might have to adjust other daily activities to help their bodies adjust, like meal times, nap times, and snack times. Then, wake them up 15 minutes earlier in the morning. If you do this four days before DST starts, they’ll have adjusted for the hour without any hassle.

    2. Keep the rest of your routine the same

    During the adjustment period, don’t mess with any other parts of their routine. This is not the time to transition from two-nap-days to one-nap-days. It’s not the time to take a long car trip to visit Grandma. And it’s not the time to start new things, like dance or soccer. Focus on keeping everything the same until the adjustment has been made. It’s only four days, so this shouldn’t interrupt your life too much.

    3. Use lighting

    Our bodies use melatonin to regulate our internal clock. When it gets dark, our bodies increase our melatonin levels, which makes us sleepy. When it’s bright, melatonin is actually broken down by the light.

    You can induce sleepiness and wakefulness by adjusting the amount of light in your home. Close the curtains and dim the lights about 45 minutes before bedtime to put your child in the mood to sleep. Open the curtains and turn on lights as it gets near wake time.

    This is an excellent way to gradually wake up or put your child to sleep, without fussiness or tears.

    4. Be patient

    If you can, I recommend making the few days after the DST low activity. If you have to get the kids out of the house in the morning, this might be tough for you, but if your kids spend the day at home, don’t force them to stick to a schedule. Their bodies will naturally adjust on their own, even if you don’t intervene.

    I hope that helps! Daylight Savings Time usually isn’t a problem for most parents, but for some families it can be a tense few days. We’d love to hear about your DST challenges. Post your questions or comments on Facebook and we’ll help you out!

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professional, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • 11 Facts About Newborn Sleep You Have to Know

    newborn sleep factsNewborns (and all children, really) sleep differently than you or I. As a parent, you’ll spend the first months of your child’s life obsessing over their sleep habits. You’ll find one trick that works for a while and then something will change and you’ll have to find something new. Here are some facts about newborn sleep you may not know.

    1. A bedtime routine is one of the best ways to help your child fall asleep, even for newborns. A good routine for a newborn involve lots of sensation, like a bath, gentle rocking, and close contact with mom or dad.

    2. Newborns lack a circadian rhythm. This means they don’t have the mental and behavioral cues to get sleepy when it’s dark. They develop these over time.

    3. The phrase “sleeping like a baby” describes long, deep, peaceful sleep… unlike any newborn I’ve ever seen. Infants wake up often, but that’s part of their design. They need to eat and be comforted.

    4. Babies have significantly shorter sleep cycles than adults, meaning they move into a light sleep mode more often, which gives them opportunities to wake up.

    5. Babies take longer to fall into deep sleep. You can identify deep sleep by their eyelids: if her eyeballs are still, they have entered the deepest part of their cycle.

    6. Sleep is key for brain development. During sleep, blood flow to the brain increases and proteins that make nerves are produced.

    7. You probably don’t have a bad sleeper. Many parents hear stories of that three month-old who sleeps through the night. Even if these are true, they are the exceptions, not the rule.

    8. Babies sleep more than it seems. You may be exhausted, but newborns sleep 16 to 20 hours a day.

    9. Night wakings are actually important. As much as you want your infant to sleep six hours, that wouldn’t be healthy. Young babies have tiny stomachs that burn through food quickly, so they have to wake up to refill their bellies. He/she also needs to sleep lightly as a survival tool so they can quickly respond to any adverse stimuli.

    10. Sleep begets sleep. For you and me, staying up a long time will make us sleep a long time, but that isn’t the case for babies, especially newborns. A rested child has an easier time falling asleep.

    11. Constant pressure is comforting and reassuring to your little one. Whether it’s a swaddle, your arms, or the Slumber Sleeper Bassinet, children are almost universally comforted by constant sensation on their skin. This comes from their experience in the womb. Helping recreate a sense of that environment will go a long way in allowing your child a more restful sleep.

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professional, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • 8 Tips for Moving from the Crib to a New Big Kid Bed

    moving to big kid bedThe day your child graduates from the crib is a proud day for a parent – their baby is growing up! – but a tough day for some children. If you’ve worked hard to make the sleep space a comfortable and familiar spot, you might deal with some anxiety when you insist upon a change.

    Here are some tips for moving your child to a big kid’s bed.

    1. Assess the situation

    There isn’t a book or guide that will tell you if it’s the right time, so you’ll have to decide for yourself if it’s time for your child to move to a big kid bed. Most children make the switch between two to four years old. Don’t switch too early or you’ll cause sleep troubles.

    2. Announce the decision

    Before you make the switch, talk about it for several days ahead of time. Give your child some time to anticipate the change and make peace with it in her mind. See if you can get her to look forward to the change. Children of this age should be given encouragement of their big kid status and be given a sense of pride so that they can succeed in their new sleep environment.

    3. Give your child some control

    Don’t surprise your child one day with a bed and a missing crib. You’ll likely be moving too fast. Shop together for a bed. Make a day out of going to the store and trying out the different types. Within reason, let your child make the final decision.

    4. Place the bed in the crib’s spot

    Maintain consistency however you can so you reduce the amount of change you expect your child to tolerate. Put the bed in the same spot so your child sees the same things when she wakes up at night.

    5. Keep the favorites

    If you use any blankets or lovies, or anything like that, make sure they all make the transition to the big kid bed with your child so she can count on their familiarity. Also, for parents using the Slumber Sleeper they can move up in size to a twin sleeper making the bedding environment a very easy transition. Further, this helps children avoid the in and out of the new bed syndrome as they continue to get the reassurance the Slumber Sleeper offered them in the crib, making the transition effortless.

    6. Invest in side rails

    For safety, pick up a side rail attachment for either side of the bed to prevent your child from rolling out. This will also help them feel secure because they have “walls” like before.

    7. Maintain that routine

    You’ve been working on a bedtime routine for a year now, so don’t stop. Keep everything just the way it was (except now you can hop in bed for bedtime stories which you’ll both enjoy).

    8. Be empathetic

    Change is hard, especially for a little mind that’s still racing to understand the world. Don’t dismiss complaints or belittle your child, but don’t break the crib back out either.

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology. Joanna is a Certified Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) Prevention Professionals, Safe Sleep Educator, Member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants, Member of the National Sleep Foundation, and Member of the Canadian Sleep Society.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • How to Make the Transition to One Nap a Day

    Transition to One Nap a DayMany people think the “terrible twos” are a symptom of a poor sleep schedule rather than an unavoidable developmental problem. A toddler’s body and brain want to stay up and explore the world, but they still need their sleep. If they drop naps too quickly, you end up with a perpetually cranky child. This might explain the “trying threes” and “fearsome fours” as well!

    Always remember that a well-rested child is a happy child. It’s easier to put a baby down to sleep when she gets regular, healthy sleep. Keeping her awake doesn’t make her sleep longer at night. By the end of the first year, you’ve likely mastered the two-naps-per-day routine, but your toddler is starting to protest. Here’s how to transition to one nap.

    Don’t rush them out of the two-nap phase

    The nap schedule shouldn’t be about what mom or dad wants or thinks is right, but should be dictated by the child’s biology. Naps at different times serve different purposes. Morning naps help REM (dreaming) sleep, which is important for early brain development. You don’t want to force your child to give up this type of sleep if their body still needs it.

    Your child still needs two naps if…

    • He is under a year old.
    • You put him down and even though he fusses, he still sleeps for more than hour.
    • He easily falls asleep in the car seat or stroller.
    • He is dealing with a life change (sickness, new sibling, new daycare, etc.).
    • He is fussy until bedtime if he misses a nap.
    • Look for the signs
    • Your child’s behavior will let you know that it’s time to adjust the nap schedule. She will behave in one or several of these ways:
    • She’ll play through the morning nap and fall asleep a little sooner for the afternoon nap.
    • She’ll fall asleep later for the morning nap and then play through the afternoon nap.
    • She’ll get cranky and irritated if you put her down when she isn’t tired.
    • She’ll miss a nap accidentally (maybe you’re shopping or something exciting happened), but stays calm through the day and goes to bed easily.

    You have several options

    Before eliminating a nap, consider some other options. You can fiddle with the sleep schedule a bit to find one that works for your child. For example, try keeping two separate sleep times but shortening the duration of both. This can help you through the “two-naps-is-too-much-but-one-nap-isn’t-enough” phase. Just make sure every nap is at least forty-five minutes so a sleep cycle is completed.

    Never try “cold turkey”

    You won’t have a two-nap child one day and a one-nap child the next. Biological changes are gradual and slow-acting. Even if your child has one-napped every day this week, look out for signs of sleepiness and offer a second nap if necessary. You could also spend what would be second nap time doing something still and quiet, like reading books in bed. If your child falls asleep, so be it. Another idea is to move bedtime earlier during the first one-nap days.

    Prepare your day care provider

    Make sure to be open with the day care provider about the changes in schedules. Larger schools often have different classes (or rooms) based on how the children are sleeping. If your child is one-napping at home but still two-napping at school, the schedule may be hectic to manage.

    luxe floor pillowGuest Blog by Cindy Perry, Inventor of the pello, Luxe Floor Pillows

    Cindy, a Texas girl, put herself through college working at a children’s library and sewing at night. When she met her husband and had her two boys, she decided to stay home to care for them while designing window treatments and bedding.

    When Cindy’s first son was learning to sit up, he would always fall through the pillows she set around him, hit his head, and cry. Besides, setting her child down on the hardwood floors on just a blanket always seemed so cold. Using her years of sewing and design skills, Cindy took inspiration from a woman in her breastfeeding class and got to work. With some scrap fabric and a few tweaks, pello was born! pello is a luxefloor pillow that helps children feel safe, warm and protected.

    For more information, visit mypello.com.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • Creating a Bedtime Routine That Works

    creating a bedtime routineJust like you or I, a child can’t switch from moments of high activity to sleep without some transition. To help them get into sleep mode, you should create a predictable routine that you perform just before bed. The sooner you establish a bedtime routine, the happier (and healthier) your whole family will be. Over time, your child will begin to show signs of drowsiness when you begin the routine.

    The details of the routine will change a bit as your child grows, and routines vary between families, but the basics will remain. Here’s how you can set a bedtime routine.

    Pick a Time

    I’m sure you’ve noticed that if you fall asleep at ten one evening, you’re sleepy the next night at the same time. Children are the same. Their bodies adjust to the schedules they keep. Exploit this so they follow a regular pattern and fall asleep without protest.

    Keep it Routine

    Naturally, the most important part of a bedtime routine is consistency. Once you find one that works, stick to it at all costs. Once you set the path, not only do children conform to it, they eventually prefer it. The bedtime procedure should stay the same all through the week, even on weekends. If your family visits Grandma for the holidays, maintain the routine as best you can at her house.

    Provide a Transitional Object

    Separation from you can be hard on many children. It’s helpful to create a transitional object that stands as a substitute for mom or dad when it’s time to go to sleep. This helps them cope with the anxiety of your absence. This object is often a stuffed animal with a personalized name. The Slumber Swan makes for a perfect transitional object.

    Designate a Sleep Environment

    Create a space that welcomes comfort and sleep. Keep distractions out of this room if possible. Play should happen in another room so your child doesn’t subconsciously associate the bedroom with activity and energy. Most importantly, your child should sleep in this place consistently so he or she becomes used to it.

    Popular Bedtime Routine Steps

    Offer a Light Snack – If meal time was a while back, offer something with carbohydrates and protein. The carbs induce sleepiness and the protein maintains blood sugar until the next meal.

    Give a Warning – At a young age, your child won’t understand “ten minutes to bedtime,” but it helps build an association that the day is winding down. This will give them some time to mentally prepare themselves for the change.

    Play Calmly – After-dinner play shouldn’t involve a lot of movement or activity. Play calmly with toys in a seated position. Keep your voice low and the lights dim.

    Give a Warm Bath – By raising your child’s body temperature slightly, you’ll make him or her more prone to sleep. It’s also a way to play in a calm manner. Since you your child can’t crawl or move around much, they won’t excite themselves. (If your baby doesn’t enjoy baths or gets too excited during them, leave this off your routine.)

    Ritual Grooming – Go through the typical end-of-day tasks that anyone else would: brushing teeth and gums, washing hands and face, change of diaper/use potty, etc.

    Dress for Bed – Choose non-binding, comfortable clothes. Let your child choose so they feel a sense of “ownership” over the process.

    Read a Storybook – Stories are the perfect activity just before bedtime because everyone is still, sitting comfortably in bed, and your voice will lull your child to sleep.

    Say Goodnight Briefly – Say goodnight, tell your child you love him or her and then exit the room. Don’t rush back in at the first noise (unless of course you believe you hear distress).

    safe sleep solutionWritten by Joanna von Yurt, Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

    Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

    Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology.

    Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

    Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

    Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

    Interested in writing a guest blog for Swanling? Send your topic idea to pr@swanling.com.

    All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Swanling makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

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