Getting Your Kids on the New Time Change Schedule

Getting Your Kids on the New Time Change Schedule

The fall time change is upon us and while a difference of one hour may not sound like much, it can have a surprising impact on your child’s life. As we “fall back” this year, you might want to consider using a few simple techniques to assist your little one in aligning with the clock. This will help to make sure you all continue to get a good sleep at night.

It’s important to recognize that kids don’t adapt to changes in sleep hours as well as adults. They also struggle more greatly when they are deprived of the rest they usually receive. Changing even one hour in a routine can impact your kid’s appetite, attention span, and mood as a whole.

The main advantage to this time of the year is that we gain an hour as we “fall back”, instead of losing one when we “spring forward.” You won’t be dragging yourself – and your kids – out of bed with one less hour of sleep. However, if your kids are already on a sleep schedule, this can mean you have energy-filled children ready to get up and face the world an hour before your alarm goes off in the morning. So much for that bonus hour!

If you want to help to ease your children into a new schedule along with the time change, consider the following helpful tips from Parents magazine:

 

  • Make the changes gradually – Instead of turning the clock ahead by an hour and expecting your child to align with it right away, gradually shift your child’s bedtime and waking time in advance. Give the process at least four nights, if not more.  Push bedtime and waking time ahead by fifteen minutes each night until it matches where it should be on the clock once the time change actually happens. 

    For example, if your child usually goes to bed at 8pm, advance that to 8:15pm on the first night, 8:30pm on the second night, and so on.  Don’t forget to do the same thing for the child’s waking time in the morning. Since the time change, itself, happens over a weekend, the latest bedtime/waking time will be on days off, which means as little interruption as possible to your weekday schedule.
  • Use light to your advantage – Light is one of the most important signals to your waking and sleeping cycle. The same goes for your children.  When light is dim, melatonin (a natural hormone) is produced, encouraging sleepiness and preparation for rest overnight.  Help your child to adapt to the time change by altering the rhythm of his or her light exposure.  As you gradually alter bedtime and waking time, dim lights slightly later at night and turn them on earlier in the morning.
  • Adhere to a set routine – The more closely you stick to a routine, the better your child will adapt to the time change. This isn’t just a matter of set bedtime and waking time – though that is a large part of it. It has to do with the entire process of heading to bed and waking up.  
  • Ahead of going to bed, go through the same process of dimming lights, brushing teeth, washing up, putting on pajamas, or reading a bedtime story. Keep the activities in a similar pattern and at similar times. This will help to create triggers in your child’s mind for winding down and becoming restful and ready for sleep. In the morning, go through the same routine of opening the blinds, getting up, washing up and getting dressed, having breakfast, and so on. This way, your child’s brain will recognize the triggers for becoming energized and active.
  • Be understanding – even when you’ve done everything right, the time change can be challenging for your child. Try to be patient and sympathetic if he or she is moodier than usual. This will be a short-term issue and your support will help your kid to adjust more comfortably.

 

Don’t forget to follow these same habits for yourself, too. Making sure that you alter your own sleep schedule and routine will help you to be well rested and more sympathetic to your child throughout the adjustment. When you sleep well at night, it will help you to keep your calm, even if you’re facing extra tantrums for a few days.

 

Source:

http://www.parents.com/kids/sleep/tips/daylight-saving-time/

November 03, 2016 by Ali Soble

Top Halloween Safety Tips for Parents and Kids

Halloween is one of the most exciting times of the year for kids and parents alike. No other holiday compares in terms of the experience. After all, the Easter bunny brings treats right to you, evenings on July 4 are for fireworks instead of trick-or-treating, we don’t knock on our neighbors’ doors asking for candy on Thanksgiving, and we don’t dress in fun costumes on Christmas.

That said, if you want to make sure Halloween stays unique in a fun way this year, you need to stay safe. Kids can become exceptionally excited, making it easy to forget street-crossing safety or the fact that many of the people they’ll be visiting are indeed strangers. Therefore, it’s important to be especially vigilant as you accompany your kids on their spooky adventures.

The following are some of the top Halloween safety tips recommended by a spectrum of trusted organizations and publications.

 

  • Costume Precautions – ‘Parents’ magazine reminds us to take safety into consideration with costume choices. Non-toxic face paint looks great without the obstructed vision caused by most masks. Pay attention to wigs, helmets, hats and even high collars as they can reduce your child’s peripheral vision. Brightly colored costumes make your child easier to see in the dark. This isn’t just important when crossing the street, as it’s also important for you to be able to keep an eye on your little one as he or she moves in and out of the shadows. Choose only costumes specifically labeled as “flame resistant” since many Jack-o-lanterns are lit with real candles and the sweep of a cape or a baggy pant-leg near a flame could otherwise spell disaster. Don’t forget to add reflective tape and flashlights whenever possible.
  • Check the Loot – The American Academy of Pediatrics reminds us not to let kids snack on their treats while they’re out trick-or-treating. Wait until you get home to check and sort the treats. It is very rare for tampering to occur but every year news reports pop up. It’s far better to be safe than sorry. A responsible adult should give each piece of candy a careful examination.  Anything improperly wrapped, unwrapped, spoiled or simply suspicious should be thrown away.
  • Carve Carefully – KidsHealth provides a list of helpful tips for creating injury-free Jack-o-lanterns. Kids should never be allowed to use knives. Instead, let them use a marker to draw the design onto the pumpkin. Kids also love scooping the “innards” out of the pumpkin with their hands so you can let them do that, too, once you cut the top off. As you carve, keep kids at a safe distance to reduce the risk of accidents. Don’t forget to clean up carefully.  Pumpkin “guts” are slippery. The last thing you want to have happen is a slip and fall. Once your pumpkin is carved and gorgeous, use flame-free battery operated candle.
  • Be Safe Parents – Caring For Kids (a pediatricians info group) recommends that you accompany children on their trick-or-treat adventure until they’re at least 10 years old, but preferably older. Be aware of your children, the people around you, traffic and other factors such as tripping hazards. Remember that your child is very excited so even if he or she is usually great about looking both ways before crossing the street, it may be forgotten while out on a trick-or-treating adventure.
  • Drive Safely – SafeKids.org reminds us all to drive especially safely at this time of year. Take extra time to watch for crossing kids and remember that they may not wait for intersections to dart out.

Have a fun and happy Halloween!

 

 

Sources:

October 02, 2016 by Little Sleepy Head

Pumpkin Art Class

This project is so easy and super fun too! Pumpkins make the perfect canvas to use on the day you are feeling artsy! You can use them to decorate your home or even a fun party table!

 

Glitz & Glam Pumpkin

If you have a white pumpkin, you don’t have to paint it! If you have an orange one, paint it white or whatever color you wish first! Then we used a cut up sponge to dab on Mod Podge where we wanted the glitter circles. Sprinkle on loose glitter and let dry. Make sure you have something under the pumpkin when you do this or you will have a big glitter mess! After it dries, repaint around the circles to make them sharp. Voila! Gorgeous upscale décor!

 

Donut Pumpkin

Depending on what kind of donut you want to paint, either paint the base the donut color, or leave it white or orange. We decided to leave our pumpkin white in this case. We just painted the top on and for sprinkles we used Puff Paint! Almost looks good enough to eat! 

 

Splatter Pumpkin

We had the most fun with this one! We painted our pumpkin black and then just dipped the paint brush into different color paints and kind of threw our hand toward the pumpkin for the paint to splatter! If you use Glow in the Dark paint for the splatters that would look amazing at night too!

 

The ideas are endless! Have fun creating your masterpieces this October!

October 02, 2016 by Little Sleepy Head

How to Make Your Pillowcase Even Softer Than It Already Is

While Little Sleepy Head 100% cotton pillowcases are soft to begin with, many little ones want their bedding to be extra-soft. After all, they have soft skin and want a very snuggly place to get a restful night of sleep.  

Many pillowcase companies use chemicals to “finish” their cotton. This does make it feel softer, but Little Sleepy Head products take a more natural approach. Our pillowcases are meant for children, so the last thing we want to do is add chemicals to the fabrics. We respect the fact that many families avoid using chemical fabric softeners on their children’s bedding due to the substances and fragrances they contain. Therefore, we aren’t about to add similar chemicals to those products even before they make it to your home.

Fortunately, that doesn’t stop Little Sleepy Head pillowcases from becoming luxuriously soft and snuggly. There are lots of natural ways to soften this high quality cotton to make it even more supple than it was when it was first purchased.  

These methods are all simple, affordable, natural, and chemical-free ways to soften the pillowcases without the use of chemical fabric softeners. If that’s the route you’d like to take, consider the following alternative methods:

  • Add between ½ cup to 1 cup of baking soda to the load of laundry (depending on the load size).  Simply sprinkle it into the water as the machine is filling. This not only softens the fabrics but it also eliminates any odors in your laundry and will make your detergent clean more effectively. Or; 
  • Add ½ cup of white vinegar to your laundry during the rinse cycle. This will not leave a vinegar odor on your fabrics. In fact, it will work as an odor eliminator while brightening certain colors, softening fabrics and reducing static cling. Or; 
  • Use soap nuts. These natural little dried berry husks are being sold by a growing number of  companies as a natural laundry detergent. Simply add a few to a little cloth pouch (usually sold along with the soap nuts themselves) and soak the bag in half a cup of hot water as your machine fills. After a minute or two, pour the liquid and the bag itself into the machine and wash you laundry with them as an alternative to detergent and fabric softener.  The soap nuts work as both. nThey clean fabrics and eliminate odors (they are powerful enough to eliminate skunk spray). They also soften sheets, pillowcases and clothing as effectively as chemical fabric softeners, if not better.  Best of all, they can be reused several times before they’re composted.

It’s as simple as that. You’re one natural load of laundry away from a softer and even more snuggly Little Sleepy Head pillowcase.

September 26, 2016 by Ali Soble

6 Tips For Toddler Nap Time



When your toddler doesn’t nap it can be a fast route to crankiness for both you and your child. After all, napping is supposed to be a peaceful time for your son or daughter to recharge. Equally, it provides us mommies and daddies with precious relief from our child’s seemingly endless need to go, go, go.

Even more importantly, though, is that the sleep your toddler receives at nap time is critical to his or her overall physical and mental health. During the first few years, a child’s body is growing at such a rate that added sleep is needed to keep up with cognitive, emotional and physical development.

Of course, just because that’s the case, it doesn’t mean that your toddler will be willing to simply shut off at nap time. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help to encourage sleepiness at nap time.

  1. Stick to a schedule – toddlers are great with a consistent routine. This is true for eating, activities and also sleeping. Keep a schedule to set and maintain your child’s circadian rhythm (sleeping and waking clock). Have a bedtime at night, wake time in the morning, and naptime (start and finish) during the day. Many toddlers nap most easily in the early afternoon.
  2. Wait a while after eating – give your child the chance to burn through the initial burst of energy after eating lunch. Try not to load his or her meals with too many sugars and avoid caffeine altogether.
  3. Create the right environment – if the naptime environment is full of bright light and is highly stimulating, your toddler may find it challenging to calm down and fall asleep. Turn off the lights, use blackout blinds or curtains, and shut off all device screens. If the room isn’t naturally quiet, use a white noise machine or play some gentle, quiet music to help create a steadier and more soothing background sound.
  4. Choose the right pillow and blankets – a Little Sleepy Head Toddler Pillow is just the right size and snuggle level to both soothe your toddler to sleep and to support the head and neck no matter what sleeping position he or she chooses. When it comes to blankets, don’t overdo it. The goal should be to achieve the cooler side of warm. An overheated toddler is far less likely to sleep.
  5. Relax your toddler with a naptime massage – if your toddler is restless, rub his or her back and legs in a slow and gentle motion. This will help to soothe and ease muscles and lull your child to sleep.
  6. Enjoy quiet activities during naptime – make sure everyone in the family, including older children, know that your toddler’s naptime requires quiet in the whole home. Noisy activities will need to wait.

Keep in mind that some naps will be better than others and there will also be times when your toddler simply won’t fall asleep. It happens. At the same time, a half hour of quiet resting will still be helpful to your child and to you for that matter. While the goal is ultimately a sleep time, the occasional wakeful but restful time is perfectly all right. 

September 23, 2016 by Little Sleepy Head

Your Child Sleepwalks - Should You Be Worried?

Sleepwalking can sound terrifying and may appear rather startling when you first see it in your young child. However, this condition, also known as somnambulism, is actually quite common and is typically nothing to worry about. Technically speaking, sleepwalking involves any range of complex activities while your son or daughter is actually in a deep sleep.  It could be a matter of simply sitting up and looking around or it could involve talking or getting up and leaving the room.

Children, particularly younger kids, are much more prone to sleepwalking than adults. It is also something that is much more likely to happen if the child is overtired or sleep deprived.  

According to the National Sleep Foundation, kids between the ages of three and seven years old have a much higher probability of sleepwalking. It is most common among kids with sleep apnea as well as other sleep struggles (such as insomnia, sleep terrors and others), or even those who wet the bed.

Sleepwalking kids are actually sound asleep while they move around and will usually stay that way throughout the entire episode. As this is a time of deep sleep, waking your child may be surprisingly difficult to do and the odds are that your little one won’t remember anything that happened.  

There is a myth that says that waking a sleepwalker could be dangerous. It’s just a misconception. If you want to wake your child during one of these incidents, it won’t cause him or her any harm. In fact, depending on the circumstance, it might make for a safer and calmer experience if you can simply wake your child and bring him or her back to bed.

There isn’t any specific treatment for sleepwalking in children. It is usually something that will correct itself on its own. That said, if you are concerned about the condition, then it’s a good idea to speak with your child’s pediatrician. Be prepared to talk about certain potential sleepwalking triggers such as sleeping habits, fatigue, stress or even medications your child may be taking.

Most children will outgrow sleepwalking, so the goal is to help to reduce the triggers as much as possible and to keep the child safe during the incidents. To start, make sure that exterior doors are locked in a way that your child will be unable to open them.  This will stop your child from sleepwalking outside the home. Keep closets and cupboards locked if they contain potentially dangerous items. Baby gates can be helpful in stopping your sleepwalking child from using the stairs. 

You may also find that you can minimize the number of episodes by encouraging consistent and restful sleep habits.  These can help to improve the quality of sleep, reducing the chance of being overtired and sleep deprived. Consider the following:

  • Keep a set bedtime and waking time every day.  Children sleep most restfully when on a schedule. The same can be said for nap times for children who are still napping.
  • Wind down ahead of bedtime.  For at least an hour ahead of bedtime, all screens (including tablets and cell phones) should be turned off, lights should be kept dim and activities should be calm and soothing. Keeping a routine of bedtime activities (for example, washing hands and faces, brushing teeth and reading a story) can help to train the mind to prepare for sleeping every night.
  • Use the right bedding – a Little Sleepy Head toddler pillow is just the right size and fill for kids and has the perfect level of “snuggle” to be soothing when it’s time to sleep.  Make sure bedding is soft, but not too hot. Being warm but slightly cool is better than being overheated.

 

References: https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/abnormal-sleep-behaviors/sleepwalking/page/0/1

September 20, 2016 by Ali Soble

The Best (Healthy shhh...) Pumpkin Muffins!

For those of us that love pumpkin, we LOVE our pumpkin! But whether you're a mom wanting to give her kids a slightly healthier version, or you just want to eat a little more pumpkin without adding to your waistline this season, these muffins are for you! Super easy and kids can help!!

 

 Makes 16 muffins

 Ingredients:

1 ( 15 oz) can pumpkin

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup of brown sugar

1/2 c. egg whites

1 tsp. vanilla

3/4 c. ( 2%) evaporated milk

2/3 c. whole wheat flour

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 and line with silicone liners or foil liners sprayed with nonstick spray. If you are not using liners, spray your pan with nonstick spray.

Mix the pumpkin with the next 5 ingredients (through the evaporated milk). If you are not opposed to Splenda, you can also substitute the sugars for the same amount of Splenda. 

Combine flour with the next 4 ingredients (through baking soda). Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix until blended and smooth.

Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes and let cool for 20 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 

That's it! You can serve with ice cream, or a dollop of whipped cream (or Fat Free Cool Whip works too!)

September 20, 2016 by Little Sleepy Head

Top 5 Simple Food Hacks for Your Kid’s Lunchbox

1. No More Brown Apple Slices! 

How many kids like apples, but won’t touch them if they are brown? Parents rejoice! Enter Saran Wrap! Slice the apple up either with a knife or an apple slicer and put the puzzle back together around the core. Then wrap in Saran Wrap. It’s that easy! Having the apple against the core and sealed in the Saran Wrap dramatically decreases the browning! Yay!

Apple Sliced    

 2. Sandwich shapes made with cookie cutters!

Is your child taking a sandwich to school, but will not yet eat those pesky crusts? Make it fun with cookie cutters! You can surprise them with several shapes or just one, but they are sure to delight your little one when they open their box. Everyone likes to eat “fun” food! Or you can have them help and freeze them for the morning too. Save the crusts and edges to feed the birds later. 

Kid's Helping   Sandwich Shapes

 3. Hot Chicken Nuggets – What?! Yes!

You do have to buy a Food Thermos for this one, but parents of picky eaters, it’s worth it! Buy one that keeps food hot for at least 5 hours and will fit in the lunch box. All you have to do is heat up the nuggets, put a paper towel in the bottom of the Thermos, and then add the nuggets! The paper towel is key because it helps keep the moisture from making those nuggets soggy. My kids are personally so happy we discovered this one!

4. How to keep those fruits, veges, etc. cool?

You guessed it! An icepack! But not just any ice pack. A juice box ice pack! Just freeze your juice box or Capri Sun type of drink to keep those cold things cool and crisp. It will thaw by lunchtime and saves room in the lunch box as well!

5. Send a love note!

Want to make sure they remember they are loved? Write them notes on the outside of a banana, or write on their napkin. Even a cute sticky note hidden for the older kids is sure to bring a secret smile.

With these super easy lunch box hacks, prepping those lunchtime meals for your kids in school should be more fun and easy too! There is something so special about sending your child to school with surprises in their lunch box, and knowing they are going to be fed because they will actually eat it too!). 

Lunchbox

August 29, 2016 by Little Sleepy Head
Little Sleepy Head Less-Fill Pillows Now Available in Toddler and Youth Sizes

Little Sleepy Head Less-Fill Pillows Now Available in Toddler and Youth Sizes

Little Sleepy Head pillows have been designed to be the perfect shape and size for your kids. Whether your child sleeps on his or her back, front, side or even next to the pillow, Little Sleepy Head pillows are the perfect balance of support and snuggle.

That said, we all have our own perfect level of fluff. Some of us like a fuller pillow than others. To make sure your child will always “love the fluff” in his or her Little Sleepy Head pillow, we’ve added less-fill options to both our toddler and youth sizes. They come with the same guarantee, but a bit less fluff.

Many younger than 2, or smaller children tend to prefer pillows with slightly less fill, as do tummy sleepers. This helps to explain why our less-fill pillows are already highly popular, despite the fact that they’re brand new to our store.

Getting a pillow that is just the right size is as important to your little one as it is for you. At the same time, toddler and youth pillows typically need to be more versatile than their adult-size counterparts. After all, not only do children grow very quickly – which means that pillows need to remain appropriate over a range of child sizes – but they also sleep in a huge range of positions.

Kids are constantly moving around as they sleep. They’ll roll onto their backs, tummies and sides. They’ll sleep on top of their pillows, next to them, or snuggled with them. If there is a way to be in contact with a pillow, your child will find it. The Little Sleepy Head pillow is there to make sure kids are comfortable no matter what.

Many children also become very attached to their pillows. Just like a favorite stuffed animal, the soft and snuggly place where they rest their head is a comforting part of their sleep and naptime routine. Fortunately, Little Sleepy Head less-fill pillows are 100% hypoallergenic, just like the fuller versions. They are also machine washable. Just toss the pillow into the gentle cycle in cold water. Once clean, one can dry the pillow on “low “ in the dryer, making sure to dry thoroughly. A little bit of fluffing up is all that is needed before it is once again ready to cradle your child’s head.

All of our pillows – regular fill and less-fill – are locally made right here in the United States. They have a 200 thread count cover fabric made of beautifully soft 100% cotton. The fill is made from premium polyester cluster fiber. We add just enough to provide your little one with proper head and neck support.

Since Little Sleepy Head pillows are perfect for both home and travel, many parents make sure to buy two at a time – one for home and the other for family visits or preschool naptimes. Don’t forget to pick up a perfect size, soft pillowcase, too. Your little sleepy head will love the fun and playful prints and patterns.

 

August 29, 2016 by Little Sleepy Head

What's Inside a Great School Naptime Kit?

The right amount of sleep goes a long way and now that your child is in preschool (or even some TK & Kindergarten classes), getting enough rest needs a bit of extra planning. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that preschoolers receive 11 to 13 hours of sleep every day. Research has shown that proper rest is vital to their continued development, emotional wellbeing, mood, and the ability to focus and learn.

While consistency can make a tremendous difference, this can seem difficult to achieve now that naptime is happening at preschool and not just at home. A preschool naptime kit can make all the difference in helping your little sleepy head with napping away from home. These kits don’t need to include anything complicated or expensive. In fact, the simpler they are, the better they tend to work.

The goal, according to the Mayo Clinic, is to promote comfort and consistency. That said, it is also important that the contents of the kit suit the regulations of the preschool. It is best to speak with the teachers before bringing your child’s preschool naptime kit into the classroom. Find out what the rules are during naptime. For example, if a child can’t sleep, is he or she allowed to take part in a quiet, solitary activity until naptime is over?

With this in mind, it is possible to create a kit that will support a sense of calm and restfulness that will ideally lead to a pleasant nap.


The right amount of sleep goes a long way and now that your child is in prescho
ol (or even some TK & Kindergarten classes), getting enough rest needs a bit of extra planning. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that preschoolers receive 11 to 13 hours of sleep every day. Research has shown that proper rest is vital to their continued development, emotional wellbeing, mood, and the ability to focus and learn. 

While consistency can make a tremendous difference, this can seem difficult to achieve now that naptime is happening at preschool and not just at home. A preschool naptime kit can make all the difference in helping your little sleepy head with napping away from home. These kits don’t need to include anything complicated or expensive. In fact, the simpler they are, the better they tend to work. 

The goal, according to the Mayo Clinic, is to promote comfort and consistency. That said, it is also important that the contents of the kit suit the regulations of the preschool. It is best to speak with the teachers before bringing your child’s preschool naptime kit into the classroom. Find out what the rules are during naptime. For example, if a child can’t sleep, is he or she allowed to take part in a quiet, solitary activity until naptime is over? With this in mind, it is possible to create a kit that will support a sense of calm and restfulness that will ideally lead to a pleasant nap.

Consider the following for your child’s preschool naptime kit:

  • A toddler pillow and pillowcase – a Little Sleepy Head pillow provides the ideal size and fill for a toddler. These hypoallergenic pillows have pillowcases with fun prints that are appealing to children, but also provide a sense of familiar comfort. The pillowcases and the pillows themselves are fully machine washable and dryable, making them easy to keep clean. The Toddler Pillow is just the right size and offers the perfect amount of snuggle. It is ideal for children regardless of their preferred sleeping position. Many will even simply hold them as a cuddle toy while resting.
  • A blanket – a very soft blanket made from fleece or polyester can give your child a warmer and more snuggly feeling while napping. It can also be used as a comfortable nap mat. Make sure the blanket is a cozy material that can be tossed into the washing machine and dryer. This will make it a breeze to care for.
  • A bag – this should be a bag that can easily hold both the pillow and the blanket, even if they’re stuffed inside instead of being neatly folded and placed within. The purpose is to keep the contents clean and simple to transport. It needs to be something your child will be able to identify as well as open on his or her own.

Depending on the naptime rules at your child’s preschool, other options can include a soft snuggle toy or even a picture book that can be quietly enjoyed if your child isn’t sleepy.

As the naptime routine becomes a regular part of your preschooler’s day, the comfort of the toddler pillow and blanket will become a natural signal to settle down and get some sleep.

 

References: 

August 29, 2016 by Little Sleepy Head