Posts Tagged ‘ sleep ’

Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Baby Sleep in a Car Seat, Swing or Bouncer

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Sleeping infantBabies need between 12 and 16 hours of sleep each day depending on their age. But where they sleep is even more important than how much they sleep—and a new study set to be published in The Journal of Pediatrics found that “sitting devices” like car seats, swings, and bouncers can lead to injury and even death if babies are allowed to sleep in them.

Researchers examined the deaths of 47 young children under the age of 2, all of which occurred while in a device made for sitting or carrying. Two-thirds of the deaths occurred in car seats, while the rest occurred in slings, swings, bouncers, and strollers.

Asphyxiation (positional or strangulation) was the cause of death in 46 cases; 52 percent of the deaths were caused by strangulation from the device’s straps.

Related: How Safe Is Your Baby’s Sleep?

Sleep-related deaths are the number one cause of death in kids between 1 and 12 months old. To avoid injury or death, experts urge parents to never, under any circumstance, leave infants and young children unsupervised—sleeping or awake—while in these devices. They also advise that car seats should only be placed on a firm, stable surface and any buckles should be fastened correctly.

The best place for your baby to sleep is on her back, in a crib that has a firm mattress and is free from any loose bedding. To be sure your baby’s sleep environment is as safe as can be, check out the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Safe sleep guidelines.

Related: Safe Sleep for Your Baby: Watch This!

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Baby Sleep: Get the Facts
Baby Sleep: Get the Facts
Baby Sleep: Get the Facts

Image: Sleeping infant via Shutterstock

Add a Comment

Getting Toddlers to Sleep More Might Increase Better Behavior

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Sleeping babyGetting an adequate amount of sleep is an essential part of our well-being, especially for toddlers who are still growing and developing. Too much sleep can worsen their sleep patterns, and negatively impact weight and intellectual and emotional development.

Now a new long-term study further supports the importance for toddlers to get just the right amount of shut-eye. Researchers found that toddlers who slept less than 10 hours per night (or who woke up frequently) usually had more behavioral and emotional problems by the time they were 5 years old.

Related: Toddler Sleep Solutions to Common Problems

For the study, more than 30,000 mothers filled out questionnaires about their child’s sleep behaviors at three points in their lives: when they were 17 weeks pregnant, when their child was 18-months-old, and when the child turned 5-years-old. A total of 99 behaviors were ranked on a scale from “not true” to “very true.” Mothers also answered how long their children slept per day and how often the children woke up during the night.

Almost 60 percent of toddlers slept for 13 to 14 hours while two percent slept less than 10 hours a night. But the findings were consistent in revealing that toddlers who slept less than 13 hours and woke up more than three times every night struggled with impulse control, emotional instability, anxiety, and depression. Despite the difficult temperament, toddlers may not develop mental health issues later in life.

However, the latest research confirms the importance of getting your toddler into a routine of a healthy sleep schedule – if you’re having problems, don’t hesitate to talk to your child’s pediatrician.

Plus: Sign up for our daily newsletters to keep up with the latest news on child health and development.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Baby Sleep: Get the Facts
Baby Sleep: Get the Facts
Baby Sleep: Get the Facts

Image: Sleeping baby via Shutterstock

Add a Comment

Are Too Many Naps Bad for Your Toddler?

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Sleeping Toddler BoyNaps can benefit babies by boosting their memories, but as your child grows, too many naps may actually worsen sleep patterns.

Researchers in Australia reached this conclusion after analyzing 26 studies focused on the affect of napping on kids’ health and social development. The age range covered in the studies varied from birth to 5 years old.

The researchers also reached the conclusion that poor sleep patterns had a negative impact on weight, cognitive functioning, and emotional health.

“The evidence suggests that beyond the age of 2 years, when cessation of napping becomes more common, daytime sleep is associated with shorter and more disrupted night sleep,” Karen Thorpe, a professor in development science at Queensland University of Technology in Australia, told TODAY Parents.

The latest study isn’t too surprising, as longer naps could make it difficult for kids to fall asleep later and stick to a more regular bedtime routine. And it makes a case for decreasing naps as kids age, especially as toddlers transition from two naps to one.

However, not all scientists are persuaded by the study for a few reasons, reports Live Science. The age range focused in the 26 studies offer too many variables, sleep pattern data supplied by parents may be inaccurate, and there are no other studies that confirm significant differences between day and nightime sleep for kids. Also, kids who nap during the day may have chronic sleep issues that require them to catch up on sleep.

Instead, most experts agree that getting your child on a consistent sleep schedule is more important than worrying about whether your child is napping too much or too often.

Sherry Huang is a Features Editor for Parents.com. She loves collecting children’s picture books and has an undeniable love for cookies of all kinds. Her spirit animal would be Beyoncé Pad Thai. Follow her on Twitter @sherendipitea.

Two-Year-Old Won't Sleep And Expectant Parents Are Anxious
Two-Year-Old Won't Sleep And Expectant Parents Are Anxious
Two-Year-Old Won't Sleep And Expectant Parents Are Anxious

Photo of sleeping toddler boy via Shutterstock

Add a Comment

THIS SleepIQ Smart Bed Can Monitor Kids’ Sleep Patterns

Monday, January 12th, 2015

There is no denying that sleep is one of the most essential parts of anyone’s day, and a majority of parents have difficulty ensuring their child gets enough good sleep. But what if you could tell when and why your child is awake? And keep tabs from the comforts of your own bed?

Sleep Number has fulfilled your wish, unveiling its newest solution for children’s (and parents’) sleeping woes at the CES 2015 Trade Show: the SleepIQ Kids Bed. The smart bed monitors children’s sleep cycles and pinpoints which factors are negatively impacting them, whether it’s diet, stress, or extracurricular activities. “Almost 80 percent [of parents] say sleep impacts their child’s performance in school, and 68 percent say it affects their child’s extracurricular activities,” states the SleepIQ press release.

Here’s how the bed works: it has small hidden sensors that “uses digital-signal capture within the mattress and processing techniques to pick up on motion and pressure,” reports Mashable.com. The sensors are a no-fuss solution that eliminates wristbands and other wearable devices to monitor children’s breathing and heart rates while they’re sleeping. The bed then generates a SleepIQ Sleep Number score every morning that can be anywhere from 1 to 100—of course, the higher the score, the better your child is sleeping. Parents are also able to input details about their child’s day to establish which nights their little one is getting the best sleep. Monthly sleep progress reports are also available to assess sleeping patterns.

The SleepIQ bed even comes with an app that makes it possible for parents to remotely switch off the lights in their kid’s room once it’s bedtime. If the child gets out of bed, lights beneath the bed will begin to glow, and parents will receive an alert that he is on the move. The app even has a monster detector — parents can use it to sweep their smartphone or tablet along the bottom of the bed to make sure no monsters have crawled under.

If you’re at your wits end with bedtime battles, the SleepIQ Kids bed may be the remedy you need. But this particular sleep solution doesn’t come cheap: it starts at $1,000 (twin, full, and queen sizes are available) and won’t be sold until later this year.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Sleep Training Toddlers Who Have Never Slept Through The Night
Sleep Training Toddlers Who Have Never Slept Through The Night
Sleep Training Toddlers Who Have Never Slept Through The Night

Image: Child sleeping on a SleepIQ Kids Bed courtesy of Sleep Number

Add a Comment

Smartphones: The New Reason Why Kids Sleep Less

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Sleeping boy with tabletOnce upon a time, you probably worried that putting a TV in your child’s room might distract him from going to sleep. These days, smartphones — with its portable, easy access — are the new sleep distractions, reports HealthDay.

A new study, which will be published in the February issue of Pediatrics, focused on data about the sleep patterns and smartphone use of more than 2,000 kids in elementary and middle school, specifically the fourth and seventh grades. The results revealed that kids who had smartphones and tablets in the bedroom slept less at night and fell asleep more often during the day.

“We found that both sleeping near a small screen and sleeping in a room with a TV set were related to shorter weekday sleep duration. Children who slept near a small screen, compared to those who did not, were also more likely to feel like they did not get enough sleep,” says Jennifer Falbe, the study’s lead author.

Researchers discovered that kids with electronic devices (but not necessarily TVs) in the bedroom have worse sleep patterns than kids with only TVs in their rooms. Kids with smartphones and tablets went to sleep 37 minutes later than their usual bedtime and slept 21 minutes less per day, versus kids with only TVs in their bedroom went to bed 31 minutes later and slept 18 minutes less per day.

On average, kids should get around 10 hours of sleep at night and a routine, uninterrupted bedtime schedule can ensure good eating habits, healthy brain developments, and positive academic achievements. In an increasingly technical world full of electronic devices, it would be difficult to ban gadgets from the home.

Instead, try following the American Academy of Pediatrics’s media guidelines by having “screen-free” zones at home where no electronic devices (smartphones, tablets, computers, or TVs) are allowed in the bedrooms. And parents should keep establishing rules to curtail the use of electronics to a few hours a day and prevent their presence at the dinner table.

Sherry Huang is a Features Editor for Parents.com who covers baby-related content. She loves collecting children’s picture books and has an undeniable love for cookies of all kinds. Her spirit animal would be Beyoncé Pad Thai. Follow her on Twitter @sherendipitea

How to Choose an Electronic Educational Toy
How to Choose an Electronic Educational Toy
How to Choose an Electronic Educational Toy

Image: Sleeping boy holding a tablet via Shutterstock

Add a Comment