Child Sleep Issues
-Welcome to Parents TV On Demand. A place for parents to learn, share and develop a healthy family together. Parents TV. Our families, our lives. -Hi. You're watching Sound Sleep Advice on Parents TV. I'm Johanna Buchholtz-Torres, editor-in-chief of Siempre Mujer 12 Meses and Espera. Sleep issues are common in children of all ages from getting your infant to sleep through the night to making sure your teens get enough rest. Joining us today is Dr. Jodi Mindell, associate director of the Sleep Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and a professor of Psychology at St. Joseph's University. Dr. Mindell is also the author of "Sleeping through the Night" and co-author of "Take Charge of your Child's Sleep". -There you go. -Hi, beautiful. -Today, we're going to take a look at some of the problems parents have at bed time and give you some advice on how to improve your child's sleep. Dr. Mindell, how common are sleep problems? -Sleep problems are so common. National Sleep Foundation found that 69 percent of parents report that their child has some kind of sleep problem and more importantly 74 percent-- three out of four parents want to change something about their child's sleep. Now, does that mean you have to live with it? Absolutely, not. Almost every single sleep problem we can solve or improve it greatly. -Now, solving a problem. When is the time to see a doctor? I mean, one way is treating it at home with different ways and strategies. When do you actually reach out to a doctor? -First, put in place all the good sleep habits. Make sure your child is going to bed early. Make sure that they have a good-- sort of good sleep haven in their bedroom. If you still having a problem, your child is not going to sleep, not staying asleep or they're sleepy during the day, you definitely wanna talk to your child's doctor. Another thing, if your child is snoring, especially if they're snoring and having a hard time breathing, make sure you bring it up with your child's doctor. -I have a couple of scenarios. For instance, you have a baby, always the night owl. During the day, perfect little angel sleeps through the day, at night he's up all night, fuzzy and cannot get back to sleep. What does the parent do? -The common scenario especially ran two weeks, four weeks-- right. They're great-- your whole day is wonderful and then in the middle of the night you're up with this baby who just decided that this is time for their daytime. A few things-- first of all, expose them the light in the morning. Get outside, go for a walk, turn on all the lights in your house or your apartment. Okay? Second thing, keep the lights dim at night, right? You wanna have light and wake your child up and dim light keep it 'til they'll sleep. Second thing is move in slow motion during the night. So, don't make it a play time. During the night, you know, just act really calm and utterly boring. If you do those two things usually within about a week your child will flip around so they'll become back to being during the day and at night sleeping better. -Very interesting. It sounds like common sense but sometimes we forget and get frustrated. -And we also forget the biology of it, which is that light-- really governs our internal clocks. Light is what keeps us awake during the day and helps us sleep at night. -All right, now a second scenario for a parent who has an older child, say a 4-year old when bedtime comes, it is a struggle every single night. How does one get the child to finally go to sleep? -All right, a few things-- bed time routine. They're absolutely essential. Three to four things exact same order every night. Three or four year old-- a great thing to do is make a bedtime chart, okay? You can cut out pictures. You can draw. You can write words-- whatever you wanna do, which tells your child exactly what you're gonna do. Most important thing, if you're gonna have reading as part of your bedtime which we highly encourage, show two books. There's no argument about how many books, and then you could say to your child, honey, I would have read you a 3rd book but the chart says only two and it keeps you on track. Last thing, make the last thing of your bedtime routine something your child loves. Okay? So, you're not chasing around the house trying to get the pajamas on. They're gonna want their pajamas on so that they can get to playing with their favorite toy, reading a story, cuddling with them. -All right, so consistency having something that the kids kinda expect every night on a schedule and then, back to the schedule. Now, let's think about a baby-- getting a young one, for instance, a 6-month old or a younger baby on a sleep schedule. How does one achieve that? -So, you wanna set a bedtime. You don't want it to be too late, right? Really good baby bedtime between 7:30 and 8:30. If you keep him up too late, they get fuzzy, have a harder time falling asleep. Second thing is making sure you also wake them in the morning. I have parents who say, she won't go to bed 'til midnight but they let them sleep until 10 in the morning. Get them up at 7:30 or 8, naps around the same time every day. You also want to do feedings, so meals around the same time every day. You do meals and sleep time around the same time. Your child's gonna get on the schedule. It's gonna take a little while. Don't expect miracles in a day. If you stick with it for a week, you'll see a difference. -Now, in an era of technology where kids have the video games. They have all kinds of technology bringing some of that into their bedroom, a TV in the bedroom. How good of an idea is that? -So let me give you some numbers, are you ready for this 43 percent of school-age children have a television in their bedroom. Huge number of teenagers, almost all of them had 97 percent have something in their bedroom, okay? And about 40 percent have four or more things; cellphones, internet, video games-- all those things. We know it causes so many sleep problems leads to less sleep. We gotta get it out of the bedroom. All right, technology is wonderful-- -Sure. -Just make sure it's in the family room, the living room, not where you're sleeping. -Now, is there ever a time when parents should really consider going to the doctor and putting the child on sleep medication? -Well, we rarely use sleep medication. Most of the time, if not gonna help, okay? So, if someone snoring, having breathing problems, it's gonna make it worse. We do also know there's no medications approved for children for sleep, okay. But given that, other times we put children on medication-- sure. Children with severe difficulties like children with autism, some children with ADHD needs some medication to help them sleep, but you wanna try all of the other solutions first before you jump to that. -Very, very starling information. Thank you so much. If you wanna read more about helping your child's sleep, you can check our doctor Mindell's book "Sleeping through the Night" and "Take Charge of your Child's Sleep" Thank you for watching Sound Sleep Advice on Parents TV, your source for the best information for your growing family. -Thank you for watching Parents TV. Our families, our lives.