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Spring Sleep Routines

Sleeping toddler

Spring has sprung and with the recent change from Daylight Savings Time, sleep routines can sometimes suffer. The daylight hours are longer, the mornings are darker and getting little ones adjusted to new sleep routines can be challenging. Even as adults we sometimes feel ‘off’ for a few weeks with time changes to our daily routines.

Here are a few tips you can use to help your child adjust to the time change and get into a solid sleep routine:

  1. Slow and steady.  Just because the clock turned ahead an hour doesn’t mean your child will just go to sleep at their usual time. It’s a gradual process. Try implementing new bedtimes in 15 minute increments (this goes for ‘falling back’ an hour, too). It’s not as much of a shock to their system if they’re easing into the new routine.
  2. Lighting logistics. Keep the room as dark as possible in evening to help them adjust to going to sleep when it’s still light outside. Blackout shades or even facing their beds away from light sources like a window can help.
  3. Eliminating Electronics. Make sure – whether it’s adjusting to a new sleep routine or not – you always have your child free of electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime. The glowing light of screens keep kids’ brains active and alert, preventing the natural sleep hormone (melatonin) from indicating it’s time to sleep.

Most of all, have patience. Sleep routines and young children naturally change as they develop. The more frustration they sense from you over their sleep habits, the worse the problem can get. Take care of yourself as much as possible so you’re ready to face each day and each new challenge as it comes!

 

Mom, Is that a Baby in your Belly?

pregnancy © ekseaborn

The excitement of pregnancy is contagious. Everyone loves to hear the joyous news of a new baby on the way. Pregnancy announcements, gender reveal parties and baby showers are great ways for couple to share the news that a new little one is one the way. But what’s best for adults isn’t always necessarily the best for children. News about a new little brother or sister can be overwhelming for some kids. Let’s take a look at some age appropriate ways to let children know their family is growing!

Timing. Most experts recommend waiting until you’re starting the show before announcing the news. It’s hard to a young child to comprehend that their little brother or sister is coming when they don’t see ‘the bump.’ Also, waiting until after the first trimester may mean you’re feeling a bit better. If you’re tired and nauseous, it’s OK to tell your little one you’re not feeling well, but attributing feeling sick to the new baby may make your child feel the baby is hurting Mommy. Plus, waiting a few months gives you a little more time to plan the news!

Talking. When you’re ready to reveal your news to your child, make sure it’s a quiet, relaxed time when both parents are there. Talk about how exciting it was for you to find out you were pregnant with them. Remind them how special they are and how much you love being their parent. If your child is under the age of two, there isn’t too much more to say that they will understand, other than watching your belly grow and knowing the baby is coming. Older children (three and up) may have more questions. Make sure you let them talk about how it makes them feel but also don’t be alarmed if they don’t say much! It will take them time to process the news.

Sharing. As your pregnancy moves along, keep talking to your child and ask them to help you prepare for the baby. Picking out new baby clothes, decorating the nursery or just reading books about new babies are all good ways to get your child involved. Again, depending on their age, they may be excited and want to participate in everything, or, they may seem ambivalent. Both reactions are fine. The important thing to remember is not to force your excitement on your child. Children grow and develop at their own pace and their love for their new siblings will develop in its own time.