Posts Tagged ‘healthy sleep habits’

As new parents, we all question, “Is that normal what the baby is doing right now while he/she is sleeping?” Usually there is a Mom or Dad there to comfort you or perhaps even a baby nurse that can calm your nerves…or you might be the type to rush to the doctor, only to be relieved that it is all part of a child’s sleeping habits. Here are some baby sleeping habits decoded and hopefully help give you peace of mind. And although you can never really predict a baby’s sleeping habits because all babies are different, there are some rough estimates of what parents can expect.


Head Banging in the Crib
Seeing your baby hit his head against the crib mattress or rails as he’s dozing off can certainly be upsetting. Fortunately, it’s usually normal. According to Parents.com, “Up to 20 percent of children are head-bangers, and boys are much more likely to do it than girls. It typically starts at around 6 months and slows or stops by age 3. The exact reason for head banging is unknown, but experts generally believe that it’s a way to self-soothe.”

“In utero, a fetus is constantly being jostled to and fro, so a baby may be soothed by the rocking motion of head banging,” says Rahil Briggs, Psy.D., a pediatric psychologist at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center, in New York City.  So there’s no need to pad the crib with bumpers or pillows — after all, placing soft items in the crib increases risk of suffocation

Don’t be surprised if your sleeping baby sometimes kicks her legs and punches her arms. She’s not having a nightmare. Babies have a very immature nervous system, and it’s hard for them to control their reflexes and responses to environmental noise and temperature – a.k.a. this means that those unpredictable movements are involuntary and usually harmless.

Although we like to think that only parents snore, babies can produce the sound effect too. Snoring is usually the result of air passing through your little one’s narrow nasal cavity or the back of the throat. The noise may happen because a baby has a cold or because his nasal passage is clogged with milk or baby food — which can get pushed upward when he spits up. Use a suction bulb or saline drops to clear the nose.

Just Remember….
You can help your baby to sleep better and longer by teaching good sleep habits and establishing a good bedtime routine. That means sticking to a regular nightly bedtime and nightly routine—maybe it’s playtime followed by bath time followed by reading a book and cuddling. The baby will get used to the nightly routine and sleep better each night. Every baby has different needs and a different schedule, so don’t expect every baby to fall into these categories. Figure out what works for your baby, and do your best to make sure she’s getting all the sleep she needs—and that you are, too. Sleep when the baby sleeps they say!

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The other night I was thinking about how my boyfriend’s niece loves bedtime stories (especially with voices) and how I used to love bedtime and how my mom would read to me. From Dr. Seuss to Russell Hoban’ s Bread and Jam with Frances the badger to Shel Silverstein poems from Where the Sidewalk Ends. Everyone knows there are benefits to reading to your child at bedtime, but what are those benefits exactly?

A parent who reads to his or her children provides

  • A foundation of intellectual development
  • A calming routine for healthy sleeping habits
  • Encouragement of creative and imaginative thinking
  • Strengthening the bond between a mother or father and child 

Foundation of Intellectual Development
According to Kids Health Organization, “Studies show that kids with active exposure to language have social and educational advantages over their peers — and reading is one of the best exposures to language.”

Storytelling that engages children in an imaginative way or helps them to identify everyday objects will help inspire their curiosity which will in turn enhance their listening skills and language development. Try to speak to your child about the story and provide an open dialogue.  For example, ask questions about the story or replace a character’s name with their name and point and ask about pictures in the book to make them relatable.

Calming Routine for Healthy ZZZZs
Oye veh – trying to calm down a hyper toddler before bedtime can always be a challenge, but reading in a relaxed child’s bedroom can be a good recipe to help wind down his or her energy. Continuously having story time before bedtime each night becomes a healthy routine for the child and parent alike.

Along with special mommy and daddy time to bond, the routine will encourage healthy sleep patterns and will help the child to understand that reading means quality time with his or her parents.

Creative and Imaginative Thinking
A love for books often begins in childhood. When children are encouraged to read, it stimulates their imagination and provides other forms of entertainment that are healthier and more interactive than the tube (aka the television). A parents’ role in literary development should begin early, because aiding their child in the discovery of fun and educational books pave the path for a future full of curiosity and knowledge.

To conclude – “leaders are readers” and developing your child’s reading habit begins at home – you are giving your child one of the best advantages for life for years to come.

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