Posts Tagged "Screens"


Sleep is an integral part of every person’s life – we absolutely can’t function without it. But when kids have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, it can wreak havoc on their daytime routine as well.

Establish a Bedtime Routine

Babies and young toddlers thrive on routine. So when it comes to falling asleep at night, a bedtime routine will help them drift off to sleep quickly and effortlessly. This should include a nighttime feeding (a bottle or sippy cup), bath, diaper change or toileting, a bedtime story, or other calming activity, such as rocking or snuggling, then transitioning to the crib or bed when they are drowsy for “lights off.”

Older toddlers and children benefit from the same type of structured routine, but simply modified for their age. Bath time, teeth brushing, and storytime or reading in bed for a set number of minutes before “lights out” is ideal. This is usually the age where parents may want to put a television in a child’s room – this is usually done with good intentions, but will inevitably lead to insomnia if the child is allowed to watch television in order to fall asleep or gets up in the middle of the night to turn the TV on. TVs provide both visual and sound stimulation, which keeps little brains active!

Limit Visual Stimulation Before Bed

Teens essentially follow the same evening routine as older children, most importantly adhering to the same bedtime each night. Limiting the amount of screen time (tablets and cell phone use included) prior to bedtime will help cut down on the amount of visual stimulation and make falling asleep easier. Also, ensure that your teen has at least an hour of “transition time” before bed each evening after completing homework to rest and unwind – it can be hard for minds to shut down quickly after focusing on homework.

With time and consistency, many sleep troubles can be overcome, leading to much more peaceful nights and pleasant days ahead. Contact your pediatrician if your child still struggles with falling asleep and staying asleep after implementing these bedtime routines.


Nearly any baby book will tell you the importance of keeping your child away from screens until the age of two, but most do not go into much further detail. Decreasing screen time not only can protect your child’s eyesight and increase physical activity but also can decrease the incidence of many mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and poor attention in school. Here is a look at general screen time guidelines, along with steps you can take to decrease your child’s screen time starting today.

Not Letting Technology Take Over Daily Life

While screen time can gradually increase as children grow older, it is best to minimize it as much as possible. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for infants, no more than one hour daily of screen-time for toddlers, and no more than two hours daily for school-age children and teenagers, not including school-related work they must do.

As you may have already found, it can be difficult to get your children off their smartphones and tablets and away from the television when they see you constantly using this technology. However, it is important to look for fun solutions and to model healthy behavior in this area as much as possible. Here are just a few tips for helping your children get away from their screens and back to imaginative play, reading, and other activities that work their bodies and minds.

  • Encourage outdoor activity. Purchase a basketball hoop, or play catch in the backyard.
  • Encourage your children to invite their friends over for a sleepover. Play games instead of watching movies.
  • Have a weekly game night rather than a movie night.
  • Help your children pick up a new hobby. Some good options could include sewing, drawing, or woodworking.
  • Take cooking classes together, and let your child cook dinner or bake a new treat once or twice each week.

We know that you have many questions about how to keep your children as healthy as possible, not only physically but also mentally, emotionally, and socially. At Kids 1st Pediatrics, we are here to help you make sense out of all the recommendations you have already received and to give you tips to help you keep your child happy and healthy all the way into adulthood. Give us a call to schedule your first appointment or a return visit for your child today.