Posts Tagged "Sleep"

19Aug2022

Getting your toddler to sit still at the pediatrician’s office is not always easy. When you add in feeling tired or hungry with a toddler who may already feel nervous, you have a recipe for disaster.

The time of your toddler’s appointment can make a huge difference in their experience, so here are several tips for scheduling a pediatric appointment for your toddler.

Avoid Scheduling For Naptime or Mealtime

It is best to avoid scheduling your toddler’s appointment during their nap time or mealtime. Your little one cannot take a full nap or eat lunch in the waiting room, and this could result in a very unhappy toddler. When you schedule their appointment, talk to the receptionist about what times you need to leave open. They may have an opening that fits your toddler’s schedule.

Prepare Your Toddler In Advance

Unfortunately, it is not always possible to schedule an appointment around your toddler’s nap time or mealtime. In this case, it is best to prepare your toddler for the appointment in advance. If your toddler’s appointment is during nap time, you may want to put them to bed earlier the night before to ensure they are well-rested. If their appointment is during lunchtime, it may help to pack a few healthy snacks.

Keep Your Toddler Occupied

Your toddler may be cranky because they are tired or hungry, or they may simply feel nervous about their appointment. It helps to bring their favorite toy or book as a form of comfort. Another idea is to load their favorite television show on your phone or tablet to keep them occupied, but be sure to bring headphones or keep it at a low volume.

Ask About The Less-Busy Days

It never hurts to ask the receptionist about scheduling an appointment on a day that is not as busy. This way, you do not have to worry about your toddler feeling overwhelmed by a packed waiting room. It also makes it possible to get in and out of the appointment quickly because of the shorter wait time. You can also save time by checking in online before the appointment.

Try To Get The First Appointment

You can also ask the receptionist if there are any days with the first appointment available. While you may need to get up earlier than desired for this appointment, you do not have to wait for any patients to be seen before your toddler. This means you can head home by the late morning or early afternoon, which is perfect for avoiding an appointment during nap time and mealtime.

When you are ready to schedule your toddler’s next appointment with the pediatrician, check out Kids 1st Pediatrics. You can learn more about this practice at kids1stpediatrics.net.

17Jan2022

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.

27Apr2020

If you have been a parent for very many years, you certainly know how well your child does with routines. Knowing what to expect helps him remain calm and in control of his emotions. It lets him know what to expect each day and can even decrease temper tantrums and meltdowns. However, did you know that routines and structure can actually soothe your child’s brain?

How Adults Deal with Decisions Differently than Children

The ability that you have as an adult to remain calm in the face of difficulties and to resist certain impulses while retaining a sense of control over your emotions comes from the working of what is known as your external frontal executive network. Your child does not have this inner working yet and will not fully gain control over his impulses until later in his teenage years. Your ability to create a routine can actually soothe your child’s brain and help him make the right decisions when it comes to academics, bedtime, food choices, and much more.

Routines can also help your child stay away from anxiety. Set schedules create important habits, helping children get through certain parts of their days more quickly while ensuring that they complete their tasks well. They may even be able to sleep better and find more enjoyment in the little things of life.

Structure Reduces Anxiety

All routines add structure to the day. They take away the need to make thousands of little decisions and help your child decrease stress by adding predictability to any given situation. When children do not have to expend valuable energy and emotions on smaller decisions, they will feel more in control of themselves when making larger decisions, such as whether they should go over to a friend’s house.

Even if you know very little about executive function, you have surely noted how much better you are able to resist your impulses when compared to your elementary-aged child. By putting routines and daily structures into place, you are providing the firm foundation your child needs to remain in control of his own actions. In turn, you are providing a soothing environment in which your child can grow and thrive. Once your child reaches adulthood, he will be able to put some of these same routines to work for him and will discover that they help to decrease his stress and anxiety at work and in social situations.

17Apr2020

If your family is similar to many others, your children may be going stir-crazy by now. Although the first few days off school may have filled them with joy, days, and weeks away from their friends during the coronavirus pandemic and a limit on the number of activities they can do may leave them feeling more like couch potatoes than ever. Now is the time to inspire your children to get up and find activities that they love. Not only is exercise good for physical health, but also it can significantly improve your children’s mental health during this stressful time.

Improve Strength and Physical Fitness

All kids need stronger bones and muscles. This will help them maintain lean, healthy bodies and will put them on the path to good habits early in life. They will also increase in endurance and be able to run farther and play longer.

Improve Heart and Lung Health

Children who exercise can lower their blood pressure just as adults do. They will also improve their lung capacity.

Improve Sleep

Children who exercise often feel more relaxed. They may be able to get to sleep faster, sleep longer, and have better sleep quality.

Improve Mood

The hormones released during exercise help decrease stress hormones while improving the feel-good hormones that lead to an improved mood.

Boost Confidence

Kids who are more physically fit feel good about themselves because of what they can do. They may have better self-image and be proud of their flexibility, strength, and endurance. This confidence may even translate into improved body image, better test scores, and improved social habits.

While these are the top benefits of exercise for children, you may find that your child can improve in many other areas as well. Now more than ever, it is vital that your children are getting the recommended amount of exercise every day. Do not let fear of coronavirus stop you from letting your children play on their own in the backyard, from taking a family walk or from biking on your quiet street. While you should not be letting your children play with all the other children on your street, you can use this time to bond as a family with special activities. Not only will you be helping your children build healthy habits for their bodies, but also you will be improving their emotional health.

28Mar2020

One of the biggest surprises for many parents is the requirement of tummy time for their infants. In their concerns over breastfeeding, sleep schedules, and developmental milestones, they may forget about the importance of daily time spent on the belly. This practice can actually help your baby develop properly.

What Are the Benefits of Tummy Time?

One of the most important benefits of tummy time is the overall physical strengthening effects for your baby. Your infant will learn how to lift his head and will develop strong muscles in his neck and upper back. In addition, this can lead to an improvement in gross motor skills, which can lead to an earlier development in the areas of rolling over, sitting, and crawling. In addition, getting your baby off his back for at least some of the day can prevent the flat head syndrome.

How Much Tummy Time Should Your Baby Have?

At first, your baby will probably not want to put up with much time on his tummy. In fact, you may find that he can only make it for five minutes or less before he begins crying. You may also find that you need to interact directly with your child for much of the time to keep him content. However, as your child becomes used to this time, you can increase tummy time length each day.

How Can You Get Started with Tummy Time?

It is best to start tummy time as early as possible because your baby will be quite resistant to it the older he is when starting the routine. Tummy time should happen once or twice per day at a minimum. However, as your baby gets used to this time, you may be able to encourage it after diaper changes or upon awakening from a nap.

Consider buying your child a special tummy time mat and pillow, which is perfectly sized for his tiny chest. This will also help him lift his neck and head off the floor to look around and better enjoy himself. You may also be able to use a breastfeeding pillow if you have one. As your child gets older, place age-appropriate toys near him to encourage motor skills and enjoyment.

Tummy time is an important part of every infant’s daily life. If you have further questions about how to get started, check with Kids 1st Pediatrics.