Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Healthy Sleep Habits for Infants and Toddlers

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As parents we are often faced with decisions for our children. From childcare to sleep habits. We want our children's rooms to be just perfect with all the bells and whistles. One thing we may not think about is SIDS. What is SIDS? According to the Mayo Clinic, SIDS is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old. SIDS is sometimes known as crib death because the infants often die in their cribs. 

With any child 30 months or younger our teachers check the children every 15 minutes, after a child goes to sleep. Our teachers will touch and look at each child to ensure that they are still breathing, after that the teacher will re-set the timer. Although the cause is unknown, it appears that SIDS may be associated with abnormalities in the portion of an infant's brain that controls breathing and arousal from sleep.

Researchers have discovered some factors that may put babies at extra risk. They've also identified some measures you can take to help protect your child from SIDS. Perhaps the most important measure is placing your baby on his or her back to sleep. 
Causes of SIDS can be a combination of a couple of different factors. It could be physical and sleep environment that can make a infant more vulnerable to SIDS. Although, these factors will very from child to child. The Mayo Clinic list for the physical and Sleep environments factors are:

Brain abnormalities. Some infants are born with problems that make them more likely to die of SIDS. In many of these babies, the portion of the brain that controls breathing and arousal from sleep doesn't work properly.
Low birth weight. Premature birth or being part of a multiple birth increases the likelihood that a baby's brain hasn't matured completely, so he or she has less control over such automatic processes as breathing and heart rate.
Respiratory infection. Many infants who died of SIDS had recently had a cold, which may contribute to breathing problems.

Sleep environmental factors could be: 

The items in a baby's crib and his or her sleeping position can combine with a baby's physical problems to increase the risk of SIDS. Examples include:
Sleeping on the stomach or side. Babies who are placed on their stomachs or sides to sleep may have more difficulty breathing than those placed on their backs.
Sleeping on a soft surface. Lying face down on a fluffy comforter or a waterbed can block an infant's airway. Draping a blanket over a baby's head also is risky.
Sleeping with parents. While the risk of SIDS is lowered if an infant sleeps in the same room as his or her parents, the risk increases if the baby sleeps in the same bed — partly because there are more soft surfaces to impair breathing.

Although there is no guaranteed to prevent SIDS there are ways to help your child sleep safely by following these great tips. The Mayo Clinic along with Kids Health have great suggestions to help with safe sleep. 

Back to sleep. Place your baby to sleep resting on his or her back, rather than on the stomach or side. This isn't necessary when your baby's awake or able to roll over both ways without help.

Don't assume that others will place your baby to sleep in the correct position — insist on it. Advise sitters and child care personnel not to use the stomach position to calm an upset baby.
Keep the crib as bare as possible. Use a firm mattress and avoid placing your baby on thick, fluffy padding, such as lambskin or a thick quilt. Don't leave pillows, fluffy toys or stuffed animals in the crib. These may interfere with breathing if your baby's face presses against them.

Don't overheat baby. To keep your baby warm, try a sleep sack or other sleep clothing that doesn't require additional covers. If you use a blanket, make it lightweight.

Tuck the blanket securely into the foot of the mattress, with just enough length to cover your baby's shoulders. Then place your baby in the crib, near the foot, covered loosely with the blanket. Don't cover your baby's head.

Baby should sleep alone. Your baby's sleeping in the same room with you is a great idea, but adult beds aren't safe for infants. A baby can become trapped and suffocate between the headboard slats, the space between the mattress and the bed frame, or the space between the mattress and the wall.

A baby can also suffocate if a sleeping parent accidentally rolls over and covers the baby's nose and mouth.
Breast-feed your baby, if possible. Breast-feeding for at least six months lowers the risk of SIDS.

Avoid baby monitors and other commercial devices that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS. The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages the use of monitors and other devices because of ineffectiveness and safety issues.

Offer a pacifier. Sucking on a pacifier at nap-time and bedtime may reduce the risk of SIDS. One caveat — if you're breast-feeding, wait to offer a pacifier until your baby is 3 to 4 weeks old and you've settled into an effective nursing routine.

If your baby has GERD, be sure to follow your doctor's guidelines on feeding and sleep positions.

While infants can be brought into a parent's bed for nursing or comforting, parents should return them to their cribs or bassinets when they're ready to sleep. It's a good idea to keep the cribs and bassinets in the room where parents' sleep. This has been linked with a lower risk of SIDS

If your baby's not interested in the pacifier, don't force it. Try again another day. If the pacifier falls out of your baby's mouth while he or she is sleeping, don't pop it back in.

For more information about SIDS please visit: 

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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Smiling Faces Will Brighten Your Day!

When your day is busy or you may seem overwhelmed, and you walk into a classroom and you are greeted with hello's, smiles, and sometimes giggles, it will make everything fade. There is something so precious about the laughter of a child, whether young or older. This week we were able to capture some of those sweet smiling faces!    

What's not to love about this picture? This is one of our Nursery One friends and it was her second week with us! She is loving every minute of her new friends and teachers!

One of our Nursery Two friends is enjoying playing with the musical standing toy!

Another Nursery Two friend that is on the move and there is no stopping her!

This sweet Nursery One friend had her first full week of school, and what did she have to say about it? She was all Smiles!

This sweet Transitional friend was enjoying playing with the blocks and the school bus. He would place the block in the bus, and then take it out again.

On Monday's we have music and movement that starts with our Transitional classroom! Their favorite song is "Clap your hands for Jesus". Once you start singing the song most all of the children will clap their hands! They love their music time with Ms. Janelle!

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Saturday, January 2, 2016

A Healthier New Year

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For many a new year comes with new goals. Some may be to get fit, eat better; while others it may be to pay off bills, and get ahead. Most of the times these goals are for the adults and we may or may not think about our children. Why not include them with eating healthier and daily exercise? The NAEYC state that children need to move their bodies and eat healthy foods. Families can promote healthy habits by encouraging children to eat nutritious foods and get some exercise every day. NAEYC has a few suggestions to get your children involved.
*Follow the nutrition guidelines for children under 6. Information on nutritious foods, portion sizes, and sample menus for planning snacks and meals are available free through the USDA.

 *Eat meals together. You’ll know what your child is eating, you can model appropriate choices and portion sizes, and you'll have fun talking and spending time as a family.
Steer your child toward healthier choices at fast food restaurants. Look for salads, sliced apples, baby carrots, and low-fat milk in colorful containers.

*Offer fun, healthy snacks. Ants on a log (celery sticks with peanut butter or cream cheese topped with raisins), sliced fresh fruit on a skewer, or raw vegetables and low-fat yogurt dip are favorites of many young children.

 *Teach your child to listen to his or her stomach. When children do this, they’ll learn to know when they have had enough to eat. It takes 15 to 20 minutes after eating to know if you’re really hungry for seconds.

*Plan a taste-testing event. Family members can taste and vote on new, healthy foods—veggie burgers, baby spinach, turkey hot dogs, whole wheat pasta, kiwis, and the like. Then make the favorites part of your regular menu.

*Give hugs and kisses—not food—for comfort and encouragement. This simple action helps children associate eating healthy foods with taking care of themselves. They are likely to grow up to be adults who avoid using food as a reward or a way to cope with stress.

*Limit your children’s screen time. Instead of watching television or playing on the computer, spend time together—go for a run, kick a ball around, ride bikes (or trikes), or take a nature hike.
*Walk instead of driving to nearby places. Leave the stroller at home. Park a few blocks from the store and walk the rest of the way. Get off the bus a stop or two away from your destination and walk the remainder.

For more information about NAEYC or this article, please visit them at:

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