When is it time to move your child into a big bed of their own?

Moving a сhіld from a соt tо a bіg bеd іѕ a bіg ѕtер in thеіr lіfе. It’s a mаjоr mіlеѕtоnе, and the timing of this move can sometimes be tricky.

Yоu ѕhоuld dо іt before уоur сhіld first fаllѕ оut of the соt, but unfortunately thе fіrѕt tіmе уоu find out your child can climb out of the cot is when they’ve already fallen! Keep an eye out for when your сhіld іѕ ѕtаndіng uр in the соt wаіtіng fоr you tо аrrіvе and check if they’re making аttеmрtѕ tо climb out.

Once уоur child dесіdеѕ gеttіng оut оf thе cot on thеіr own іn thе mоrnіng is a major gоаl, it’s seriously time to gеt them іntо a рrореr bеd. Yоu саn make the trаnѕіtіоn саrеfullу using bеd guаrdѕ or rаіlѕ.

These саn hеlр the сhіld stay in bеd whеn аѕlеер but gіvе thе сhіld a рlасе to climb dоwn frоm thе bed оn their оwn. If you don’t hаvе a bеd rаіl, thеn уоu can uѕе pillows оr еvеn tuck them іn with a ѕhееt аѕ thіѕ саn help them ѕtау іn bеd when thеу’rе аѕlеер. If уоu think a сhіld wіll wriggle thеіr way оn to the flооr, thеn уоu соuld рlасе сuѕhіоnѕ оn thе flооr аrоund the bеd. Most children аdарt quісklу tо a proper bed.

There аrе ѕеvеrаl tуреѕ оf bеd guаrd. Thе ѕіmрlеѕt tuсkѕ undеr thе mattress and has a ѕіdе ѕесtіоn. Look fоr full оnеѕ ѕо thе child will not bumр thеmѕеlvеѕ оn іt.

If уоur сhіld dоеѕn’t lіkе thе big bеd, thеn уоu саn try putting thеm bасk іn thе соt wіth the ѕіdе оff. Sоmе соtѕ allow you to do thіѕ аnd іt саn hеlр your сhіld gеt uѕеd to thе freedom оf bеіng able tо get in аnd оut оf bed оn their оwn.

Some реорlе lіkе tо move to a smaller bed first, instead of a regular single-sized bed. There аrе child bеdѕ аvаіlаblе that аrе shaped and thеmеd tо mаkе thеm very арреаlіng tо ѕmаll сhіldrеn. Whо wоuldn’t want a rасіng car bеd, or a рrіnсеѕѕ ѕtуlе оnе? A smaller bеd wіll also usually bе сlоѕеr tо the grоund and mау even hаvе a lір оn іt designed tо ѕtор children rolling out оf bеd. Whichever decision уоu make you ѕhоuld know thаt children adapt quісklу tо thеіr new bеd аnd іf thеу dоn’t, thеn ѕоmе еxtrа bеdtіmе trеаtѕ lіkе аn еxtrа-lоng ѕtоrу can hеlр them gеt used to іt mоrе quісklу.

Remember that a child’s growing body needs a good mattress – not a hand-me down. Have a look at Sealy’s range of single mattresses, to give your child the best possible sleep: Explore Sealy mattresses.

Tips and advice for moving your child to a big bed

Assess fоr rеаdіnеѕѕ

It’ѕ tempting to mоvе a tоddlеr to a big bеd thе minute they turn twо, but mаnу toddlers are not ready until closer tо 3 ½. Tоddlеrѕ can bесоmе very аttасhеd tо thеіr crib and thе associations wіth it (bеіng a bаbу and security). Idеаllу, thе best tіmе tо mаkе the trаnѕіtіоn іѕ whеn уоur сhіld аѕkѕ for it.

Try nоt tо ruѕh thе trаnѕіtіоn bаѕеd оn іnрut from оthеrѕ or external рrеѕѕurе. Tоddlеrѕ do knоw when thеу are ready tо move on. If уоu hаvе a toddler whо ѕlеерѕ wеll in his crib wіthоut muсh соmрlаіnt, don’t make a сhаngе. Try tо аvоіd еxсеѕѕіvе “bіg boy” or “bіg gіrl” tаlk whеn dіѕсuѕѕіng thе tоріс, аѕ this tеndѕ to аdd pressure tо thе ѕіtuаtіоn. Mеntіоn іt, point out beds аnd bеddіng, аnd wait fоr your сhіld tо ѕhоw signs оf rеаdіnеѕѕ.

Plасеmеnt

Cоnѕіѕtеnсу іѕ always еѕѕеntіаl when іntrоduсіng bіg trаnѕіtіоnѕ. Trу tо рlасе thе nеw bеd іn the same рlасе (оr аѕ close tо it аѕ possible) аѕ thе сrіb. Moving еvеrуthіng аrоund саn саuѕе stress fоr some toddlers. Trу to kеер thе room as ѕіmіlаr as possible. **Nоtе: Sоmе tоddlеrѕ like to wаtсh thе сrіb lеаvе thе rооm, but most bесоmе uрѕеt when watching the сrіb lеаvе.

Comfort іtеmѕ

Yes, уоur сhіld рісkеd оut a nісе nеw bеd and fаbulоuѕ nеw bеddіng…but it’s possible thаt hе wіll ѕtіll want hіѕ оld соmfоrt іtеmѕ. Cоvеtеd toddler blаnkеtѕ, loveys, a fаvоrіtе stuffed animal, аnd other соmfоrt іtеmѕ ѕhоuld аll mаkе thе trаnѕіtіоn. The mоѕt іmроrtаnt fасtоr іѕ thаt уоur сhіld fееlѕ ѕаfе and ѕесurе in hіѕ nеw bеd.

Rоutіnе

Thеrе’ѕ nothing lіkе a nеw mіlеѕtоnе tо throw a tоddlеr оff bаlаnсе. Mаkе sure that уоu hаvе a wеll-hоnеd bedtime routine long bеfоrе you mаkе thе сrіb to bed trаnѕіtіоn. Keep thе routine the ѕаmе, rіght dоwn tо thе numbеr of stories rеаd tо the соntіnuоuѕ music оr whіtе noise mасhіnе. Thе оnlу сhаngе should bе thе асtuаl bеd. Mаіntаіnіng consistency еnѕurеѕ safety аnd соmfоrt for your child. Try nоt tо trаvеl untіl уоur child has trulу аdjuѕtеd tо thе nеw bed.

Bооkѕ

Bооkѕ аrе аlwауѕ a gооd idea whеn рrераrіng a сhіld fоr a bіg transition. “Bіg Enоugh fоr a Bеd” (Sеѕаmе Street) bу Aррlе Jоrdаn аnd “Your Bіg Bed” bу Rita Bergstein аrе grеаt books fоr tоddlеrѕ preparing tо mаkе the transition.

Other ideas include getting creative with nеw bеd раrtіеѕ аnd ѕсrарbооkѕ оf thе сrіb days…only you can truly knоw what wіll wоrk fоr уоur сhіld. Lеѕѕ fаnfаrе оftеn wоrkѕ the bеѕt.

How much should the tooth fairy be leaving behind while your child is sleeping?

Losing a first tooth is a remarkable milestone. It is so remarkable in fact that left unchecked it can create a swell of ‘proud parent feelings’ that may result in a very generous but unsustainable contribution from the tooth fairy (or the equally dashing tooth mouse).

Now the problem with leaving a few fat notes next to your sleeping child is that there will be more teeth to come and usually a younger sibling or two will be paying close attention to what the ‘going rate’ is for milk teeth.

Parents are remarkably creative creatures and I have heard rumours of payment being delayed due to the tooth not being clean enough or not presented in an acceptable fashion… although the actual issue may have been a forgetful tooth fairy or a tooth mouse out of change.

Of course the other difficult decision once the money is out the way is what to do with said milk teeth. Do you throw them away in the bin? Or does this classify as medical grade waste? Holding onto these little souvenirs of childhood can be equally cumbersome especially if discovered in your jewelry box by their original owner a few years later.

The good news is that when your child does fall asleep on their Sealy it is highly likely that they will stay asleep while you creep around their room in the dark taking part in one of the most exciting celebrations of a child’s imagination.

However you choose to do it, enjoy it.  For the days are long, but they years are short.

  • For more information regarding when your child may need their own mattress go here.
  • Discover the Sealy Cot Mattress range here

 

Bedtime stories for kids – can good parenting rituals make your kids smarter?

All previous research has suggested that certain ‘good parenting’ practices like reading a bedtime story to your child or having a meal together at a table increases a child’s IQ scores later on in life.

However, a recent study by Florida University has given scientists and parents a bit of grit to chew on.

In the controversial study entitled “A closer look at the role of parenting-related influences on verbal intelligence over the life course: Results from an adoption-based research design (Intelligence, 2014; 46: 179 DOI: 10.1016/j.intell.2014.06.002) the participants studied were all adopted children who had no genetic link to the parents who raised them.

Good parenting practices appeared to make no difference on the children’s long-term IQ scores and Beaver, the lead researcher believes that this data suggests that children inherit their intelligence genetically and not socially as thought.

In previous research, it looks as though parenting is having an effect on child intelligence, but in reality the parents who are more intelligent are doing these things and it is masking the genetic transformation of intelligence to their children,” Beaver said.

In other words, parents with higher IQ scores are more likely to put their children to bed, read them bedtime stories and have evening meals together. These actions are signs of good parenting and will assist with bonding and improved social skills… however they will not make them smarter as measured by an IQ test.

“The way you parent a child is not going to have a detectable effect on their IQ as long as that parenting is within normal bounds,” said Beaver.

The good news is that most parents are raising their children (whether biological or adopted) with the ultimate goal of being a good citizen – someone contributing to the world over a lifetime rather than merely achieving a superior score on an IQ test.

Now don’t we all wish there was a standardised test to measure that?

Did you know: The Sealy® Cot Mattress with low profile pocket system, ensures baby receives gentle cradling comfort from day one!

Does your child need their own mattress?

Whether your child has started out sleeping in their own cot or co-sleeping in your bed, there will come a time when they need their very own ‘big girl’ or ‘big boy’ bed.

Many parents are tempted to buy the cheapest, throw-away mattress available as they predict that their kids will:

  1. Wet their bed
  2. Spill tea/juice/milk on their bed
  3. Jump on their bed
  4. Land up coming through to sleep in their parents’ bed anyway.

These parents are absolutely correct. However, there are a few more things to consider when purchasing your child’s first mattress.

  1. Children grow rapidly

Rapid growth means that children need more and more support the heavier they become. It can also mean growing pains that may be reduced when children have postural support from a high quality mattress.

  1. Sleep is neuro-protective

A good night equals a good day. A good mattress equals good sleep. Sleep enhances your child’s brain development and impacts their ability to learn and cope with everyday life. If you want your child to have the best, deepest sleep possible then you should provide them with the best mattress you can afford.

  1. Others will use your child’s mattress

Playing ‘musical beds’is common when you have one or more young children. In all likelihood, you and your partner will end up sleeping on your child’s mattress from time to time.  Not to mention the guests that may end up using your child’s room over the festive season.

  1. A single mattress may not be the one you want

If you are going to fall asleep with your child or put two children to sleep together then a little more space can mean a lot more sleep for everyone. Choosing a ¾ or double mattress may be a bit more costly but it can make the world of difference to your sleep quantity and quality.

Sealy offers a wide range of mattresses to suit your family’s needs. Have a look at www.sealy.co.za to find your Sealy.

Should School Times Start Later?

The Industrial revolution changed not only when we work (earlier start, longer shifts) but also when we are required to wake up.

Human beings are programmed to follow the sun to bed and wake as the sky lightens. However, for most families, industrialization has meant waking long before sunrise to commute to work.

This shift threw our kids sleep under the bus too. Parents had to get to work earlier, so kids had to get to school earlier too. School used to begin around 9am but has started to shift earlier and earlier over the last 100 years.

Waking up earlier has led to many children and their parents not getting the sleep they require. It is a common phenomenon for young children to be woken between 4am and 5am in order for the family to be where they need to be by 7.30am.

In South Africa, this sleep crisis is felt more severely due to:

  • Our unreliable public transport system
  • The large distances between where we live and where we work
  • Our closest, local schools may not provide optimal education for our children
  • The high rates of unemployment leave many employees fearing that they could lose their job if they ask for a later start time to drop their children off at school

These are real logistical issues, but the question must be asked: Should school start times be set to fit around parents schedules or what the child needs to learn?

Our goal as a society should be to get kids to school ready to learn, not sleep deprived.

What time does your child start school and would you prefer them to start later?

We would love to hear from you.

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The Difference in your Sleep… Discover the new la différence bed by Sealy

Back to school, back to sleep – How to get your kids back into their routine

You may have completed your back to school shopping, but have you gotten your kids back into their routine?

Sleeping well is essential for school performance. Alas, the extra-long school holidays have seen our kids going to bed long after sunset and lying in later than usual.

Children need sleep in order to listen, sit still, concentrate, remember, problem-solve and play nicely. So going to sleep and going to school go hand-in-hand.

The good news is that there is still enough time to get your kids back into routine before school starts.

Follow these 4 steps to make the transition:

  1. Ensure their days are full of physical activity so that they are tired by sunset.
  2. Set an alarm for one hour before your child’s desired bedtime to signal the end of screen time and the start of a bedtime routine.
  3. Re-introduce your family’s bedtime routine within this hour – your child should get through your combination of supper, bathing, brushing their teeth and having their bedtime story within this time.
  4. Set an alarm for the desired wake-up time that you will need on school days – it is important to maintain this even on weekends as brains work best during predictible sleep-wake cycles.

By repeating these steps over the next few days, you are helping to prepare your child’s brain for sleep as well as for school.

Here’s to an easy re-entry into the real world.

Sleep better in your new Sealy!

How to get your kids to sleep better when they’re on Summer holiday

School is out and summer holidays are here! Whether you plan on taking a staycation, or heading off on a family holiday, you may already be dreading the nights that lie ahead of you.

Many adults and children become very anxious when they consider the idea of being ‘out of their sleep routine’ for a few weeks. Most parents’ mental health rests on their young children’s predictable sleep schedule – kids asleep = work day is over.

A recent article in the UK’s telegraph has gathered holiday sleep tips from various experts. Here our own Sealy sleep expert, Roxanne Atkinson, examines their advice and offers her own wise counsel.

Summer holidays are made of dripping ice-creams, squishing sand between your toes and enjoying the warm sun on your back. Well, at least that is how we remember summer holidays from our childhoods.

For parents, summer holidays can bring to the surface an interesting tension-

  1. parents want to make lasting memories with their children; and
  2. parents want a chance to relax and recharge.

The good news is that a change of scenary and lack of tight school and work schedules can offer a chance to bond. The bad news is that if the whole family is struggling to sleep, you are pretty much guaranteed tears and tantrums… and I am not just talking about the parents here!

Follow these five sleep protection principles to give your kids enough Zzzzzz.

  1. Let nature guide their sleep-wake cycle

Encourage your children to rise close to sunrise and sleep close to sunset. Yes, I know you want to sleep in, but this may not be feasible. Get to the beach or hotel pool early and the swimming and sea air should equal an afternoon nap. This is great as it keeps you out of the dangerous midday sun and your children will remain buoyant and bouncy until sunset. No naps? You just won yourself an easy evening. Get dinner sorted early because your kids are bound to fall into bed earlier than usual.

  1. Make their sleep environment comfortable

Summer brings with it high temperatures and plenty of nocturnal insects. Arm yourself with a room fan, mozzie net and/or insect repellant to protect their precious sleep. If you can, request a room with air conditioning and set the room temperature to a temperate 21 degrees celsius.

  1. Recreate their home sleep environment

If you co-sleep at home, co-sleep on holiday. If you use a cot, find a cot for your baby to sleep in that resembles their one at home. If your toddler or child have their own rooms, try and find a way to recreate this. You may need to put up a screen to block them off and recreate their sleep space. Don’t forget to pack your baby monitor (or download a baby monitor app to your smart phone) so that you can rest assured that babe is safe.

  1. Make the most of your evenings away

If you are lucky enough to have a deep sleeper, then you may be able to do some adult evening adventures using your pram or sling. After doing their normal sleep routine, pop them in the pram/sling/car seat and see if you can enjoy a few hours out while your babe is in their first and deepest sleep phase. Could you create a ‘bad habit’? Perhaps, but hopefully the memories last longer.

  1. Use positive sleep associations

Vacation is probably not the best time to try and go without a sleep crutch such as a dummy or favourite stuffed toy. Pack your baby or child’s favourite bear, blankie and bottle… or even better, pack in a spare if you can!

Here’s to great sleep on your family holiday.

Can better sleep mean better grades?

Poor sleep can negatively impact your child’s grades, emotions and overall behaviour. This means you might need to introduce an earlier bed time. Or let your child sleep in. Or invest in a new mattress.

While very little research has looked at the link between sleep and intelligence in children. It is clear that sleep deprivation eats our brains (yes, really!) and that sleep is an important contributor to developing long-term memory, but can better sleep mean better grades?

FACT 1: An intelligent child who is sleep-deprived will get poorer grades

It appears that we all inherit 40-50% of our intelligence. We could call this our baseline intelligence. Certain behaviours will help us maintain or develop this intelligence (like eating nutritious food and getting good sleep), whilst other behaviours will erode this intelligence (not eating well or not getting enough sleep).

If your child is not getting enough sleep, it would impact their visual visual intelligence and problem-solving abilities (think maths, science and design). For more read: The Sleep EEG as a marker of intellectual ability in school-age children.

FACT 2: A child with lower intelligence cannot sleep their way to higher intelligence

While sleep allows your brain an opportunity to heal and restore, it does not ‘create’ intelligence. However, having enough energy to fully embrace learning opportunities during the day will enhance your child’s ability to absorb these learnings and sleep will help cement this learning.

Whatever your child’s IQ may be, help them get the sleep that they need to perform well at school by using a bedtime routine.

Remember also that an uncomfortable bed will impact your child’s sleep just as much as it would yours – so think twice before giving your child your old mattress. Investing in a good bed for your child could mean a happier and calmer child. Visit the Sealy website to view our range of beds: www.sealy.co.za

Not sure if your child is getting enough sleep? Click here for a handy infographic from The Better Sleep Council:

How much sleep does my child need?

Article written by Roxanne Atkinson

Why parents are – AND ALWAYS WILL BE – tired

Say farewell to sleeping through the night –
‘Tis true. Hungry newborns; scared toddlers, ‘I-wet-my-bed’ pre-schoolers and sneaky teenagers ensure that their parents remain sleep-deprived and tired for decades.
And hello to the sniffles-
Yes, parents have a greater chance of getting sick. Blame crèche, blame developing immune systems, blame sleep deprivation, blame those dirty, little hands, blame far too much nose-picking and bum scratching… but you will still be sick A LOT. And no, you will not get a chance to rest. Soldier on sick parent and care for your sick children.
Say goodbye to switching off-
Parenting is about protecting your children- a mammoth task even in a child-proofed home. Parents are required to be hyper-vigilant and scan the child and environment for potential dangers ALL THE TIME. A lapse in attention could see that sweet, mini-marshmallow become lodged in a nasal passage and a trip to ER three days later. There is no quick cup of tea or care-free walk down the lane. Being attentive to present danger is an exhausting job.
And hello to worrying-
Being aware of present real dangers is not enough… parents must plan for possible (and imaginary) dangers too. Packing for a short walk to the park means D-day prepping- mobile phone, mace spray, wetwipes, plasters, change of clothes, snack, drink, much-loved-toy… Once out the door, parents must worry about strange people, strange dogs, bullying, kidnapping and cancerous sunburn. Even parents who are at work are worrying about the day-to-day stuff, like who is fetching, dropping, making supper as well as the bigger stuff, like have we saved enough, sent them to the right school, raised a good human?
Say goodbye to rest-
Resting is not always a viable option when parenting. Plans to go to bed early, take a nap or have a relaxing weekend away are great, but do not always work out that way. Baby-sitters let you down, kids wake up earlier than expected, you get sick, you get a ‘crying-kids’ phone call and poof! Resting time is over.
And hello to chores-
Parenting is chore-laden. When they are little, there is an exponential increase in wiping, picking up, feeding, dishwashing, packing, unpacking, dressing and undressing. Fast forward a few years and delegating these chores to older children does little to alleviate parental fatigue. Supervising tweens and teens to ensure they do-their-bit and become functioning members of society probably takes more energy than doing it yourself.

So be kind to parents, they really are more tired than you would imagine they should be.

Is your child sleeping on a good quality mattress?

A good quality mattress means good quality sleep, and it could mean all the difference between a well-rested child and possible developmental problems associated with being tired and grumpy. Visit the Sealy website to view our selection of beds and mattresses – it will be a good investment and it will give you peace of mind: www.sealy.co.za

Three gentle ways to deal with kids’ bedtime anxiety

A lot of kids don’t like going to sleep. They get scared. They feel worried and they imagine all kinds of scary things. If your child is trying everything to delay bedtime, here are three ways to help them deal with their bedtime anxiety:

 
Happy thoughts
It is incredible how powerful words are. Help your child battle worries with positive affirmations or prayers. They can ‘throw’ the bad thoughts away and then pick some new prettier/stronger ones. Phrases like ‘I can go to sleep’; ‘my family loves me’ or ‘I am safe now’ can help little hearts and minds settle down.

Fantasy play
Children have the most phenomenal imaginations and what better way to fight these fears than with fantasy itself? Give your child a ‘magic torch light’ or a ‘bottle of ‘Monster spray’ to keep with them… just in case.

Comfort toys/pets
A special blankie, teddy or real-life furry friend can make falling asleep in your own bed much easier. When it comes to dogs, cats and bunnies sleeping in your child’s bed, do what works for your family. Oh, and let your child use these strategies as long as they need to… there is no rush to grow up after all.

Read more on this topic:

Do clever kids battle to sleep?

Does a bedtime routine really help kids sleep better?

Solving kids’ sleeping problems