Your child sleepwalks? Should you be worried?

Sleepwalking can sound terrifying and may appear rather startling when you first see it in your young child. However, this condition, also known as somnambulism, is actually quite common and is typically nothing to worry about. Technically speaking, sleepwalking involves any range of complex activities while your son or daughter is actually in a deep sleep.  It could be a matter of simply sitting up and looking around or it could involve talking or getting up and leaving the room.

Children, particularly younger kids, are much more prone to sleepwalking than adults. It is also something that is much more likely to happen if the child is overtired or sleep deprived.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, kids between the ages of three and seven years old have a much higher probability of sleepwalking. It is most common among kids with sleep apnea as well as other sleep struggles (such as insomnia, sleep terrors and others), or even those who wet the bed.

Sleepwalking kids are actually sound asleep while they move around and will usually stay that way throughout the entire episode. As this is a time of deep sleep, waking your child may be surprisingly difficult to do and the odds are that your little one won’t remember anything that happened.

There is a myth that says that waking a sleepwalker could be dangerous. It’s just a misconception. If you want to wake your child during one of these incidents, it won’t cause him or her any harm. In fact, depending on the circumstance, it might make for a safer and calmer experience if you can simply wake your child and bring him or her back to bed.

There isn’t any specific treatment for sleepwalking in children. It is usually something that will correct itself on its own. That said, if you are concerned about the condition, then it’s a good idea to speak with your child’s pediatrician. Be prepared to talk about certain potential sleepwalking triggers such as sleeping habits, fatigue, stress or even medications your child may be taking.

Most children will outgrow sleepwalking, so the goal is to help to reduce the triggers as much as possible and to keep the child safe during the incidents. To start, make sure that exterior doors are locked in a way that your child will be unable to open them.  This will stop your child from sleepwalking outside the home. Keep closets and cupboards locked if they contain potentially dangerous items. Baby gates can be helpful in stopping your sleepwalking child from using the stairs.

You may also find that you can minimize the number of episodes by encouraging consistent and restful sleep habits.  These can help to improve the quality of sleep, reducing the chance of being overtired and sleep deprived. Consider the following:

  • Keep a set bedtime and waking time every day.  Children sleep most restfully when on a schedule. The same can be said for nap times for children who are still napping.
  • Wind down ahead of bedtime.  For at least an hour ahead of bedtime, all screens (including tablets and cell phones) should be turned off, lights should be kept dim and activities should be calm and soothing. Keeping a routine of bedtime activities (for example, washing hands and faces, brushing teeth and reading a story) can help to train the mind to prepare for sleeping every night.
  • Use the right bedding – a Little Sleepy Head toddler pillow is just the right size and fill for kids and has the perfect level of “snuggle” to be soothing when it’s time to sleep.  Make sure bedding is soft, but not too hot. Being warm but slightly cool is better than being overheated.

 

References: https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/abnormal-sleep-behaviors/sleepwalking/page/0/1

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How to Make Your Pillowcase Even Softer Than It Already Is

While Little Sleepy Head 100% cotton pillowcases are soft to begin with, many little ones want their bedding to be extra-soft. After all, they have soft skin and want a very snuggly place to get a restful night of sleep.

Many pillowcase companies use chemicals to “finish” their cotton. This does make it feel softer, but Little Sleepy Head products take a more natural approach. Our pillowcases are meant for children, so the last thing we want to do is add chemicals to the fabrics. We respect the fact that many families avoid using chemical fabric softeners on their children’s bedding due to the substances and fragrances they contain. Therefore, we aren’t about to add similar chemicals to those products even before they make it to your home.

Fortunately, that doesn’t stop Little Sleepy Head pillowcases from becoming luxuriously soft and snuggly. There are lots of natural ways to soften this high quality cotton to make it even more supple than it was when it was first purchased.

These methods are all simple, affordable, natural, and chemical-free ways to soften the pillowcases without the use of chemical fabric softeners. If that’s the route you’d like to take, consider the following alternative methods:

  • Add between ½ cup to 1 cup of baking soda to the load of laundry (depending on the load size).  Simply sprinkle it into the water as the machine is filling. This not only softens the fabrics but it also eliminates any odors in your laundry and will make your detergent clean more effectively. Or;IMG_2550_large
  • Add ½ cup of white vinegar to your laundry during the rinse cycle. This will not leave a vinegar odor on your fabrics. In fact, it will work as an odor eliminator while brightening certain colors, softening fabrics and reducing static cling. Or;
  • Use soap nuts. These natural little dried berry husks are being sold by a growing number of  companies as a natural laundry detergent. Simply add a few to a little cloth pouch (usually sold along with the soap nuts themselves) and soak the bag in half a cup of hot water as your machine fills. After a minute or two, pour the liquid and the bag itself into the machine and wash you laundry with them as an alternative to detergent and fabric softener.  The soap nuts work as both. nThey clean fabrics and eliminate odors (they are powerful enough to eliminate skunk spray). They also soften sheets, pillowcases and clothing as effectively as chemical fabric softeners, if not better.  Best of all, they can be reused several times before they’re composted.

It’s as simple as that. You’re one natural load of laundry away from a softer and even more snuggly Little Sleepy Head pillowcase.

6 Tips For Toddler Nap Time

When your toddler doesn’t nap it can be a fast route to crankiness for both you and your child. After all, napping is supposed to be a peaceful time for your son or daughter to recharge. Equally, it provides us mommies and daddies with precious relief from our child’s seemingly endless need to go, go, go.

Even more importantly, though, is that the sleep your toddler receives at nap time is critical to his or her overall physical and mental health. During the first few years, a child’s body is growing at such a rate that added sleep is needed to keep up with cognitive, emotional and physical development.

Of course, just because that’s the case, it doesn’t mean that your toddler will be willing to simply shut off at nap time. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help to encourage sleepiness at nap time.

  1. Stick to a schedule – toddlers are great with a consistent routine. This is true for eating, activities and also sleeping. Keep a schedule to set and maintain your child’s circadian rhythm (sleeping and waking clock). Have a bedtime at night, wake time in the morning, and naptime (start and finish) during the day. Many toddlers nap most easily in the early afternoon.
  2. Wait a while after eating – give your child the chance to burn through the initial burst of energy after eating lunch. Try not to load his or her meals with too many sugars and avoid caffeine altogether.
  3. Create the right environment – if the naptime environment is full of bright light and is highly stimulating, your toddler may find it challenging to calm down and fall asleep. Turn off the lights, use blackout blinds or curtains, and shut off all device screens. If the room isn’t naturally quiet, use a white noise machine or play some gentle, quiet music to help create a steadier and more soothing background sound.
  4. Choose the right pillow and blankets – a Little Sleepy Head Toddler Pillow is just the right size and snuggle level to both soothe your toddler to sleep and to support the head and neck no matter what sleeping position he or she chooses. When it comes to blankets, don’t overdo it. The goal should be to achieve the cooler side of warm. An overheated toddler is far less likely to sleep.
  5. Relax your toddler with a naptime massage – if your toddler is restless, rub his or her back and legs in a slow and gentle motion. This will help to soothe and ease muscles and lull your child to sleep.
  6. Enjoy quiet activities during naptime – make sure everyone in the family, including older children, know that your toddler’s naptime requires quiet in the whole home. Noisy activities will need to wait.

Keep in mind that some naps will be better than others and there will also be times when your toddler simply won’t fall asleep. It happens. At the same time, a half hour of quiet resting will still be helpful to your child and to you for that matter. While the goal is ultimately a sleep time, the occasional wakeful but restful time is perfectly all right.

What’s Inside a Great School Naptime Kit?

The right amount of sleep goes a long way and now that your child is in preschool (or even some TK & Kindergarten classes), getting enough rest needs a bit of extra planning. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that preschoolers receive 11 to 13 hours of sleep every day. Research has shown that proper rest is vital to their continued development, emotional wellbeing, mood, and the ability to focus and learn.

While consistency can make a tremendous difference, this can seem difficult to achieve now that naptime is happening at preschool and not just at home. A preschool naptime kit can make all the difference in helping your little sleepy head with napping away from home. These kits don’t need to include anything complicated or expensive. In fact, the simpler they are, the better they tend to work.

The goal, according to the Mayo Clinic, is to promote comfort and consistency. That said, it is also important that the contents of the kit suit the regulations of the preschool. It is best to speak with the teachers before bringing your child’s preschool naptime kit into the classroom. Find out what the rules are during naptime. For example, if a child can’t sleep, is he or she allowed to take part in a quiet, solitary activity until naptime is over?

With this in mind, it is possible to create a kit that will support a sense of calm and restfulness that will ideally lead to a pleasant nap.

 

The right amount of sleep goes a long way and now that your child is in prescho
ol (or even some TK & Kindergarten classes), getting enough rest needs a bit of extra planning. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that preschoolers receive 11 to 13 hours of sleep every day. Research has shown that proper rest is vital to their continued development, emotional wellbeing, mood, and the ability to focus and learn.

While consistency can make a tremendous difference, this can seem difficult to achieve now that naptime is happening at preschool and not just at home. A preschool naptime kit can make all the difference in helping your little sleepy head with napping away from home. These kits don’t need to include anything complicated or expensive. In fact, the simpler they are, the better they tend to work.

The goal, according to the Mayo Clinic, is to promote comfort and consistency. That said, it is also important that the contents of the kit suit the regulations of the preschool. It is best to speak with the teachers before bringing your child’s preschool naptime kit into the classroom. Find out what the rules are during naptime. For example, if a child can’t sleep, is he or she allowed to take part in a quiet, solitary activity until naptime is over? With this in mind, it is possible to create a kit that will support a sense of calm and restfulness that will ideally lead to a pleasant nap.

Consider the following for your child’s preschool naptime kit:

  • A toddler pillow and pillowcase – a Little Sleepy Head pillow provides the ideal size and fill for a toddler. These hypoallergenic pillows have pillowcases with fun prints that are appealing to children, but also provide a sense of familiar comfort. The pillowcases and the pillows themselves are fully machine washable and dryable, making them easy to keep clean. The Toddler Pillow is just the right size and offers the perfect amount of snuggle. It is ideal for children regardless of their preferred sleeping position. Many will even simply hold them as a cuddle toy while resting.
  • A blanket – a very soft blanket made from fleece or polyester can give your child a warmer and more snuggly feeling while napping. It can also be used as a comfortable nap mat. Make sure the blanket is a cozy material that can be tossed into the washing machine and dryer. This will make it a breeze to care for.
  • A bag – this should be a bag that can easily hold both the pillow and the blanket, even if they’re stuffed inside instead of being neatly folded and placed within. The purpose is to keep the contents clean and simple to transport. It needs to be something your child will be able to identify as well as open on his or her own.

Depending on the naptime rules at your child’s preschool, other options can include a soft snuggle toy or even a picture book that can be quietly enjoyed if your child isn’t sleepy.

As the naptime routine becomes a regular part of your preschooler’s day, the comfort of the toddler pillow and blanket will become a natural signal to settle down and get some sleep.

 

References: 

Moms! Give Yourself a Day of Love!

Okay ladies, this article is for me as much as it is for you! We moms never have enough time for anything, much less self-pampering! But guess what? We need to treat ourselves sometimes, and what better time than Valentine’s Day (or round about there)! Self-care is something we all NEED!

Call a sitter, drop the kids off with someone you trust, and take that first deep breath of relief! Now, depending on your mood for the day here are some suggestions!

Go back home (as long no one is there!) and go back to bed if that sounds good to you! Or you could take a nice warm bubble bath with music that soothes you or a loooong hot shower…put on a facial mask, take time to shave, and to use that new exfoliation oil that you never have time to try! Or enjoy your favorite beverage while reading a magazine or book you have been trying to find time to enjoy! Anything that just feels “aaahhh.”

If you feel like getting out – schedule a massage, a manicure, a pedicure, a coffee date with a friend (also sans kids!), and/or go shopping and buy yourself at least 1 thing! Something pretty, not something practical! Unless it’s both. 🙂

Go to the movies! No one will care if you enjoy a movie all by yourself! It will feel, well, empowering! And no one will eat all your popcorn or have to go to the bathroom in the middle (unless it’s you of course!).

Another option is to drive to a peaceful place and enjoy the view. It could be the beach, or a lake, or a special spot in nature. Take pictures of things throughout your day that make you happy. If you like to write you could journal or write a letter or the start of your memoir while sipping a latte.

Let these ideas inspire you to make your own list of what would feel good to YOU. Who me? The mom that never takes time to ask herself what she needs? Yes you! If you had a whole day to yourself, make a list of things that sound good to you and then take the time to do some of them!

If it feels funny at first, it’s okay. We are so used to doing what everyone else needs that we forget who we are when we aren’t being needed. Before long you will start to feel refreshed and when you do finally go back and pick up the kiddos, you will vow to do more self-pampering soon. And I recommend that you schedule it, or it will probably get too busy. Ask me how I know. 🙂

Top 10 Ways to Pamper Yourself for Mother’s Day

Let’s face it. Mother’s Day is a wonderful concept. Hopefully, we get one whole day a year that we get celebrated! But is brunch, or a necklace, or flowers what we really need? I think we moms should all take a day (at least) every so often and celebrate ourselves. A little self-pampering. I mean, who knows what we need more than us right? So we asked around to a few moms what they would do if they pampered themselves and the answers were surprisingly similar… and not so out-of-the-box! Which tells me it is just taking the time, oh that sweet blissful word, time… and do something nice… not for the kids, not for the spice, not for a parent or friend, but yes, you guessed it, for YOURSELF!

1. Get a mani-pedi and splurge on the treatments and extras. While they are massaging you, and you think to yourself “I really need to get a real massage,” actually book one! Or, giving yourself a pedi is surprisingly cathartic and feels like “self love.”

2. Take a book to a coffee shop for at least an hour. Buy yourself a drink and enjoy the delicious feeling of playing hooky from all the things you are “supposed” to be doing! Whether you actually read or not, it is really fun!

3. Hide out after the kids are in bed and watch YOUR show. Even if it’s on your tablet or laptop with a headset. Getting the peace of watching what you want can be super relaxing and fun!

4. Take 5 minutes to actually make sure you are breathing. I’m serious. We all forget to breathe! And once you resume those breaths, think of 5 things you are thankful for!

5. Find a time when no one is home (really play hooky if you have to!), pour yourself a glass of wine, grab a book (or aforementioned tv shows), light some candles, and have a bubble bath. Oh my, why don’t we ever do this?!

6. Go shopping. Oh, and actually buy YOURSELF something! And not the cheap version either. Splurge. All of those trips to the discount store add up to 1 not-so-discounted item just for you. Don’t you deserve it? If money is tight, go to those same discount stores and find a GEM… the key is it has to be for YOU!

7. Play a mindless game on your phone. If it stresses you out, or is too challenging, that’s not the game. Solitaire is my favorite.

8. Girls night out (or in)! You don’t have to always be alone to feel pampered! We need our girls too! Put on some heels and hit the town! Or if it suits you better, have a yoga pants, wine, and take out food night at whoever’s house is quietest. Plan to watch one of those fun reality shows that we all pretend we don’t!

9. Sit outside if the weather is nice and watch the birds, the trees, and the clouds. Let yourself daydream a little. Remember when you used to take the time to imagine the clouds were things? Do a little of that!

10. Make your own list, add them into any day, or plan for a whole one. You know if you don’t take care of you, there isn’t enough energy to take care of all the people in your life that you want to! You’re a mom. And a great one at that! Show yourself a little love this mother’s day! We will if you will!

7-Day Spring Cleaning Tips

Spring is right around the corner and we’ve hand-picked some great organizing and cleaning tips for all of you parents out there. Busy schedules make it tough to carve out time, but fear not, we have an easy approach to getting organized! We have started with the essential “clean outs” either for a 7-day calendar or for 7 days over the next few weeks. Don’t overwhelm yourself, keep it simple! A little goes a long way. Play your favorite tunes, set a timer for about 20 minutes, and get to it! Little Sleepy Head will be cleaning with you. We are in this together! Happy Spring!

Day 1: Toss the Artwork (okay, not all of it!)

Let’s start with an easy one. As parents, we want to keep ALL of the artwork our kids make for us (okay, even those little pieces of paper that they write even one scribble on…it’s so cute, right?). At some point, though, we have to pick and choose what to keep and what to part with or we will need an entire room just to store all our art! This is a perfect project to do when your kiddos are in bed and you are watching your favorite show. Get a smallish nice box to keep those pieces that you just can’t part with. For us, those made with hand or feet prints are always keepers. Doodles, maybe not as much. If you aren’t sure, go ahead and take a pic of them and make a virtual art folder. See, you are a great mom or dad. You kept it, just not in paper form! You can do this!

Day 2: Medicine Clean Out!

We all know how cluttered this cabinet/drawer can get with this kind of thing. This is an easy one though. Just check the expiration dates. Good, keep. Expired, don’t keep. Expired over the counter drugs may be thrown away while prescription drugs should be taken to your local pharmacy to be properly disposed of. This is pretty simple, and should make you feel good about you 7 day project.

Day 3: Pantry Organizer

This is another area that you can check for expirations dates! Toss those that are out of date, and then put those that expire first in front. Try to organize your shelves by food type, and put those items you use most often on the easiest shelves to reach. For your smaller items (snacks, seasoning packets, and the like), we love using baskets to organize! Whether you choose plastic bins or actual baskets, you can label them to help others in the house know the contents. One of our favorite ways to label is with mini chalkboards! They are super cute and can change easily when you change your mind about what should be in there!

Day 4: Clothing Re-org

By day 4 you should be feeling like a pro. It’s finally time to tackle something a little more challenging – clothes! But start with your kid’s clothes because it’s so much easier than our own! Make 3 piles. Keep, get rid of, and not sure. If the item fits, is in good condition and your child currently wears it, keep! If they never wear it, it doesn’t fit, or it is stained/torn beyond wearing, get rid of! If you aren’t sure, put these items into a front and center part of the closet and try to put them on your child in the next week. By the end of the week, you should know if it’s a keeper or not! Those cutie holiday items – if they won’t fit next season and aren’t able to be handed down, get rid of them!

The clothes that you decide to part with can either be sold to a consignment store to collect a little extra cash or donated to your local thrift store or homeless shelter!

With all of the keeper clothes, separate them by warmth (long sleeves versus short sleeves; pants versus shorts and so on. (And if you are feeling super motivated, you can keep going in your own closet!)

Day 5: Bathroom Clean up

Doesn’t it feel great to be so accomplished? This one is going to be easy too! Open those bathroom drawers… one at a time. Trash anything that you haven’t touched in 6 months. Don’t keep those old lipsticks or almost used up deodorants. If you haven’t touched them lately, you aren’t going to! Has a dental floss pick fallen out of the bag? Trash. Polish separated? Trash. Have you moved on to a newer toothpaste but the old one is still there? Trash. You get the idea. One drawer and cabinet at a time. Feels so good, doesn’t it? Remember those baskets from the pantry? They work in your bathroom cabinets too!

Day 6: Kids’ Toy Purge

Okay, we all know this can be a hard one. Some of you may think doing this together with your kids is fair, but we are of the opinion that if you want to actually get rid of anything, this one is better done solo. Start easy, by dumping toys that are missing parts and/or don’t work. Would another child want it? Donate. Not really usable? Trash. We like the clothing method here for those things you aren’t sure about. If you haven’t seen them play with the toy in awhile, put it out this week and see how much it gets used. If not much, you might want to help it “disappear.” Make sure to keep toys that are age appropriate or that can be passed on to younger siblings. Bins are a parents best friend with toys that have parts or are for building. If the toys have a place to go, kids will more readily put them away!

Day 7: Clean the Germ Spots

Okay, so you have cleaned out every nook and cranny in our 7-day list, now it’s time to wipe down those grimy areas that might not get washed regularly. You can use your store-bought cleaner, or use this recipe for a “natural” option.

Just mix the following ingredients into a sprayer.

  • •1 cup distilled water
  • •1 cup vinegar
  • •20 drops lemon essential oil
  • •20 drops tea tree essential oil

Use your cleaner to wipe down doorknobs, light switches, and any walls that are attracting extra dirt!

THAT’S IT! YOU DID IT! We knew you could do it. Feels good, doesn’t it?

Happy Spring!

Top 10 Valentine’s Date Ideas – With Your Kids!

While so much attention is on romance and couples for Valentine’s Day, our kids also want our love and attention! No one is more appreciative than kids are when mom and/or dad give them some time just for them! We think any activity where you are focused on your kids will feel special to them, but we put together a list of ideas here for more inspiration!

1. Take them to the park! This may seem hum drum, but instead of talking to other parents, really play with them! Push them on the swing, meet them at the bottom of the slide, chase them around… they will have a wonderful time with you interacting with them. This could even turn into a family bike ride! (And even big kids love to play at the park!)

2. Movie night at home! Make it special – take them with you to buy some popcorn at the store, and pick out their favorite candy. Or lay out a blanket and have pizza on the floor while you watch! Just making the event about them and doing something different makes them feel that it’s special.

3. Take them for ice cream! Who cares if it’s cold or warm? Bundle up and be silly. Let them choose the spot and let them load up on toppings if they want. No cell phones allowed. Just hanging out, talking and sharing making a sugary, cold mess together!

4. Lunch – Kid’s choice! Admit it, we parents usually influence food venues by where we want to go. Let the kids decide today and be into it even if you have to pretend! Same rules go for lunch as for ice cream – no phones allowed. Bonus if it’s a place that gives them toys. 🙂

5. Play games! How many times do our kids say, “Play with me!” and we answer them with “not now,” or “later?” Give them a few hours of your time without distraction and play any game they like, even if it’s not your favorite. 🙂

6. Take them somewhere they have been wanting to go (if they are old enough to tell you!)! Trampoline jumping, ice skating, to the snow, to the beach, miniature golfing, or any other kid’s place that they will enjoy. Try to be involved though, just like in the park example.

7. Make a dream box together! Get a cardboard or shoe box and let them cut out pictures of things they like and glue them to the box. Store kid magazines in the box afterward so they can cut out some more when they feel like being inspired again!

8. Make each other Valentine’s! Crafts never get old to kids. Once they get going you might just end up with several to keep forever.

9. Go on a visual scavenger hunt! Make a list of things to find in nature – bugs, flowers, twigs, birds, mountains, dirt, grass, etc. Check each thing off as you find it and maybe pick up a few twigs or leaves along the way! You could even turn the findings into a craft later!

10. Go to the bookstore or library! Kids love books and the time we spend reading to them or with them is always special. Go hunt down some interesting books, take some home and cozy up to read together.

No matter what you decide to do with your kids, they are going to love being on a date with you! It is a wonderful practice to do anytime, but especially on Valentine’s Day!

 

10 Adventurous Outdoor Family Activities

Children love to play outdoors. Even though the hot, summer days are mostly behind us, fall brings crisp, cool weather that is in some cases even better for outdoor activities! At first it might seem a challenge to figure out what to do in the new temperatures, so we have put together a few family-friendly ideas that all ages can enjoy!

  1.  Feed the animals! Animals love visitors as much as we love to visit! Look into local ponds, lakes, or even animal charity organizations.
  2. Get out and meet the neighbors (or invite them out to play!). Not only is it great for kids to socialize, but they also learn teamwork, sportsmanship, and coordination.
  3. Have a trail? Ride bikes! No trail? Often parks have great areas to ride too, serving as the perfect place to help your little one throw out the training wheels.
  4. Everyone loves scavenger hunts! Whether it’s finding nature items, or setting one up in the backyard with toys or household times, it is something kids of all ages love!
  5. Find a local pumpkin patch! At the very least it is a great place for photos! At some of the larger ones, they often have games, contests, hay to climb, snacks, petting zoos, etc.
  6. Decorate for Halloween or fall! For big kids, carving pumpkins is fun! Or for little ones, they can draw on or use stickers to decorate!
  7. Attend or have a Halloween event! Local businesses often have fun events for everyone!
  8. Go on a picnic and fly a kite! Jump in a pile of leaves!
  9. Borrow activities from a fair or party! Bob for apples, have a pie eating contest, dress up and take photos!
  10. Take a nature walk! You can also add in #4 here too!

Whether you use one idea or several, these tips should help you get outdoors and enjoy the fall weather and fun season with your loved ones!