Sleep is So Important for Children: Nail the Bedtime Routine

There are statistics that show that children, all over the world, are getting less sleep than ever before. This is an alarming trend which some devastating consequences. Not being able to concentrate and focus in school is just the tip of the iceberg. Tired children could develop behavioural problems. In addition, family lives become disrupted and parents become distraught and stressed. There are a number of reasons that children aren’t getting enough sleep. Take a look at this post to see what the problems are and how to solve them…

Why Aren’t Children Getting Enough Sleep?

Why aren't children getting enough sleep

 

 

It is recommended that those aged around three years old should have about 11 hours of sleep a night. This drops to 10 hours for ten-year-olds, and nine hours for 15-year-olds. Often children aren’t getting this amount of sleep.

 

Some of the most common reasons for this lack of sleep include poor diets, dependance on technology and parent working longer hours. All of these can contribute to the problem of poor sleep and have to be tackles.

 

How Can We Improve Our Child’s Sleep?

How to improve our children's sleep

 

 

One of the main things to do is switch off all electronics and hour or so before bed. You may think that watching cartoons or playing on an iPad is calming your child down, but it’s not. What technology actually does is keep us awake. Basically, the light that comes from the TV or your smartphone or computer disrupts the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone which is released as the sun goes down. It makes us feel tired. This is part of the problem. The other problem is that children are becoming increasingly ‘addicted’ to technology. It’s difficult for children to switch off both mentally, and literally, from the piece of tech they’re using before bed. When they do tear themselves away their brains are still working overdrive and they haven’t calmed down.

 

Poor diet is another problem. If our children are eating the wrong things before, or too close to bed, they won’t settle. Avoid any sugary foods before bed. This will cause an energy spike and make them restless. Instead, a healthy balanced meal is best. Give your child time to digest before bed. This means they won’t be up during the night needing the toilet.

 

Another way to improve sleep is to focus on the small things. Make sure your child has a bath before bed. Hot soapy water is a great way to relax a child. In addition, it will make distracting them from screen easier. Once they’ve had a bath make sure you have comfortable pajamas for them to slip into. Kids Fendi have some great options which are soft on children’s skin and comfortable. Avoid anything too restrictive. Then read a story or have some quiet time before bed. No overly stimulating play or computer screens. Get your child into this routine so that they know it’s coming up to bedtime.

 

sleep is so important for children: how to nail the bedtime routine

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Freddie is 11 months old

Freddie is 11 months old!  We are officially on coutdown to having a 1 year old!

Freddie is 11 months old

We are now pretty settled in to life with Arthur being at school, Freddie is still having a two hour nap in the mornings but he then has time that’s just me and him!

I’m so happy to have some special one on one time with Freddie.  I feel like I’m getting to know a whole other side to him and it’s really amazing.  He seems to be relishing the mama time too.

One unfortunate side effect of Arthur starting school is the bugs!  Poor Freddie already had a snotty nose once and is now struggling with a cold again.  This time it’s hit him at the same time as a tooth coming through so it’s been a particularly tough time for us all!

This tooth popping through brings him up to 7 pearly whites, 4 up top and 3 on the bottom.  I think number 8 is not so far behind too!

Despite being poorly again, Freddie’s sleep has been much better this month.  He’s back to sleeping through consistently again at night.  Nap times have occasionally been a little disturbed, but if his morning nap has been short then he tends to make it up in his afternoon nap.

Along with great sleep, Freddie is a very impressive eater! This kid seriously loves his food!!  It is unbelievable the amount of food he can put away!

This month we have really noticed Freddie starting to engage and be happy interested in the stories we read at bed time.  I hope he loves stories as much as Arthur does!

Freddie is still the ultimate charmer, and people person.  He loves attention and is not shy of strangers, he is more than happy to give a big smile to anyone he meets!

We are about to head off to the UK and I know he’s going to make his grandparents very very happy!!

Next month our tiny little guy will be 1.  I should probably stop referring to him as tiny, but I’m not quite ready to do that, just yet!!

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Freddie is 9 months old

Our little teeny tiny Freddie is 9 months old!!

Freddie is 9 months old

He really isn’t so teeny tiny any more but its a name that has definitely stuck for him, I’ll probably always call him that now, poor thing!!!

Freddie has well and truly mastered crawling this month, I can’t believe how fast he is! Its definitely making things a lot more challenging, especially when trying to keep an eye on Arthur as well.
He’s starting to cruise around the furniture a little bit now too, although he does still get upset trying to do it sometimes!
I think this month we will see Freddie being able to stand on his own, he’s definitely starting to try it for a couple of seconds here and there.

With Freddie being so keen to get around these days, bumps and bangs are coming thick and fast! We even had to do a trip to hospital after he got a nasty cut just above his eye from faceplanting the step into the shower. He was so very brave, but it looked nasty so wanted to get him checked out. No concussion or anything which was my main concern, but he did have to have a stitch in. Apparently they do not have butterfly stitches here in Seychelles, so it had to be a proper needle and thread stitch….no dissolvable stitches either so we had to go back to have it removed a week later my poor little guy. Seeing him in so much pain as they did it was horrendous; we had to pin him down, looking back on it still makes me feel sick!

Freddie is 9 months old
It has healed up very nicely though, and is already not very obvious which we are really thankful for!

A big thing for our little guy this month is that he is now in his own room. Well, actually we moved rooms and left him where he was, but you know what i mean! I remember when Arthur went into his own room and I had that exact same feeling of worry, sadness and separation. It didn’t take long for it to feel normal though and once I realised that I could definitely hear him when he woke up I was fine!

For me, the biggest thing that has happened this month – totally selfishly, is that Freddie is now sleeping through the night WOHOOOOO!! It’s been about 2 weeks now. I don’t think that its a coincidence that it has come around the time we moved rooms. It was the same with Arthur.
This does also mean that I have now finished breastfeeding. Like with Arthur though I kind of like that it happened like this, it’s been stopped by Freddie not by me!

Freddie has 2 bottles of formula a day now one first thing in the morning and one before bed. He’s eating three meals a day, and he really is eating too! This boy can put a serious amount of food away, its impressive! He’s got 5 teeth now (3 on top two on the bottom) and he’s definitely eating better as a result of it!

He continues to be the happiest little thing, and Arthur is definitely still the one to make him smile the most!  We are getting the 5 o’clock grumps though aka the witching hour!!  As soon as dinner is in front of him though he’s back to being happy again!

 

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Freddie is 8 months old

Freddie is 8 months old!

Freddie is 8 months old

This has been a BIG BIG month for my tiny one!

He has a tooth!!  Woohoo, I was genuinely starting to get concerned that he was never going to get any!!  I had been secretly googling about it like the crazy mama I tend to be with this sort of thing!!  The first tooth to come through was on the bottom the left front one (there’s obviously a proper name for it but I’m sure you know what I mean) the one next to it is on its way as are the top front two!

He has started crawling!!  This is big!  He is getting really good on the bed, he gets up on his knees and makes really quick progress; on the floor he’s not as slick looking but does make progress.  All our floors are tiled so crawling must be easier for him on the bed.

Freddie is starting to pull himself up to standing!  Eeek, my little guy looks far to small to me to be doing this!  He pulled himself up in his cot the other day (of course, I missed him actually doing it I just walked in to see him stood there looking all proud of himself!!) He also pulls himself up holding on to our hands, or clambers up to standing if we are sat with him on the sofa!
He definitely wants to be walking too, he gets around in his baby walker really well and will take steps when we hold his hands.  SCARY!  Arthur started walking at 9-10 months so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised but I’m so not ready for it!!

With both his crawling and his standing he gets himself on such a mission, he is a really determined little guy it’s amazing to watch, I’m not sure where he gets his stubbornness from………!  When he gets done what he wants to do is little face lights up so much, you can see how proud he is that he’s done it!

Another great first for Freddie this month is he had his first holiday, and what a holiday!  We went to silhouette island and stayed at the Hilton Labriz.  It was my 30th birthday present (although that’s not until the 15th!) It was amazing, I’ll write a post all about it soon!  Little Freddie has no idea how lucky he is to have had his first holiday in such an amazing location, he definitely enjoyed it all though, despite the fact he was struggling so much with teething.

Freddie is 8 months old

This month we have also switched almost exclusively to formula.  He was becoming less and less interested in breastfeeding and I was becoming more and more desperate for him to sleep better at night (I am connecting the two as when I switched to formula with Arthur his sleep dramatically improved).  Now I am only feeding Freddie at night and he’s having three bottles of formula during the day.  I had been feeding him on the first feed of the morning up until the middle of last week.  The day I switched that feed to bottle, Freddie woke only once at night and has continued to do so.  I’m hoping it won’t be long until he’s going right through!

Mark is back at work this week so after a nice Easter break its time to get back into proper routine again.  Mark has absolutely loved having more time with Freddie and Freddie has definitely enjoyed getting to spend more time with his Daddy!
Freddie is still loving Arthur, he really does want to be doing what he does, it’s so cute!

With so many changes for this little guy in one month it’s reminded me why I am so happy I have this blog, I love that we will be able to look back on this one say and see how much happened in such a short space of time!

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Freddie is 7 months old

Freddie is 7 months old.

Freddie is 7 months old

So we are officially in the back half of his first year!! The time so far has absolutely flown by and considering it only feels like 5 minutes ago that I had Arthur let alone Freddie I know it will continue to do so.

 

I think Freddie has decided against having any teeth now! I can’t believe he still doesn’t have any! (Arthur had 5 by this point!)

 

Our little guy is getting REALLY strong now. He can sit up no problem and he even stands up holding on to a coffee table or anything he can get hold of! He’s trying to pull himself up by himself too, and I know it won’t be long before he can do it!!

He’s not crawling yet – I think his plan is to skip crawling and just start walking so he can be just like his big brother!! He’s actually not far off this either, he want’s to go and can sometimes shuffle forward a little. He can pull himself all the way around just not really forwards yet! He’s also at that frustrating stage where he just flips over every time he tries to crawl properly. He gets very cross that he can’t do it!

 

Sleep. This month we have been working hard on sleep and for about a week things were looking golden; we had nights where he wasn’t being fed at all but then waking up at 4:30/5:00 to start the day. We then had some great nights where he was just having one feed and getting up around 5:30/6:00.

Freddie is 7 months old.
Then we all of a sudden we seem to have slipped back to 2 night feeds. It’s getting me down, but, I need to be more positive as this is still loads better than last month.

I’ve been comparing sleep to Arthur but I need to stop, as by this time I was in the process of switching to formula for Arthur and stopping breastfeeding completely. I’m not yet decided when I will stop breastfeeding this time around.
Also, with Arthur we had to do some real serious sleep training whereas its not been anything like as stressful with Freddie.

He is still having three naps a day, 1 hour at around 8am, 2 hours at about 11am and 45mins-1hour at about 3pm. Bed time is between 6:30pm and 7pm

 

Weaning is going well. We are now doing lots more baby led weaning and Freddie now gets a little annoyed if I try and get him to eat anything that involves me feeding him! He’s been chowing down on broccoli, carrot, apple, banana, porridge, pasta and homemade bread. I also have been starting him with some meat, I’ve been dicing up some chicken really finely and mixing in a creamy sauce with mash potato and spinach.
Freddie definitely has his eyes on everything we are eating and has pinched a couple of mini cheddars off Arthur here and there! You can’t sneak anything past this boy, he definitely knows if you’re eating something different to him and he wants to be involved!!

 

Freddie is still very much loving the water. They boys often have a cool down splash time together in a day and they have so much fun.  Arthur is still very much the one who Freddie loves the most!!  No one makes him laugh or smile like his big brother!  Its so amazing to watch!

 

I decided while I wrote this to have a little peak at my post for when Arthur was 7 months old.  It was lovely to have a read of it.  They are developmentally so similar, I kind of thought that Arthur was further ahead than Freddie but they really do sound spot on!

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Freddie is 6 months old

Freddie is 6 months old.  Half a year already!

There is not a day that goes by where we don’t fall more in love with this little guy!

Freddie is 6 months old

 

I was certain that by the time I started writing this Freddie would have a tooth or two the amount he has been drooling and biting on things, but he is still our little toothless wonder!!  Teething has been horrible this last month.  We have really seen Freddie struggle with it, its been horrible.  I have to say that its also come as a bit of a shock to me.  That might sound sort of weird but Arthur’s teeth popped out a lot quicker than this and bothered him for a day or two but other than that he wasn’t too bad.  Another part of how different babies can be that we are realising!!

Weaning has now well and truly commenced and this month Freddie has certainly found his appetite!  This boy is absolutely loving his food now.  Initially he wasn’t so sure, but now he is unstoppable!!  He has so far loved everything we have given him.  Mostly he is still having puréed food, but that won’t be for much longer I don’t think.  I wanted to wait for Freddie to be able to sit up by himself before properly starting baby led weaning, he’s pretty much there now.

6 months old. Weaning.

So yes thats another thing, its a pretty big deal really!  Freddie is sitting up!!  Each day he is able to sit up for a little more.  He’s done around a minute or so now.  Its been amazing watching him get better and better at this.  Mark had to go to London for work at the start of this week and he couldn’t really sit up at all and now almost a week later and he’s able to do it so much better!  I took this picture the other day and it kinda sums up this week, Freddie looks so proud of himself sitting up, but at the same time a bit shocked.  He also looks very wobbly, which he was…he toppled over a couple seconds after that picture was taken.  It’s not the best quality picture as it was hurriedly snapped but it’s the first one I have of him sitting up so it will always be special!

6 months old.  Starting to sit up unaided

 

Sleep, its been tough this month I’m not going to lie.  I’m putting it down to teething.  Calpol does help anyway.  I’m not going to dwell on it, because I’m too tired and don’t want to get grumpy!!

Freddie still absolutely loves to be in the water.  Now we have a big showers in our new house he can splash around in the shallow water with lots of room.  Arthur is always there too and they love splashing together.  The swimming pool is also still a big favourite, he seems so comfortable and relaxed in the water.  That makes me so happy!!

I’ve got Freddie’s 6 month check up on Monday, so I’ll write about that another time.  Fingers crossed its all fine.

I can only hope that the next six months will see Freddie continuing to be the happy smiley little one that he has been so far.  I know he will carry on bringing us all so much happiness, far more than he will ever know I’m sure!

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Freddie is 5 months old!

Freddie is 5 months old!

Freddie is 5 months old

 

Freddie is still the happiest baby ever, he is so smiley and so content.
He is properly laughing now and it is amazing!!  Most of Freddie’s laughs go to Arthur, he totally adores his big brother!  Another sure way to get Freddie laughing is giving him kisses and raspberries under his chin!

Thankfully he has been illness free this month!  After last month’s scare we hope he’s not Ill again for quite some time!

We are just starting weaning with Freddie now, I let him have a little taste of the juice from Arthur’s baked beans the other day and he loved it!  It was only a tiny drop on the end of my finger, he wanted more!!  He’s been taking a big interest in food, loves watching Arthur eat!  I really enjoyed weaning Arthur so I’m sure I’ll enjoy it with Freddie just as much!
Freddie’s very first food, the same as Arthur, was a little bit of porridge.  He seemed to really enjoy it, I’m looking forward to trying him on some more exciting things very very soon!

Freddie hasn’t been sleeping so great this month, we’ve started regularly having more than 3 wake ups a night.  I’m really struggling with this as he’s always slept so well. I’ve written a post all about how baby sleep can question everything you know about parenting, and I truly believe that!  Nothing brings out the crazy mama in me like obsessing over sleep for my boys!

This month Freddie has had his first swim in the Ocean, that’s a big first for a little boy!!  He went in with Mark and was really relaxed, he seemed to really like it…..perfect really since his middle name is Ocean, would be a bit awkward if he grows up not to like it!!  It was quite a cloudy day, which is perfect for a beach trip with the boys!

Freddie's first ocean swim at 5 months old
Like his first swim in the pool, we took him out before he got upset.  But honestly I think he would have stayed in all day, he is such a chilled out little guy.

For this next month I’m hoping to get sleep back on track, and to start experimenting with lots of fun foods for Freddie!

 

 

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