Children and Sleep Habits

Sleep problems are a very common issue among parents. Every child has different sleep habits and needs. In this article we can address a few of those.

Many parents are curious when they should start “sleep training” their child. This is a process of teaching a child to be on their own and asleep after they go to bed. Pediatric doctors suggest starting this process around four to six months of age. If your child is crying and cannot stay asleep it is not bad or dangerous to let them self soothe himself back to sleep. Allowing your child to cry will not affect the bond they have with you in any negative way. Alongside this, in the later hours of the night your child can comfortably go eight hours without food.

As your child gets older they may want to start sleeping with you. The first thing you have to do is decide if you are okay with this. There is nothing wrong with letting your child sleep with you but there are also benefits to having them sleep on their own. If your child is persistent, try a positive re enforcement system. Offer little rewards for each night they sleep alone. Try to talk to your child about this issue before bedtime, when they are not tired and can register what you want from them.

A good bedtime routine is also crucial. Lots of screen time or activity before bed can be bad for your child. To help them fall asleep easily try limiting screen time to one hour before bed. On top of this, more relaxing activities like reading a book or taking a bath are far better for a child before bed than activities like tag or dancing. Your child is allowed to be happy and energetic, but being calm and relaxed before bed ensure that your child is getting the right amount of sleep they need each night.

This leads to When is a good bedtime? When your child wakes up in the morning and how they feel throughout the day will depend on when they go to sleep. Generally 10/14 hours is prefered for younger children. If your child is having trouble staying awake during the day or waking up in the morning, try moving their bedtime forward in 15 minute increments. This will allow your child’s sleep schedule to adapt as well as keep from overwhelming or upsetting them.

Habits

Many of our everyday habits affect our lives in ways we do not even realize. These little habits become so regular to our lives that they become invisible. While many of these habits are harmless, like parking in the same spot or watching the nightly news, some of our routines can be dangerous.

A recent study conducted by Technicians Medical School in Haifa, Israel was interested in the effects of cellphones on men’s health. Most of the world’s population carries their cell phone in their front pocket. When researchers studied 100 men who visited a fertility clinic they found that men who kept their cell phone in their front pocket were at a significantly higher risk of having lower sperm count and being less fertile. Up to 47% of men involved in the study were greatly affected by this simple habit. It was premised that the electromagnetic waves produced by cell phones is what caused the significant decrease in fertility and sperm count. During this study they also found that men are at a higher risk in cases where they slept with their phone nearer to them, rather than on the nightstand or across the room.

A small change in custom can significantly impact your health. By placing your phone in your bag or even your back pocket, you can drastically reduce the impact that it has. Habits as simple as leaving your phone across the room while you sleep can save your health. While addressing little habits like these you are increasing your overall health. As our daily lives progress we develop little habits like these, and many others that are potentially harmful. All it takes to make healthy changes in our lives is the simple realization that something needs to be changed.

Along with habits like where you keep your phone, what other lifestyle changes could you make to benefit your health?

Dental Health-The Early Years

Many parents fight with concerns about their child’s dental health at early ages. There are some pretty common questions, with simple answers.

Parents often wonder what age is best to start taking your child to the dentist. Professionals recommend you begin having your child see a dentist as early as one year old. This allows dentists to begin working with your child’s teeth as soon as possible. This also allows dentists to decide whether or not certain procedures are necessary. Most doctors won’t perform unnecessary procedures on kids, so there’s nothing to worry about. They are even likely to wait till your child is at least two or three before performing any type of X-ray.

Things like braces and other cosmetic dental procedures can be decided on at an early age. Although everyone wants to look nice, it is not suggested that you use any type of at home whitening kit on children. This can be very damaging to their young teeth and even their bodies if a child ingests any type of bleach. Parents should also be careful to monitor their kids while they are brushing, too much toothpaste can lead to ingestion and be harmful to your child. Also make sure they are properly rinsing.

Flossing at a young age is just as important as brushing and rinsing. Not only does flossing form a great habit, but it prevents cavities in children and adults alike. Habits like this are crucial for good hygiene and dental care, but what you eat plays a role as well. Foods that are acidic and high in sugar can easily damage teeth, especially at a young age. Paying attention to what you eat and how you take care of your teeth are simple and easy ways to have a healthy and bright smile!