7 Causes of Night Waking

Causes of Night WakingIt’s a myth that anyone sleeps through the night. We all wake up at one point or another, perhaps to use the bathroom or change positions. In fact, we wake up all the time between our sleep cycles but never truly reach awareness enough to remember it.

Most children are capable of sustained sleep (six to eight hours) by six months old (that isn’t a hard number, every child is different –it’s just an estimate). By a year, most kids should be sleeping entirely through the night. Some children, however, develop a habit of waking up during the night long after they should stop.

Here are some reasons your children wake up at night and how you can help.

1. Fears or separation anxiety – Children who experience anxiety when left alone or away from their parents are more prone to night wakings. It’s important for mom and dad to tackle these fears with the child, rather than ignore them (which can exacerbate the problem).

2. Nightmares or night terrors – Frightening dreams happen during REM sleep. When we wake up soon after experiencing a dream, we are likely to remember it. If your child wake after having a nightmare, it will trigger anxiety and stress, and he’ll call for mom or dad.

3. Learned hunger – Some children become accustomed to feeding during the night so they come to expect it. Their bodies wake up hungry and they seek out breast milk, formula, or if they’re old enough, a solid snack. Make sure he or she has a full belly before going to sleep and help your child learn that calorie consumption happens during the daytime..

4. Poor sleep environment – Children prefer the same types of sleep environments that we do: quiet and dark. Is a TV running? Is there too much noise down the hall? Does your child share the room with someone who doesn’t go to bed at the same time? Any of these can wake your child up. Good white noise sound conditioners can work wonders.

5. Changing sleep associations - If your child is used to falling asleep in a particular manner (perhaps you rub her back, or she uses a pacifier, or she falls asleep in your bed), she might have a hard time falling back to sleep when she wakes up in a different manner. You can fix this by teaching your child to fall asleep on her own in the place you expect her to sleep and sticking to those conditions.

6. Medical disorders – It’s quite possible that a medical condition is keeping your child awake at night. If you notice him coughing himself awake, it could be asthma. If he has belly pain or vomiting, it could be acid reflux. Obstructive sleep apnea is also a possibly in children. Consult your doctor if you suspect any of these issues.

7. Overtiredness – When we allow ourselves to become overtired, we experience restless sleep which is more likely to wake us up in between sleep cycles. Children do not have the ability to settle themselves well, so they struggle to soothe themselves back to sleep. The only cure is more sleep, which is understandably hard.

safe sleep solutionGuest Blog by Joanna von Yurt, Certified Child Sleep Consultant and Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology.

Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Zippyz? Send your topic idea to: media@shopzippyz.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Zippyz makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

The Importance of Sleep for Baby & Kids

Importance of Sleep for Baby & KidsEveryone knows sleep is important. After a long day, your body craves sleep whether you mentally want to or not. In fact, go long enough without it and our bodies would fall asleep on their own.

For children, though, sleep plays an interesting role in their development. It doesn’t just rejuvenate them for another day like you or I. Sleep plays a key role in their growth.

In our bodies, the pituitary gland secrets the Human Growth Hormone, a substance that, quite literally, helps the body grow. Its production is influenced by many factors, such as stress, nutrition and exercise. In growing bodies, however, HGH is affected by sleep.

HGH is most intensely released shortly after children fall into their deep sleep. That means they do the most growing while they are asleep.

That means without proper sleep, a child’s growth can actually be stunted. Improper sleep can consist of keeping a child awake when their bodies want to sleep, or a sleep obstruction problem like sleep apnea.

If a child severely lacks HGH, they can even suffer from lung and heart problems, as these organs may not grow fast enough to keep up with their bodies. It’s unlikely that a lack of sleep could cause this much damage, but little sleep combined with an underlying condition could create a serious problem.

Other hormones can be affected by a lack of sleep as well. Hormones that regulate appetite can be affected, causing your child to overeat or prefer high-calorie foods. Lack of sleep can affect the way a child’s body handles the food it receives by triggering insulin resistance (which is a threat for diabetes).

You can tell your child needs more sleep by evaluating their mood and behavior. If they’re frequently cranky, irritable and lethargic, they might need a few more hours at night or an extra nap during the day. Lack of sleep over a long term can affect your child’s grades in school, their performance in extra-curricular activities, and even make permanent changes to their disposition and personality.

Ensure your child is getting enough sleep by setting a bedtime and nap routine appropriate for their age and adjusting it as you see fit. A consistent routine will help their bodies adjust so they know when sleep is coming. Make sure your child’s sleeping space is conducive to sleep without any distractions.

Most importantly, keep an eye out for signs of sleep deprivation. It does more damage than you think.

safe sleep solutionGuest Blog by Joanna von Yurt, Co-Founder and CEO of Swanling Innovations Inc.

Joanna von Yurt is the mother of three intelligent, sensitive, and compassionate girls (who all want to be mommies when they grow up). She is first AND foremost a mom! Professionally, however, she is an accountant, controller and serial entrepreneur.

Joanna has a degree in Psychology from Harvard University with an emphasis in child psychology. She worked as an infant caregiver for 12 years and interned as a Child Life Specialist, family/social therapist, and assisted in clinical studies involving children’s personality and social psychology.

Joanna has a lifelong passion for childcare and child safety. She enjoys sharing her experiences with other parents about sleep routines, attachment parenting, safe sleep guidelines, and children’s natural sleep patterns. Her company, Swanling Innovations, is committed to producing modern, safe and innovative products that meet the expectations of discerning parents. The Slumber Sleeper™ is a 4-in 1 safe sleep solution (mattress protector, flat sheet, fitted sheet and sleep sack all in one) designed to help keep your baby safe, warm and centered.

Joanna always says that a well-rested child and well-rested parents add up to a happy family!

Visit www.swanling.com for more information.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Zippyz? Send your topic idea to: media@shopzippyz.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Zippyz makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

SIDS Prevention and Safe Swaddling

SIDS prevention and safe swaddling

October is SIDS Awareness Month and parents are encouraged to learn more about the risk factors involved in SIDS and what steps they can take to prevent it. SIDS is defined as the death of an infant, less than 1 year of age that occurs suddenly and unexpectedly and cannot be explained after a thorough investigation is conducted. Scientists have learned a great deal about SIDS over the last years and SIDS cases have decreased drastically, but there are still over 4,000 kids that die unexpectedly each year with no known cause.

The leading theory is that SIDS affects babies with an undetected condition (such as a respiratory or heart vulnerability) combined with an environmental stressor (such as an obstructed airway). Babies born prematurely, have a young mother (under 20 years old), or experience a life-threatening event early in life are at a higher risk for SIDS. There’s no way to prevent SIDS entirely, but you can work to make your baby’s chances of avoiding the syndrome as low as possible.

When parents better understand the risks involved with SIDS, this can help to reduce future infant deaths.  Here are five tips on how to help reduce the risk of SIDS along with how to make sure you are swaddling baby correctly and safely.

1. Always place baby on his back to sleep.

Many studies have found that there is a higher incidence of SIDS among babies who are placed to sleep on their stomachs. It is thought that sleeping on the stomach narrows the baby’s airway and causes difficulty breathing. There is also a possibility that an infant sleeping on his stomach is “rebreathing” his own exhaled carbon dioxide. Baby must be put to sleep on his back throughout the first year of life. Swaddling helps baby sleep on their backs and helps prevent sleep-deprived parents from placing baby on their stomach to sleep.

2. Keep baby’s crib clear of blankets and toys.

You never want to put blankets, comforters, bumpers, stuffed toys or pillows anywhere near the baby while he is sleeping. Baby’s head and face must remain free of any blankets or coverings. If using a blanket, make sure it gets tucked around the mattress but a tight fitted sheet is best. By keeping the crib clear it can prevent rebreathing and suffocation. Bumper pads should also be avoided as they can be a potential risk of suffocation or strangulation.

3. Practice safe swaddling.

Pediatrics study suggests that babies who are swaddled experience a more restful sleep than unswaddled babies and can awaken more easily in response to noise, potentially decreasing the risk of SIDS.

For safe swaddling parents should always:

  • Use a swaddle where baby can have good hip range of motion; swaddling too tightly can cause hip dysplasia.
  • The preferred sleeping position for babies is the “hands over heart” position; use a swaddle that does not pin baby’s arms to the side. Babies (and especially babies with colic) can self-sooth and settle by using their hands and fingers in the natural “hands to heart” position just like babies do in the womb.
  • Use a swaddle that will not unravel- this prevents blankets from becoming lose and covering baby’s face. There are swaddles that do not even require wrapping!
  • Don’t over-swaddle baby or double swaddle- overheating baby is linked to SIDS. The new Woombie Air is the first breathable swaddle that regulates baby’s body temperature by allowing excess heat to escape. (Another tip, use a fan in baby’s room to maintain airflow. Plus, the white noise sound the fan creates will help baby sleep!)
  • When baby begins to roll, it’s no longer safe to swaddle. To transition baby to arms-free sleep, take one arm out of the swaddle at nap time and then when baby is used to it, try it at night time.  Take out the other arm and remove the swaddle completely gradually.

4. Keep baby at a comfortable temperature.

You don’t want baby to get too warm while sleeping so it’s best to keep them somewhere that’s room-temperature and don’t excessively clothe them. It has been suggested that babies who get too warm go into a deeper sleep making it more difficult for them to awaken. KidsHealth.org suggests keep the room at a temperature that feels comfortable for an adult in a short-sleeve shirt.

First Candle, a national nonprofit health organization uniting parents, caregivers and researchers nationwide with government, business and community service groups to advance infant health and survival, says, “When a healthy baby becomes overheated their brain recognizes the problem and attempts to correct it. When a baby predisposed to SIDS overheats, nothing happens to correct the situation.”

5. Place baby on a firm sleep surface.

According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, SIDS is sometimes called “crib death” and while cribs themselves don’t cause SIDS, the baby’s sleep environment can influence sleep-related causes of deaths. It’s important to use a safety-approved, firm mattress covered with a fitted sheet and avoid placing baby on a pillow, waterbed, couch, chair or other soft surface. This can help prevent smothering or suffocation. You can check the safety of your baby’s mattress or crib by contacting the Consumer Product Safety Commission at www.cpsc.gov.

While the exact cause of SIDS remains a mystery, we’re closing in on a solution. The number of SIDS deaths has declined by 50% since 1990, but more work is needed. You can help by donating to the American SIDS Institute and helping us share these tips.

baby swaddleGuest Blog by Karen Barski, BSN, RN, Mother of five, Certified Infant Care Specialist & Instructor, & Inventor of the  Woombie Baby Swaddle

Karen has been an RN for 18 years, and has worked in many different nursing roles. As a Certified Infant Care Specialist, Karen counsels thousands of families yearly on a multitude of issues relating to pregnancy and infancy. Also, as a mother of five, she has invaluable experience and tips to share.

Since 2007, Karen’s company, KB Designs, has invented a line of signature baby swaddle products that have helped parents easily transition their new babies from womb to home. There are multiple designs and sizes so that babies can enjoy the comfort and security of the Woombie up until the time they begin to roll.

Each product has been created and designed by Karen because of a need she identified in her life with her five children. With convenience, safety, and fashion in mind, KB Designs has helped over a half million babies and counting!

For more information, visit www.woombie.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Zippyz? Send your topic idea to: media@shopzippyz.com.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Zippyz makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.