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In conjunction with National Sleep Awareness Week, March 6–12, 2016, Rady Children’s Health Network, hosted a special blogger event on kids and all things “sleep.” Children’s Physicians Medical Group (CPMG) pediatrician Dr. Adrienne Lostetter laid out some basics to our group of mom bloggers about developing good sleep routines for kids of all ages.

Some important tips she shared:

– Babies and newborns need a lot more sleep than we may think. Establishing a regular schedule of feedings and naptimes will help them regulate their sleep patterns.
– If your toddler suffers separation anxiety at night, put them to bed with a chair in their room. Sit in the chair and reassure them that mommy is right there. Continue this each night, and slowly move the chair to the door, then out the door, continuing reassurance even when you’re gone.
– For teens, whose circadian rhythm is different than younger children, try to encourage them to stick to a similar wake/sleep pattern on the weekends, even though they may want to stay up and sleep in late.

Dr. Rakesh Bhattacharjee, Director of the Sleep Center at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, spoke more in depth about the research behind why we need sleep and how so many other ailments in kids may be linked to poor “sleep hygiene.”

Some things of note:

– Young kids and teens who don’t get enough sleep eat poorly, which makes them at risk for obesity, which can cause sleep apnea. Establishing regular sleep routines very early are key to avoiding these problems.
– The guidelines for how much sleep our kids need have changed. They also include new age brackets; see the guidelines HERE.
– Tablet, TV and cell phone use should be discontinued 1-2 hours before bedtime. The blue light that emits from these devices interferes with the body’s natural sleep cycle. This goes for kids of all ages, not just teens! Instead, reading a calming book before bed or listening to relaxing music can help aid sleep.

Thanks also to our partners Jimbo’s…Naturally! for the fun and interactive demonstration on how to make relaxing sugar scrubs to help our moms wind down at the end of a long day, and to Danielle Simmons of www.simmworksfamily.com, for assisting in bringing our bloggers together and facilitating the evening.

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