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Do you crave junk food when you are sleep-deprived?

Which one do you crave after a night of 4 hours of sleep?

You have a big meeting in the morning and you didn’t sleep a wink or the kids kept you up all night sleep, what do you grab for breakfast?  Doughnuts! Studies show that most people eat and crave unhealthy food when they have had four hours or less of sleep.

In one study, researchers scanned people’s brains while the people looked at pictures of food. The “reward center” in sleep-deprived participants lit up more when they looked at unhealthy foods than at healthy foods, and also lit up more than the reward center of  well-rested people looking at unhealthy foods.

“Our data strongly suggests that if you’re trying to control your weight, being sleep-deprived is not good for you,” said study researcher Marie-Pierre St-Onge of the New York Obesity Researcher Center.  Also in the St. Onge New York study, 25 participants of normal weight spent five nights in a lab, alternating between getting nine hours of sleep, and four hours.   Researchers found that after the nights of only 4 hours of sleep the participants ate 300 calories more on average per day.

In another study, 16 participants were studied after getting a full night sleep and after staying awake for 24 hours straight.  All 16 participants were shown pictures of food and asked to rate their desire for that food.

Sleep-deprived people said they were more interested in the unhealthy foods, and brain scans also showed impaired activity in the frontal lobe and other brain regions associated with complex decision-making.

“When you’re sleep-deprived, you might not make appropriate food choices,” said study researcher Stephanie Greer, a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley. The brain can no longer convince itself that a healthy food is the right choice due to the health benefits, and instead it focuses on taste, the researchers said.

These studies did not record the data on the actual food the participants ate during the study.  However, the studies show that the idea that people would act on their desires for unhealthy food is a “realistic possibility.”

So next time you are reaching for the doughnut in the morning, stop and think…did I get enough sleep?

Do you suffer from not being able to sleep?  What do you do to ensure 7-8 hours of sleep a night?  Are your kids getting enough sleep?  Remember, kids need way more sleep than adults.  Plus, having comfortable pajamas from My Baby Pajamas helps too 🙂

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How to establish a bedtime routine

One of the first things parents what to know when they arrive home from the hospital is: how do I get my baby to sleep through the night? My simple answer to this question is…routine.

Establishing a bedtime routine is the most important gift you can give your child.   They will actually thank you one day for being such a good sleeper, I promise.   If you establish a bedtime routine early in life ( the earlier the better) it will stick with your child forever through their life.

The most important thing to remember when establishing your bedtime routine is repetition.   Do the same thing every night at the same time if you want success.

Here are just a few ideas for a great bedtime routine:

  • start the bedtime routine before your child shows signs of being tired.  Once they are tired, it’s no good.   If under a year old, start their bedtime routine between 6:30 and 7 pm.
  • give your child a warm bath.
  • massage your baby with lotion.
  • put your child in comfy pajamas.  Make sure to dress your child according to the weather.   Footie pajamas are great year around for babies and toddlers.
  • read a book to your child.
  • start your routine the same time every night.   Follow your same routine every night.  So if you start with a bath, pajamas, then book and bed, do that every night in the same order.
  • let your child fall asleep by themselves.   This one is key!  Once they use you to fall asleep, they will always need you to fall asleep.
  • Be patience…routines take time to establish and work.

Once your family has picked a bed time and routine every one needs to be on board for the routine to work.   Good luck to all and I wish everyone success in their bedtime routine.

          Blythe Lipman

Blythe Lipman

My Baby Pajamas would like to welcome Blythe Lipman to the family.   Blythe will be a guest blogger on My Baby Pajamas Blog and has over 25 years experience in the baby and toddler area.  Here is a little about Blythe:

Blythe Lipman is the president of Baby Instructions. She is passionate about babies, toddlers and their parents. After working inthe field for over twenty-five years, she wrote her third award-winning book, HELP! MY BABY CAME WITH OUT INSTRUCTIONS which is available at www.babyinstructions.com, www.mybabypajamas.com, amazon.com and all major bookstores.  You can her Blythe’s weekly radio show on Wednesdays, 11 am EST @ http://www.toginet.com.  She is also available for in-home, video and telephone consultations.

Dear Blythe,

I have a three year old toddler that is cranky and bored. With the temperature in the 100’s, it’s too hot to play outside unless it’s the early morning or at dusk. Some days seem like they go on forever. My creativity feels like it went out with the heat.  All my toddler wants to do is follow me around the house and whine with boredom. I have run out of fun activities to do.  Please help before I tear my hair out!

Signed,

Impatient Jody

Hi Jody,

Toddlers can sometimes frustrate the most patient Mom. Here are some fun ideas that are easy and will put a smile on both your faces!

  • The mall can be a fun adventure. Start your journey at the food court for some breakfast or lunch. Walk down to the Pet Store stopping along the way to window shop. The train in the hobby shop window is especially fun. At the pet store, ask to see one of the puppies and go into the special room to play. Next stop is the indoor playground. Finally finish your outing with ice cream and sprinkles. What fun and a great way to stay out of the heat.
  • Plan a movie date. Either rent a video or go out to the movies.  Let your toddler put together a special snack bag with pretzels, goldfish, raisins and M&M’s and don’t forget to take a bottle of water along and his favorite blanket.
  • Take your toddler to the playground in her special PJ’s from www.mybabypajamas.com first thing in the morning or last thing at night. What could be more fun!
  • Go to the dollar store and buy a spray bottle, some paintbrushes, a watering can and some sponges. Put water in the spray bottle and watering can. Dress your toddler in his bathing suit, take him outside and let him paint the house.
  • Look in your local paper to see if there are any story hours. Barnes and Noble and many libraries have story times during those hot, summer month
  • Crayola has wonderful arts and crafts projects. My favorite is the finger-paints. They come with a special paper so the paint will only color the paper and not your toddler
  • Give your toddler a piece of construction paper, a glue stick and some pasta shapes, yarn, fabric, markers, etc. and let him make a special collage for daddy.
  • Bake cookies with your toddler. The prepared sugar cookie mix is easy and fun to decorate with M & M’s, sprinkles or dried fruit. Put a Popsicle stick in the bottom before baking to make cookie pops.
  • Make special Popsicle treats. Have your toddler put a half a cherry or grape in the bottom of a small paper cup. Using a measuring cup with a spout show him how to fill the cup with fruit juice. Use 1/3 fruit juice to 2/3 water to cut down on sugar. Put a Popsicle stick in the middle and freeze for a couple of hours. This is a good morning activity that will be ready as a special afternoon treat!
  • Make a yogurt “Sundae Bar.” Let him spoon yogurt into an ice cream dish and  mix in some raisins, fresh fruit and cereal. Top it with a little whipped cream and a strawberry and you have a healthy treat!
  • Plan a special indoor picnic. Prepare the feast together. Use a cookie cutter to make shapes with the bread for your sandwiches. peanut butter and jelly( if there are no peanut allergies), cheese, tuna, etc. Serve with carrot disks, celery sticks and cucumber rounds. Make a dip using plain yogurt or ranch dressing. Add an orange slice or strawberry and straw to his water for a special treat.  Spread a blanket out on the floor and enjoy your indoor adventure.
  • Hire a high school student one morning a week. Save a special activity for that time each week that only they do together! It might be arts and crafts or even a cooking activity

Toddlers love to try anything new. Planning ahead is the key to lots of fun adventures and a great summer days! Enjoy and stay cool!

Blythe Lipman

Baby Sleep Advice

Baby Sleep Advice

Do you wish your baby or toddler would sleep better?  Is it a struggle to put your child to sleep every night? If so, we recommend going to Baby Sleep Advice to start solving your baby’s sleep problems today.

Baby Sleep Advise is a website that helps your baby sleep through the night and sleep well consistently,  discover newborn sleeping tips & avoid toddler sleep problems: effective down-to-earth infant sleep help from real-life experience + personalized expert sleep parenting advice.
My Baby Pajamas and Baby Sleep Advice have teamed up together to offer a Contest Giveaway.    We are offering a $30 Gift Certificate to My Baby Pajamas with the review of any baby product you have used to help your child sleep.   Here are all the details:       Which baby products do YOU love?  To be a valid entry to the contest giveaway, your review will be…

  • … about a baby product that is somehow related to sleep for a baby, toddler or young child, or … a parent. This can be broad and includes (but is not limited to): what helps baby sleep well, improves nursery and crib safety, creates a pleasant (cute) sleep environment, …. Reviews of online baby stores where you bought baby stuff are also welcome.
  • … a true and honest real-life experience. Sponsored or biassed reviews will not stand a chance
  • … describing the product as precisely as possible (brand, type, model), what you used it for, how it relates to your child’s sleep
  • …at least 200 words long.
  • … NOT necessarily positive. If you have had a poor experience with something, that is just as valuable for other parents to know!
  • … accompanied by your email address. This will not be published along with the review and I will only use it to send you your prize, nothing else.

Click here to Entry to win: http://www.baby-sleep-advice.com/contest-giveaway.html#validentry

Good Luck!!!

How to Help your Early Bird Toddler Sleep In

by Heidi Holvoet, PhD,
sleep parenting expert at
Baby-Sleep-Advice.com

Saturday morning, no alarm clock to urge you to work, no packed lunch
to be made for nursery school … aahh sleeping in is so wonderful and
rewarding … But that was before your typical toddler
came along.

Because if there’s one thing many toddlers have in common, it’s waking
up early. Even the very good sleepers – going down at 7pm and nicely
sleeping through – have a good chance of waking anywhere between 5am
and 6.30am.

And unless you are an early bird yourself this probably won’t be your
favorite time of the day.

Luckily there are a few good techniques to help your toddler sleep a
bit longer.

First of all, let’s have a look at what can cause him or her to wake up
at that time.

5-6am is still night for most people and everything is but it
is also the time when some things start to change. And that’s the kind
of change that can easily wake your child up. Even more so because this
is a moment when sleep is typically light.

Things to look out for and avoid to keep your toddler from waking up:

  • Is his bedroom getting lighter towards morning? Try to keep a
    constant light throughout the night. Darkening blinds and blackout
    shades combined with a dim night light are ideal. If you don’t have
    those blinds and want to do a quick test: stick aluminum foil to the
    windows for great darkening.
  • Any noises starting to sound? This can be one family member getting
    up early, or simply going to the bathroom. Or maybe the neighbors are
    waking up and starting their day? Or the street may be coming to life
    … Often these are sounds we don’t really notice as an adult anymore,
    but they can be enough to keep waking your child up.
  • Diaper wet?
    A very wet diaper quickly becomes uncomfortable and an easy wake up
    cause. Try a different size or brand to keep your toddler dry for
    longer. Cloth diapers can be a good solution too.
  • Too hot or too cold? During the night, many bedrooms tend to get a
    bit cooler. Others warm up. Or your child may have twisted and turned
    and uncovered himself. A constant temperature in the room and constant
    covers are ideal to avoid waking up early. The perfect pajamas and a
    toddler sleeping bag are ideal for this and have helped many a baby
    sleep through and sleep in.
  • Hungry?
    Night feedings are probably a thing of the past but hunger can make a
    toddler wake up early. To avoid this, start with not offering breakfast
    at 5-6am when he wakes. Top up his food intake if you suspect
    a growth spurt or just a hungry phase … Do this by adding a little
    bit to his meals and snacks spread during the day (not right before
    bedtime).

There is a difference between waking up and getting up. Toddler hood is all about setting boundaries to help
your child understand the world around him. And to teach him what is OK and what isn’t. Demanding sleep doesn’t work. But it is reasonable to agree with your toddler that want him to stay in bed and be quiet until say 7 or 8 am.

Here’s how:

  • Talk to your child: discuss the morning wake-ups and explain to him
    that mommy and daddy, and grandma and grandpa, … all sleep until 7am.
    Explain that he/she is a big boy/girl now and can also do that. Just by
    staying in bed quietly until it is OK to get up.
  • Use a toddler alarm clock: a toddler
    alarm clock
    makes it child’s play to know what time it is:
    time to keep sleeping or time to get up. The really nice ones have a
    simple picture that switches at your chosen time. Countless toddlers
    happily learn to sleep in with one of these.
  • Work with a sticker reward chart: a colorful sticker on mornings when
    he/she stayed in bed nicely. Be flexible: getting up even just 15
    minutes later on the first days is definitely worth an encouragement
    sticker …

Helping your early bird toddler sleep for longer may take a bit of
patience and time. Take a relaxed attitude, stick to
being confident and consistent with the above ideas and you’re
all set to see your weekend mornings much improved …

About Me:

Hello and welcome! I am a 40 something year old mom of two boys, living in Scottsdale, AZ with my husband Al. I started My Baby Pajamas in 2007 and have watched it grow and mature. I love to blog but am not much of a writer per say. I am a avid runner and love to compete in races. I like my yoga HOT and love to hike with my family and our pit bull mix dog, Chance. My favorite time is hanging with my family and cooking homemade dinners and hearing about everyone's day while my husband and I enjoy a glass of wine.

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