With the time change coming upon us tomorrow, this is the perfect time to try some new techniques and tricks to get our children to sleep well. As a mother of three young children, I have first hand experience at how difficult it can be to get kids to not only go to sleep at night, but also take their much needed naps.
I’m excited to share with you this new product called the Pajanimals Snuggle Up Storymat from TOMY as a new way to get your children
excited ready for sleep. Pajanimals is a growing kids tv show on the Sprout and NBC Kids channels that has four lovable characters featured right on the storymat that your children can snuggle up on. The Pajanimal characters teach preschool children valuable lessons including getting ready for and going to bed.
As soon as the Storymat box arrived in the mail, my kids were begging me to open it. Once opened, the kids set it on the floor and took turns laying on the mat, putting the attached blanket around them, and reading through the fun pictured soft book that also doubles as a pillow. When my husband came home, they proceeded to tell my husband the story they thought the picture book was telling. We had a lot of fun, and right away, the kids felt comfortable laying down and I could tell that even my youngest, who is 18 months old understood that this was for laying down and sleeping. The kids each took a turn ‘pretending’ to sleep so I could get a good picture! I laid the storymat in my son’s crib, and he is sleeping soundly on it as I write this! I think the best part of this mat, is that when he wakes up, he’ll have something to look at and be able to wake up in a calm and peaceful manner by looking at the snuggly characters and flipping the soft pages of the book.
I wanted to pass along some tips that the makers of the Pajanimals Snuggle Up Storymat, TOMY have sent me to help adjust to the time change:
Step One: It’s the Clocks! On Saturday, November 3, put your children to sleep at their normal bedtime. If it’s typically 7:30 p.m., stick with that. Then before you go to sleep, move every clock in your house back one hour.
Step Two: Early Wake Up – Your child will most likely wake up at the normal time, only you and your clock know it’s an hour earlier. No easy work-arounds here, so you’ll just have to take one for the team and get up early with the kids. It’s not realistic to ask them to stay in bed an extra hour so forget about going back to sleep.
Step Three: Stick to the Schedule – As difficult as it may seem, stay with your regular schedule. If you normally serve lunch at noon, then eat at noon. Your child will likely be ready to eat earlier, at 11am, but a midmorning snack will help stave off hunger. And the same goes for naptime. Keep your child busy until it’s time to nap, even if they start to slow down an hour earlier.
Step Four: Keep ‘em up – Bedtime should be at 7:30 p.m. as usual (or whatever time it is in your home), eventhough your child may feel sleepy earlier. They may be cranky and tired, but do your best to go by the time on the clock. And hopefully their little internal body clocks are adjusting to the time difference without them even knowing it.
It may take a couple of nights, but if you try to continue with your routine as usual, you and your child should be enjoying regular sleep patterns in no time at all
Another valuable tool that might help at bedtime is to offer a transitional object and a brief cuddle before leaving the room. In childhood development, a transitional object is something, usually a physical object, which takes the place of the mother-child bond. The transitional object enables the child to have a fantasized bond with the mother when she separates for increasingly longer periods of time, such as in the evening. This transitional object serves as an important defense against fear and anxiety.
To thwart your child’s worries about going to sleep alone, try using a transitional object, such as a small stuffed animal, starting around the age of one. While what the child ends up choosing is up to him or her, recognizable objects can help provide a high level of comfort.
There are also some more fun Pajanimal products that you might want to look into to help your child transition to better sleep habits, including the newest MEET THE PAJANIMALS DVD that just came out in September, their line of soft plush stuffed animals of each of the characters, or even the new Pajanimals “Light in the Sky” App from the App Store on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The “Light in the Sky” app allows your children to play and sing along with this fully 3D, highly interactive episode based on the actual THE PAJANIMALS show.
And you can also access age appropriate games and short videos for kids on Sprout’s Pajanimals website.
And now for the best part, there is also a giveaway! I’m happy to give away one of these fun Pajanimals Snuggle Up Storymats to a lucky reader. The winner will be chosen through Random.Org.
Here’s how to enter:
1) Leave a comment on this post telling me who you would give this adorable storymat to, OR leave a comment telling us your best sleep tip for kids!
2) For another entry, ‘Like’ Jim Henson Company’s Facebook page, and leave a comment on this post telling me you did so.
3) For an additional entry, ‘Like’ Sprout’s Facebook page, and leave a comment on this post telling me you did so.
4) For a final entry, Share this giveaway on Twitter or Facebook, and leave a comment telling me you did so!
This giveaway is open to US or Canada addresses only, and will end on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 11:59 pm EST. Best of Luck, and happy sleeping after the time change!!