5 Tips For Promoting Healthy Sleep Habits For Children

Rachel Gordon | twinsietips

Sleeping Beauty

1. Stick with a night-time routine

 Do what works for you, but try to keep it similar every night. This is what we do:

  • Dinner at 5:30pm with the entire family
  • Bath around 6:30pm followed by changing into pajamas
  • Sippy cup in gliders with mom/dad (previously bottles before 1 one years old)
  • Snuggle/read books/play in nursery
  • Brush Teeth
  • Change into night diapers (yes you need night diapers they are good for 12 hours) to prevent wetting the bed overnight. These are my favorite.
  • Tuck into bed. I like to use this wearable blanket because I think they associate it with sleep/bedtime routine--- note this one has a two-way zipper which is so much easier.  Also remember there should be nothing in the crib before one (no blankets, stuffed animals, etc.), so this is a safe option to keep baby warm and snuggly. For little babies (under 3 months and if they are not rolling on their own), I recommend a swaddle. I like this one because it is hard for them to break out of it.

2. Always put baby into bed tired but not sleeping

Do not rock your child to sleep. If your baby falls asleep in your arms and then you place them in the crib if they wake up in the middle of the night they will be terrified because you are not there (remember they fell asleep with you there). Additionally, it is good for children to learn how to fall asleep without needing to be rocked to sleep. *Note, always put baby down on their back-- if they can roll over themselves that is fine, but still put them down on their back.

3. Consider a white noise machine

 I like this one.  This goes back to a bedtime routine. They associate the noise with sleep. Only use the white noise setting and turn it on once your child is in their crib. Then turn off the lights.

4. Nap time is so important

A tired baby does not mean they will sleep better at night. In fact, studies have proven the opposite is actually true. Additionally, appropriate sleep promotes intelligence, attention span, emotional development, memory, and more. Including naps here are the following guidelines for sleep recommended by American Academy of Sleep Medicine (backed by American Academy of Pediatrics):

  • 4-12 month-olds need 12-16 hours of sleep total every 24 hours
  • 1-2 year-olds need 11-14 hours of sleep every 24 hours
  • 3-5 year-olds need 10-13 hours of sleep every 24 hours
  • 6-12 year-olds need 9-12 hours of sleep every 24 hours

5. No screen time for at least 30 min before bed

This is true for any age-- kids or adults. Studies have shown that screen time is bad for sleep hygiene, so its good to promote good sleep habits starting at an early age.

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Rachel Gordon

Rachel is a mama to two beautiful identical twin girls, Izzy and Maddy, and lives in Atlanta with her husband, girls, and cute little pup. Rachel graduated with honors from New York University earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and the Founders' Day Scholar Award. She also received her Masters of Science in Nursing degree from New York University. Rachel has spent the majority of her career as a pediatric nurse and currently works in pediatric oncology. She also has a blog, www.twinsietips.com that focuses on tips for new parents.

Why One Bullet Made Me Fall In Love With Pediatrics

Author: Amanda Rivas


Close your eyes for a moment 

and imagine this...

Silence is abruptly broken by a cold, incoming dispatch message: a pediatric emergency. This one is different. This one is life changing. A pediatric shooting has taken place. As my fellow EMT slams on the gas and I go flying out of my seat, all I can think is “What if she is dead when I get there? What’s the protocol for a DOA case (dead on arrival)?” My breath becomes ragged, my knees begin to shake, and I question why I decided to throw myself into the emergency medicine field at 19 years old right in this moment. The sirens of the ambulance drown out my ability to become aware of my surroundings and stay alert. I can tell I am not the only one going into a panicked frenzy. My EMT and paramedic supervisors are on edge as we pull into the barricaded crime scene. All I can see are flickering blue and white lights reflecting off of the caution tape covering every inch of the attempted murder scene. I lunge from my seat, grab my gloves, and take a deep breath before I pass the police barricade. This was the day I knew I would never choose anything other than saving lives of children. This was the moment that changed everything.

This was the day I knew I would never choose anything other than saving lives of children.

Now rewind 7 weeks earlier. It was the beginning of my first summer as a college student. I had all the opportunity in the world to go to the beach, hang out with friends from high school, or do any other typical summer activity. If you know me, then you know that I love to do things outside of my comfort zone because if I don’t do it today, then I never will. Instead of partying my nights away, I spent my nights studying how to detect an AAA (abdominal aortic aneurysm) by palpating an abdomen or how to reset a fractured femur bone using a traction splint. I attended a first responder academy which ended up being a 4-week intensive military style EMT training course. This course was no joke, and that is an understatement. If we didn’t listen to orders or didn’t take the course seriously, we were sent to the parking lot. We performed military style exercises as a team on the seething hot pavement in the peak of a Florida summer. Reflecting back on it, the punishment wasn’t cruel or extreme. We were being groomed to save lives in emergency situations. This career was not to be taken lightly, especially when you are entering a pediatric attempted murder crime scene as a 19-year-old who hasn’t even experienced life yet.


Long story short, our patient survived. Her blood was everywhere. The bullet grazed the side of her skull with a fragment of shrapnel embedded into the skull bone. We performed the necessary lifesaving precautions while our ambulance flew as fast as it could under a trauma alert. She was so scared, and it was contagious. Working in emergency medicine, one must remember the most important aspect. Serving as an emotional support beacon is sometimes as important as administering medicine, especially when it comes to pediatric cases. Working in the back of the ambulance with the paramedic, I went into mom mode. As she sat there and cried for her mom, I did everything I could to fill that void. I gave her my comforting words, my handholding, and my empathy. As the tires of the ambulance screeched into the emergency bay, there was the trauma hospital staff, easily consisting of over 15 people, on standby waiting for the worst. The moment we officially transferred care, anything and everything on her body was immediately cut off with trauma sheers and ripped off since that is what the trauma protocol requires. Seeing someone so young going through something so emotionally and physically traumatic shakes you to the core. Luckily, she was a warrior and overcame it. I still think about her to this day, and I’ll never forget her.


About the Author:


Hey everyone! My name is Amanda, and I'm currently a sophomore at Emory University. I'm majoring in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology with a minor in Spanish. In my free time, I volunteer at the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta hospital with some of the most incredible children I have ever met, and I'm a medical intern at the Helping Hands Clinic. Last summer, I became a nationally certified emergency medical technician (EMT) and had the most incredible adventures of my life. Unfortunately, I did have many pediatric patients, but one day I dream of working as a pediatric specialist to help patients like that. I hope to share all of my unique adventures and stories with you through this blog!