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12 Signs You’re a Mom of Young Kids

12 Signs You’re a Mom of Young Kids

Every day is a new adventure when you’re a mom of little kids. My husband and I had 3 kids within 19 months, so I know firsthand the mass chaos, laughs, and struggles involved in having a house full of young children.

While every mom’s journey is different, here are some signs you’re definitely a mom of young kids:

Getting dressed up means changing out of your yoga pants.

You discover you love yoga wear, even though you haven’t made time for yoga in months. When you’re a mom of little kids, you love to wear yoga clothes pretty much every single day. Changing out of your yoga pants into something else – like jeans – is definitely considered dressing up when you’re a mom of young kids.

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    !

    You have experienced the severe pain of stepping on a Lego.

    You’ve cursed a time or two when they’ve been embedded into your foot.

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      You always have visitors in the bathroom.

      If you really want your young kids’ attention, talk on your phone or go to the bathroom. I guarantee they will give you your undivided attention when you do those things. You’ll have a little friend who plays next to you at the bathroom counter, like this little guy:

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        Even if you lock the bathroom door for 30 seconds to eat dessert in peace and quiet, their little hands will come under the door and they’ll be begging for you to come out.

        You secretly love your minivan.

        You swore you’d never own one, but now you’re in love with yours.

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          Cleaning your windows could be a full-time job.

          For some reason, kids are naturally drawn to sucking on glass windows and doors. If you have little kids, I guarantee you have seen this at your home:

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            I’m not quite sure what entices kids to lick windows, or what keeps them coming back for more. Once they discover this maneuver, they’ll be daily visitors to the glass.

            You are gradually accumulating little critters as pets.

            It starts with a little cage for cool bugs, and progresses to fish, frogs and toads, hamsters and guinea pigs. Or, you skip all the little critters and get a kitty or puppy.

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              You have a never-ending ‘to-do’ list.

              You are the queen of multi-tasking, and have become incredibly efficient, but you still have a never-ending list of things to do.

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                You feel like this in the morning…

                You feel strong, capable, and ready to take on the world!

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                  …and this by bedtime routine.

                  You’re absolutely exhausted.

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                    You live in a time warp. You wonder how bedtime routine lasts forever yet the months and years are seriously flying by.

                    Seriously, how does that work?

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                      A trip to Target alone feels like a mini-vacation.

                      If you haven’t felt like walking the aisles in Target alone is like a vacation, just wait – you will.

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                        You get paid in snuggles and “I love yous.”

                        When you’re a mom of young kids, you know there’s no better feeling than their snuggles and their little arms wrapped around your neck. And at the end of the long day, the best sound is to hear their sweet little voices say, “Mommy, I love you.”

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                          Being a mom of little kids is a tough job, but so awesome – and if you feel like I do, I bet you wouldn’t trade it for the world. As crazy and chaotic as life with young kids is, it’s so much fun experiencing the daily adventures of motherhood. It really does go by quickly, and someday we’ll all look back at these sleepless, exhausting times and wish they hadn’t flown by so fast.

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                          Featured photo credit: Elvert Barnes/01a.Lululemon.1461P.NW.WDC.19November2012, Sarah Stambaugh-asleep on couch/Mike Burns,Dark muscle woman/Rikard Elofsson,128/365/David D,Petit Grenouille/Webhamster,Udo’s First Shave, Tastes Great. Less Filling/Juhan Sonin, _MG_6229/Valentina Yachichurova, Like a Baby/Sky Captain Two, NASCAR Layout/Mike, To-Do List/Jayel Aheram, via flickr.com

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                          Dr. Kerry Petsinger

                          Entrepreneur, Mindset & Performance Coach, & Doctor of Physical Therapy

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                          Published on May 21, 2021

                          Bedtimes For Kids At Different Ages (Your Go-To Guide)

                          Bedtimes For Kids At Different Ages (Your Go-To Guide)

                          Bedtimes for kids might be one of the most challenging parts of the day. Parents are tired and ready to relax, while kids of all ages seem to find extra energy and want nothing to do with sleep. One more story, one more trip to the bathroom, and one more question quickly make for a late-night, and no one gets the rest they need.

                          If this happens often, you might start wondering if you and your child are getting the proper amount of sleep and how to make bedtime easier. Why is it so crucial for your child to get enough sleep? What does sleep deprivation look like? How do you improve bedtimes for kids?

                          How Sleep Impacts Your Child’s Health

                          Whether young or old, sleep is a vital part of staying healthy. There are many benefits to getting the right amount of sleep while not getting enough can have negative consequences. How does it impact your child?[1]

                          • Brain Function – Sleep is linked to certain brain functions such as concentration, productivity, and cognition. These all impact a child’s behavior and academic success.
                          • Weight – Sleep patterns affect the hormones responsible for appetite. A lack of sleep interferes with the ability to regulate food intake, making overeating more likely.
                          • Physical Performance – Sleep impacts a person’s physical abilities. Proper rest means better performance, concentration, energy, mental clarity, and faster speed.
                          • Physical Health – There are many ways sleep promotes health. Sleep heals the body but also helps prevent disease and health issues. Getting proper rest will regulate blood pressure, help prevent heart disease, reduce chances of sleep apnea, reduce inflammation, boost immune system, and lower risk of weight gain.
                          • Improve Mental Health – A lack of sleep has a negative impact on mood and social and emotional intelligence. A child not getting proper sleep is more likely to experience depression, lack empathy and be unaware of other people’s emotions and reactions.

                          Sleep, Risky Behavior, and Teens

                          Studies found that teens were more likely to engage in risky behavior when they are sleep-deprived. They’ll have problems regulating their mood, making them more short-tempered, aggressive, and impulsive. Their inability to self-regulate can even look like the symptoms of ADHD.[2]

                          Sleep deprivation becomes hazardous when teens are driving. The impulsiveness and risk-taking, along with exhaustion, put them at a higher risk for accidents. In fact, driving tired is comparable to driving with a blood alcohol content of .08.[3]

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                          You can see why sleep is so essential to everyone’s health, but how much is needed? What do pediatricians recommend? Is it the same for all ages?

                          Sleep Recommendations From Pediatricians

                          Sleep requirements vary by age. It won’t be the same for every individual. Some people find that they need more sleep than others.

                          Here is a basic guideline of what pediatricians now recommend:[4]

                          • Ages 4-12 months: 12-16 hours (including naps)
                          • Ages 1-2 years: 11-14 hours (including naps)
                          • Ages 3-5 years: 10-13 hours (including naps)
                          • Age 6-12 years: 9-12 hours
                          • Age 13-18 years: 8-10 hours

                          Increase the amount of sleep if your child isn’t thriving on the recommended amount.

                          Signs Your Child Isn’t Getting Enough Sleep

                          There are ways to tell if your child is getting adequate sleep beyond the usual grumpiness. Here are specific things to watch out for:[5]

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                          • Excessive sleepiness during the day
                          • Difficulty waking up on time
                          • Hyperactivity
                          • Depression
                          • Inattention
                          • Mood swings
                          • Aggressive behavior
                          • Irritability
                          • Impatience
                          • Impulse control

                          As you can see, prolonged lack of sleep can cause relational problems and hinder your child’s ability to do well in school. What can you do if you realize your child is not getting enough sleep? How can you improve bedtimes for your kids?

                          How to Set Up a Bedtime Routine

                          Sleep hygiene or a bedtime schedule will help your child fall asleep faster. It will also improve the quality of sleep. You will need to adjust to what works for your family, but the following suggestions can help everyone have a more pleasant bedtime.

                          For Babies

                          Most people think they have to let their baby “cry it out” at bedtime. However, there are ways you can teach a baby to sleep without tears, making the experience more pleasant for everyone. In fact, studies show the faded bedtime method—or gentle sleep training—is just as effective as leaving a baby to cry but without the stress.[6] What is gentle sleep training?

                          Gentle Sleep Training

                          This method eases babies and young children into falling asleep on their own. There are two ways to do this:

                          1. Positive Routines With Faded Bedtime

                          Kids learn to fall asleep easily by using comforting, quiet, and predictable rituals, up to twenty minutes long. The key is to choose a bedtime that’s not too early. A child that isn’t tired will only fight sleep.

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                          Start the process when your baby or child is sleepy, even if it’s later than you’d prefer. You’ll notice a pattern and quickly discover the time they naturally start winding down. Make this their bedtime for now. They will learn to associate sleep with the routine, and you’ll be able to start fifteen to twenty minutes earlier to slowly adjust their schedule.

                          2. Sleep With Parental Presence

                          With this method, you lie down with your baby or child until they fall asleep. Over time, you pay less attention to your child, gradually sitting up, then sitting in a chair. Eventually, your child will be able to sleep without you. A study showed that using this method helped infants sleep longer and wake up less.[7]

                          Both of these ways take time but are effective and less traumatic than leaving an infant or young child to cry.

                          More Tips to Help Your Baby Sleep Better

                          You want to build a routine, but how? What are practical things you can do to help your baby get ready for bed?

                          Here are tips for a soothing and calm bedtime:[8]

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                          • Help set their “internal clock” by exposing them to natural daylight, daytime activities, and the calmness of evening.
                          • Block blue light exposure.
                          • Make the hour up to bedtime calm, peaceful, and pleasant.
                          • Learn how to keep stress minimal for you and your baby.
                          • Don’t force sleep. It will increase anxiety and make rest more difficult.
                          • Avoid late afternoon naps
                          • Prolong the time between nap and bedtime.
                          • Feed baby right before bed.
                          • Avoid intervening too soon if the baby starts to wake up. Give your child a chance to fall back asleep without your help.

                          For Elementary-Aged Children

                          It’s easier to follow a routine if you start young, but it’s never too late to begin. The good news is it only takes a few nights to notice an improvement in your child’s sleep.

                          These ideas will help you set up a schedule that will encourage your child to fall asleep easier, faster, and for a more extended period.[9]

                          • Offer them a nutritious snack.
                          • Bathe them.
                          • Brush their teeth and go to the bathroom.
                          • Read them a story.
                          • Sing them a song.
                          • Cuddle or massage them.
                          • Talk about the day.

                          For best results, choose a handful of activities and do them in the same order each night. Dim the lights and keep activity minimal to help everyone slow down.

                          For Teens

                          They might fight the idea of getting more sleep, but teens will benefit from a routine, too. They’re usually capable of overseeing their bedtime, but a little structure and oversight can help them get the sleep they need. By implementing the following tips, your teen can get better rest.[10]

                          • Avoid caffeine in the evening.
                          • Limit screen time.
                          • Avoid late-night binging.
                          • Exercise, ideally sixty minutes a day.
                          • Keep the bedroom dark, cool, and quiet.
                          • Talk through problems.

                          Quality Sleep for a Healthy Life

                          Bedtimes for kids can be an enjoyable part of the day with proper sleep hygiene in place. Not only can it be quality time with your child, but it can also set them on the road to good health and high performance. By implementing these tips, you can ensure proper rest for the whole family and better bedtimes for kids.

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                          Featured photo credit: Igordoon Primus via unsplash.com

                          Reference

                          [1] Medical News Today: Why Sleep Is Essential For Health
                          [2] Child Mind Institute: Teens And Sleep: The Cost Of Sleep Deprivation
                          [3] Depart of Health: Drowsy Driving Prevention, Teens Ages 16 To 19
                          [4] AAP publications: AAP Endorses New Recommendations On Sleep Times
                          [5] Journal of Excellence in Nursing Leadership: Sleep Deprivation In Children A Growing Public Health Concern
                          [6] Parenting Science: Gentle Infant Sleep Training
                          [7] BetterHealth: Solutions to sleep concerns (11) – babies 6 to 12 months
                          [8] Parenting Science: 15 Evidence-Based Baby Sleep Tips
                          [9] Sleep Foundation: Bedtime Routines For Children
                          [10] NHS: Sleep Tips For Teenagers

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