I still can’t quite believe I have twins. The complete shock of finding out at our first scan that I was pregnant with two babies still surfaces regularly and the fact that in a few short months that are starting preschool blows my mind. How are we here already? Teetering into the big wide world where the bubble of me and them pops and they go off on their own little journey begins. It’s fair to say, I am very very sad that my girls are growing up so very quickly but I know deep down that they are so ready to start preschool and are going to have such a wonderful time.
Come September, there are going to be some very big changes afoot in the Twinderelmo household. Charlie is starting on Key Stage Two which means he will be moving up to the Junior school in a whole new building and the girls will be attending the nursery every afternoon. If there’s one thing I have learnt from this parenting thing I’ve been rocking the past 7 years, is that sleep makes ALL the difference. I can face all the tantrums, mood swings, arguments and bickering if I have had enough sleep and the kids go off to bed at 7pm. On broken sleep? Life seems far more challenging when everyone is permanently in a grumpy mood.
It has been widely discussed by experts who link lack of sleep to a variety of problems ranging from obesity to poor academic performance, which confirms it really is important to help ensure our kids get a good night’s sleep. Saying that it often can be easier said than done with super busy lifestyles, along with conflicting and confusing advice and as my girls have shown defiant cheeky children can make this a challenging battle for any parent I can assure you!
As part of an exclusive collaboration with ‘The Cheshire Baby Whisperer’ Evelyn Burdon who is a former midwife who has been advising stressed parents for 30 years, The Junior Fine Bedding Company has put together ‘The Ultimate Sleep Guide for Parents’, designed to help children sleep their way to their full potential.
She says: “All children experience two distinct sleep patterns: REM (light sleep) and Non-REM (deep sleep). During REM sleep, babies and toddlers are in a light dreaming sleep, the brain is reprocessing daily events necessary for their mental well-being and it is during this sleep that they grow and develop” She adds: “Most children are in non-REM (deep sleep) between midnight and 4am. It is during this sleep that the body repairs and regenerates itself and there is an increase in hormones vital for child growth and development”
We all know how important sleep is. No one can function on broken sleep and it can make our kids so irritable. Experts have suggested that children need between 10-12 hours of sleep every night for optimal learning and development. Obesity, a reduced immune system, bad moods, behaviour and even depression have also been linked to sleep deprivation in children. Lack of sleep can affect learning and memory ability which is closely linked to academic performance.
Ensuring there is a good consistent routine which is nice and calm and relaxing is very important along with a peaceful sleeping environment avoiding bright lights and noise. A darkened room with a favourite teddy (a panda and dog in our case) helps them feel safe and familiar.
The girls love snuggling down in their beds and they had a pillow and duvet from around 15 months as they weren’t keen on sleeping bags so we always opted for blankets. Evelyn explains that “as soon as your baby can walk as a sleeping bag can be too restricting and babies are in danger of falling over and hurting themselves. Babies and young children hate the restriction of heavy bed clothes and will kick them off during the night, so ensure both duvet and pillow are lightweight and very soft. They will be able to control their body temperature more easily if the duvet is light and breathable and also ensure pillows are washable and retain their shape.”
The Junior range from the Fine Bedding Company includes a number of top quality bedding essentials, including the light as air Washable Duvet and Washable Pillow, which are made from advanced microfibres and encased in sumptuously soft peach skin. These are available in cot, cotbed and single bed sizes and are also machine washable which is always a bonus when you have little ones. Prices start from £12 for the pillow and £20 for the duvet which is incredibly competitive and excellent value.
There are lots of other items in the range, such as the Anti Allergy Mattress Protector for babies and toddlers with sensitive skin, the hypo-allergenic material features a dust mite barrier to protect against allergic reactions. As well as being totally waterproof (an essential for us now we are nappy free!) it has a silky soft 100% cotton cover making for a comfy great nights sleep. This is available in cot and cotbed sizes, from £25.
The new Junior range from The Fine Bedding Company is available on The Fine Bedding Company’s website, www.finebedding.co.uk or through stockists from June 2016. Whilst it is going to be a very big change for us all, I’m hoping we can make the long days at preschool less daunting by establishing a good routine and getting a head start with wonderful quality bedding.
Disclosure – this post has been written in collaboration with The Fine Bedding Company