Six Tips For Getting the Kids To Sleep

Getting the kids back into a regular bedtime habit at the end of summer can be daunting. Tucking your child into bed at night is supposed to be a special and calm moment, but it can often turn into a struggle when kids don’t want to go to sleep. (Particularly after a summer of later bedtimes and sleeping in!) These tips can help you get your kids back to a regular bedtime routine that supports healthy sleep habits and happy, productive days. 

Start in the morning. Teach your child to make their bed when they get up in the morning. People who make their bed in the morning are 19% more likely to get a good night’s sleep every night, according to the NSF. While it’s not clear why, we’re guessing there is a connection between feeling good about where you sleep and your tendency to sleep through the night. 

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Pay attention to texture. Select soft linens and pajamas. Three-quarters of us claim that comfortable sheets and bedding are important to a good night’s rest. Since kids tend to kick off their covers at night, dress yours in pajamas made of breathable fabrics that keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Provide the right bedtime snack. Think about what you offer your child to eat or drink before bed. Foods containing tryptophan – the amino acid that is a building block of the sleep-related chemical serotonin – could encourage drowsiness. Turkey is a well-known source, but so are eggs, chicken, fish, and nuts. Another good bedtime snack is a light carbohydrate, such as whole -wheat crackers with a small amount of peanut butter, or cereal with milk. But avoid fatty, fried or spicy foods before bedtime that will upset the stomach and can interfere with sleep.

Set a bedtime routine. An early bedtime is important for kids – between 7 and 8 p.m. works best for most, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Since kids thrive on structure, creating a bedtime routine can take away the stress. Start 15 to 30 minutes before their actual bedtime by turning off the television and playing relaxing music. You might even dim the lights and talk softer. The most important part of your bedtime routine is that it’s consistent.

Create the ideal sleeping environment. If your child’s room is filled with too much excitement, it could be physically hard for them to fall asleep. Keep things calm, quiet and soft. A nightlight can provide just enough illumination to make your child feel safe. Soft fabrics for pillows and comforters can also be soothing.

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Remove electronics. Limit screen time before bedtime, which can activate your child’s brain. Also keep technology, such as televisions, computers and video games, out of your child’s room. The light these gadgets emit mimics daylight and tricks the brain into thinking it needs to stay awake.

 

 

Storage Must-Haves for Kids

If getting your child to clean their room is a constant struggle, it may be time to set them up for success. Too often kids’ rooms become activity catch-alls: part bedroom, part den, part playroom and part library. Keeping all of those tasks neat and contained is a challenge – especially when you’re four feet tall or under. Smart parents take time to bring in storage solutions for kids that can make cleaning a room easier. Here are ten tips for helping your child’s keep their room tidy:

storage solutions for kids
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1. Include them in the organizing process

It’s tempting to rush in and take care of it, but getting your child’s input on furnishings and where things go is important. If they have a say, they’re much more likely to keep up with it.

2. Get rid of extras

Make sure everything that is in your child’s room needs to be there. For example, store out of season clothing and neglected toys in bins in the basement or attic.

3. Create zones

Organize your child’s room with a designated area for sleeping, studying and playing. Then add storage solutions for kids that can accommodate the items needed for those tasks. Place a bookshelf near a beanbag chair for reading, for example, or include basket or bins for storing toys.

4. Set a limit

Keep things fresh by keeping toys to a minimum. Decide on a number of items that is manageable and rotate out the toys so they play with them more.

Storage solutions for kids
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5. Reclaim wasted space

Maximize storage capacity by looking up and down. Choose a bed with storage drawers built in the base – perfect for storing clothing as well as toys. And hang pocket organizers on closet doors to hold small items such as socks or stuffed animals.

6. Display special items

Have a space where your child can keep treasures, such as trophies, awards, artwork and vacation souvenirs. A shelf or bulletin board will keep these things neat and contained.

7. Think small

Consider your child’s size when you bring in storage solutions for kids. For young children, keeping shelves low will encourage them to put things away. Make sure closet rods are multi-level, helping your child get ready in the morning.

Storage solutions for kids
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8. Label where things go

Help your child know where things belong by making it clear. You can use words, pictures or a combination of both.

9. Color code for siblings

If children share a room, consider assigning each a different color. Then use bins and hangers in those colors for their toys and clothing.

10. Schedule in regular maintenance

Make cleaning up a habit by creating a routine. For example, create a rule that beds must be made before breakfast. Or wind down every day with a 15-minute tidy-up session before bedtime. Set a timer and it will feel like a game.

When kids make picking up their rooms a habit, the whole house will feel more organized!

Dog Days: How To Choose the Right Bed For Your Dog

We all know we should let sleeping dogs lie … but where? Fido deserves to relax in style! If you think a dog bed is an optional accessory when it comes to pet care, you might want to think again. Dog beds offer your beloved family member five important benefits and can aid in their wellness. Here’s how to choose a dog bed that’s best for your pet.

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Security

First, a dog bed gives your pet a sense of personal space and security. He or she can curl up in a comfortable spot that’s all their own.

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Dander Control 

Dog beds also help control the spread of fur and dander by keeping it to one spot. Look for a dog bed that has a removable cover or a cushion that can be tossed into the washing machine.

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The Memory Foam Medium Pet Bed is available now. Shop the look at artvan.com.

Cushioning

For older, arthritic or overweight pets, dog beds provide cushioning for joints and bones and a comfortable place to rest. Look for a memory foam pad that is perfect for pets with special needs.

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Furniture Protection 

Dog beds also keep your pet from relaxing on your furniture. This not only prolongs the life of your furnishings, it can prevent injuries a dog might receive jumping up and down from a sofa or chair.

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Warmth

Finally, a dog bed offers warmth for your pet during the winter, insulating them from a cold floor. This helps keep them comfortable and in good health.

Now that you know how to choose a dog bed, which is the right choice for your pet’s needs?

5 Things To Do Before the End Of Summer

It’s August and that means it’s time to create a summer bucket list – things to do before the kids go back to school. Make the most of Midwest summers by putting a few of these summer activities with kids on the calendar:

1. Backyard Campout

Pitch a tent and go camping in your own back yard. If the weather doesn’t cooperate or if you miss your comfortable bed, you’ll be steps away from home. Roast hot dogs, make s’mores, and share stories under the stars.

2. Visit the Zoo 

There’s always something fun going on when you visit the animals. Pack a picnic lunch, and make a day of it. And check your local zoo’s website to see if there are any special activities gong on. If it gets hot, cool off with the penguins.

3. Set Up a Lemonade Stand

Your kids will learn business skills by making and selling lemonade. Help them design signs, pass out flyers and set prices.

4. Take A Trip to the Lake

If you live near a lake, pack up the car with towels, drinks, beach toys and lunch, and soak up the fun. Bring a few kayaks if you’ve got them. And don’t forget the sunscreen.

5. Go On a Nature Walk

Count how many different types of flowers you see. Search for colors. Or collect pine cones and fallen leaves for craft projects. You’ll learn something and get some exercise.

How To Purchase Your Child’s First Bed

Going from a crib to a “big boy” or “big girl” bed is a big step in your child’s life. While some parents choose to transition to a toddler bed, going right into a regular size bed is just as easy, saving money in the long term. When buying a child’s first bed, here are four things to consider.

 

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Start by identifying the right size

Twin, full or even queen are great choices, and which you choose will have to do with the space in your child’s room. Twin mattresses take up the least amount of space, which is nice if your child’s room is small or you want to provide lots of floor space for playing. If your child will have sleepover guests when they get older, twin beds can be outfitted with trundle beds. Or consider full- or queen-size beds when buying a child’s first bed, which provide extra room for spreading out or sharing with friends.

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Select the best mattress

Kids need a mattress that will offer proper support and pressure relief. Since they probably can’t tell which mattresses feel best, Art Van PureSleep takes out the guesswork with our patented diagnostic machine, ensuring that your child has a more restful and productive sleep.

Sleep helps us all retain what we learn during the day. At night, we go through different stages of sleep where our minds are working, filing and organizing all of the information we collect during the day. If the mattress doesn’t support your child properly, he or she will toss and turn and that can lead to fragmented memory and trouble in school.

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Set a realistic budget

While it’s tempting to allocate most of your budget to the headboard and frame, the most important investment is the mattress. When buying a child’s first bed, know that a good quality mattress will last through childhood. You can always purchase a headboard and frame later.

Invest in safety accessories

When you’re buying a child’s first bed, consider their safety. You can purchase guardrails that prevent your child from falling out of the bed while they sleep. Another option is to purchase a bed that doesn’t require a foundation, so your child is lower to the ground. And make sure to place a rug or carpet around the bed to reduce the chances of slipping and falling.

Moving into his or her own bed is an exciting time for your child. Make sure you celebrate the milestone by creating the perfect setting.