Tips to help children wake up gently in the morning

Tips to help children wake up gently in the morning

Taking the time to wake up gently is a real pleasure! Follow our advice to help make sure your child wakes up in a good mood every morning… ready to make the best of the day ahead!

An ideal environment to wake up gently

Children’s sleep quality is very important. But so too is the way they wake up! Rushing them whenever their feet hit the floor can soon put them in a bad mood, which might then last for the rest of the day! The first thing you should do is open the shutters and curtains, so it’s less dark in the room. Children naturally associate daylight with waking up and night-time darkness with going to sleep. Another idea is to play your child’s favourite song! There’s nothing better for getting them out of bed on the right side! New-generation alarm clocks like Urban Hello’s REMI can be set to automatically play the tune at wake-up time. Pretty clever!

Cuddles: yes. Television: beware!

The alarm clock has gone off? It’s the ideal time for cuddles with your child. Take them in your arms for a few moments and share the first minutes of the day together. A great way to get the morning off to a happy, relaxed start! Do you tend to leave your child in front of the television in the morning? Beware! It’s not an ideal way of helping them wake up properly or putting them in a good mood. Your child will tend to continue to remain half-asleep in front of the screen. It will then be even more difficult to pull them away and get them ready for school!

These tips should help you wake your child up gently. And to give them plenty energy for the day ahead, prepare them a healthy, tasty breakfast! The delicious smell of toast or hot milk can help tempt kids out of bed too!

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How to adapt your child’s sleep routine during the school holidays

How to adapt your child’s sleep routine during the school holidaysWhether it’s Christmas, summer or Easter, children’s sleep routines are often disrupted during holiday periods. So how do you reset their sleep patterns? Here are a few ideas to help.

Disrupted routines…

Holidays are synonymous with a change of routine for kids. Just like adults, they tend to go to bed and get up later. Their days are full of fun, games and excitement, and reunions with friends or family!  So maintaining a regular sleep routine can be tricky. But it’s also something our kids need, in order to recuperate both physically and mentally.

Late nights: in small doses only!

Occasional late nights, following a family celebration or barbecue that stretches on into the evening, or a party with friends, for example, are fine. But it’s important to avoid several late nights in a row, since this can confuse children and quickly upset their sleep patterns.

What to do to maintain a good sleep routine

To help children maintain their usual sleep patterns, stick to your normal bedtime routine. Evening bath, tooth brushing and bedtime story should all happen at the same time as they do during the school week. Does your child find it difficult to get to sleep during the holidays? You could also try a few minutes of relaxation exercises, meditation or yoga during the day. An ideal way to calm your child down and enjoy a quiet moment together!

Follow these tips to help your child maintain a good sleep routine during the holidays. A smart alarm clock can also help ensure peaceful nights, even when you’re away from home. Why not give it a go!

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What are the best foods to boost sleep?

What are the best foods to boost sleep

Vegetables, starchy foods, fruit… what foods should you include in the evening meal to help your child get a good night’s sleep? Below, we outline the four food groups you should focus on!

Pulses and grains

These foods are naturally rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that the body is incapable of making itself. This substance aids the production of melatonin, the body’s sleep hormone! Lentils, chickpeas and beans are all ideal additions to your child’s plate. You can also sprinkle squash, sesame or sunflower seeds over salads.

Starchy foods

Starchy foods contain slow sugars, which make it easier to fall asleep. So feel free to serve your children baked or mashed potatoes in the evening. Bread and pasta are also ideal. But be careful to use wholegrain versions whenever you can, since they contain a variety of healthy nutrients, such as fibre, magnesium and vitamins.

Poultry and fish

Try to avoid red meat in the evenings, since it contains tyrosine, an amino acid that acts as a stimulant. Prefer poultry or fish instead. Like pulses, tuna, sardines and salmon contain trytophan. Just the ticket for improving sleep quality!

Fruit

The perfect way to round off a meal on a sweet note, fruit contains fructose, which has a relatively low glycaemic index. And the great news is that there’s plenty of choice, from seasonal fresh fruits to dried fruit such as dates and apricots. However, you should avoid foods with a high glycaemic index, especially cakes and confectionery. These can trigger cravings and lead to a disturbed night’s sleep. Chocolate should also be avoided, since it contains stimulants that act in a similar way to caffeine.

Follow our tips when you’re planning your children’s menu. These foods will help them drift off to sleep quickly and get a good night’s rest!

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What is the best time to put your child to bed?

What is the best time to put your child to bed

8 o’clock, 9 o’clock or 10 o’clock…. it’s not always easy to work out the best time to put your child to bed. Here are a few tips to guide you!

Sleep requirements vary depending on age

Children’s sleep requirements change as they grow. From the ages of 6 months to 4 years, the amount of time your little one sleeps during the day gradually decreases. At this stage, children often start to find falling asleep more difficult and wake up during the night. Between the ages of 4 and 12, afternoon naps disappear and bedtime becomes gradually later. It is around 8 o’clock for 5/6 year-olds, 9 o’clock for 8 year-olds and 10 o’clock by the time your child becomes a teenager[1].

Bedtime for children: the tell-tale signs

In fact, a number of very obvious signs should tell you when it’s bedtime. One of the main ones is rubbing their eyes or ears. Or your little one might start to shiver. That’s because they’re starting to produce melatonin, which lowers their body temperature slightly. Put your little one to bed, as it’s exactly the right time for them to fall asleep quickly!

What can you do to help your child sleep better?

For a start, making sure your child goes to bed at the right time is an excellent habit to get into. But it’s important to know that other factors can also affect how well your little one sleeps. First and foremost, what they eat. At afternoon snack time, favour fruit, because the sugar it contains will promote the production of melatonin. In the evening, make sure meals aren’t too heavy, since this can make it harder to get to sleep. Avoid protein and always offer vegetables!

Does your child always finds it difficult to get back into a normal routine at the end of the holidays? Make the most of days off and weekends to let your child sleep later in the morning. You could also suggest a restorative afternoon nap!

[1] Source: figures supplied by the French Sleep Research and Medicine Society, Lyon 1 University

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How to pick the best alarm clock for your child?

How to pick the best alarm clock for your childAre you thinking of buying your child an alarm clock? Digital, analogue or smart… follow the advice below to make the best choice!

An analogue child’s alarm clock

With their three hands indicating the hours, minutes and seconds, analogue alarm clocks are perfect if your child already knows how to tell the time. Available in many different styles, they remain a very reasonably priced option, usually costing between €15 and €50. Favour models with hands protected by a clear glass cover and with luminous numbers. That way, your child won’t need to switch the light on to know what time it is!

Digital-display alarm clocks

These alarm clocks allow beginners to work out what time it is, from the age of 3 years. They are the ideal option if your child is still learning to tell the time. Just like analogue alarm clocks, they come in a range of brightly-coloured styles that will be perfectly at home in a child’s bedroom. The advantages of these clocks include the absence of potentially annoying ticking as well as the possibility of personalising the alarm ring. However, models that light up are best, and make sure you choose one with a sufficiently clear display.

Smart alarm clocks

What if you wanted more from your child’s alarm clock? Today’s educational alarm clocks use cleverly designed pictograms to help younger children understand when it’s time to go to sleep and when it’s time to wake up. Urban Hello’s REMI, for example, is simultaneously an alarm clock for kids and a smart baby monitor. It also serves as an adjustable night light. What’s more, you can set it to play a lullaby of your choice at bedtime. And thanks to its baby monitor function, you will be able to hear even the slightest noise in your baby’s room and talk to your little one to soothe him or her.

By getting an alarm clock for your child, you can help them learn and adopt a good sleep routine. Now there’s a bright idea!

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Bedtime tantrums: how to defuse the situation

Bedtime tantrums how to defuse the situation

Are bedtime tantrums spoiling your evenings? Fortunately, solutions exist to help settle your child into a good routine.

When getting your child off to sleep is tricky…

Is your child still struggling to get to sleep at 10 o’clock at night despite having been put to bed at 8.30? You’re not alone! Many parents have exactly the same problem every night. When children refuse to go to bed, it’s often because they want to be like the grown-ups. They are demonstrating a strong desire to be independent, showing you that they want to go to bed when THEY choose, not when you tell them to!

Teach your children to fall asleep by themselves

Does your little one only ever go to sleep with you by his or her side? You should beware as this bad habit could soon become one that is difficult to break… To prevent this, establish a bedtime routine as soon as possible: bath, story, cuddles and sleep time. Before you leave the bedroom, remind your child that he or she is safe, even if you aren’t in the same room.

Stay firm!

As you leave the room, your child may well play up. He or she may cry or keep calling you back. Whatever you do, don’t give in. If your child has a tantrum, ignore it. Because reacting and getting cross could simply encourage the behaviour! Anticipate your child’s demands. For example, place a glass of water on the bedside table in advance.

Establishing a good sleep routine requires time and patience. But it will be worth it in the end! It will spare you plenty of tears later on. Have you thought about using a smart bedside clock to help you? Urban Hello’s REMI helps your child drift off to sleep peacefully thanks to its sleep schedule function, which records the sound profile of your little one’s nights. This helps you identify the conditions most conducive to a good night’s sleep for your little one. An invaluable aid if your child plays up at bedtime!

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Baby showers: the new trend imported from the USA

Baby showers the new trend imported from the USA Celebrate your baby’s impending arrival in style by throwing a baby shower! Invite your friends along to share the unique atmosphere of this very special all-girls event!

Baby showers, the fashionable new party

Baby showers, a popular custom in the USA traditionally held around the 8th month of pregnancy, are starting to gain ground in France. This girls-only event is an opportunity for the mum-to-be to get together with her closest friends for a very special celebration.

How to organise a baby shower

Generally speaking, a baby shower is held at the home of the mum-to-be or one of her close friends. Ideally, each shower has its own theme. The colour scheme might by pink or blue, depending on whether the baby is going to be a girl or a boy. Or the shower might have a strawberry or chocolate theme, especially if you’ve craved these sweet treats during your pregnancy! Customise your invitations according to the theme chosen and think about what games you and your friends could play at the party. You could hold a quiz about babies, for example. Or you could get your friends to place bets on your baby’s birth date, weight and sex, with whoever guesses correctly winning the kitty!

Baby shower gifts

Baby showers are an opportunity for your friends to shower you with gifts too! Gift ideas include a beauty product or treatment for the mum-to-be or a voucher for an evening’s babysitting after the birth. Other friends might bring a gift for the baby, such as personalised towels, cuddly toys or something more high-tech, such as a smart baby monitor. To point your friends in the right direction, make up your own baby shower gift list, in a store or online! A happy event for mums-to-be, a baby shower celebrates baby’s imminent arrival. Make it a moment to remember, filled with fun and gifts!

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Online educational games: 5 free sites to help kids learn while they have fun

Online educational games 5 free sites to help kids learn while they have fun

Take advantage of the holidays or a long weekend to spend quality time with your children These 5 free sites will help them learn as they have fun

Jacquote

Anagrams, dot-to-dot, connect 4… find a whole host of educational games, including some old favourites! And there are lots of other not-to-be-missed games to enjoy too, like snowboarding or jumping monkey. A website specially designed for children aged 5 or over!

Tidou

Would you like to help your children learn their colours, shapes or seasons? Have a look at the Tidou.fr website together. It includes a collection of educational games for toddlers, 4-6 year-olds and 7-10 year-olds. There’s something for everyone!

Tipirate

The Tipirate.net website contains a whole range of ideas to keep your children busy and exercise their brains. Colouring-in, jigsaw puzzles, riddles, multiplications, history, learning how to tell the time…  children can choose their games, depending on their current interests and needs.

Dragonbox

This English-language website promises your kids incredible learning experiences. It contains free games and apps, aimed at 4 to 9 year-olds. But Dragonbox also provides lots of educational information aimed at parents and educators.

Lulu la taupe

Lululataupe.com offers a broad range of interactive games to be printed out, aimed at nursery and primary school kids. Aimed at kids from the ages of 2 to 10, the site offers something for everyone, with a multitude of games designed to make learning fun. Mazes, join-the-dots, colour by numbers or worksheets… variety is the spice of life!

Help your children learn to read, count and understand the world around them using online educational games. And have fun yourself, introducing your kids to the games you used to play when you were their age!

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How can sleep contribute to your child’s well-being?

How can sleep contribute to your childs well-beingDoes your child get enough sleep? Since children’s well-being depends on plenty of good-quality sleep, here is some advice to make sure they get it.

A good night’s sleep is essential

In children, sleeping well is just as important as eating properly, for example. Because when children are sleep-deprived, they cannot assimilate information properly. A lack of sleep can even delay their development. That’s why a good sleep routine is so important to a child’s balance, from a very young age.

A lack of sleep means a cranky child

When children don’t get enough sleep, they are more irritable. Babies might refuse to be handled and cry very easily. Older children tend to be intolerant of not getting their own way, get annoyed for no apparent reason or even throw things on the ground. These difficulties controlling their emotions may make contact and interaction with others difficult.

Children who sleep well do better at school

Sleeping well has benefits for overall health, emotions, memory and decision-making. All these are essential factors for doing well at school. From nursery to high school, encourage your children to get into good sleeping habits throughout their school life. They will pay more attention in class, be able to concentrate for longer and will remember what they have learned better.

How can you tell if a child is sleeping badly?

There are a few tell-tale signs. For example, they may have difficulty paying attention for any length of time, and their minds may often wander. At school, they might tend to switch off and not listen right to the end of the lesson. Children who don’t get enough sleep often have difficulty integrating and joining in with others. At home they are more easily tired and can fall asleep anywhere, at any time of day. Finally, one of the most common consequences of sleep problems is actually hyperactivity! Constantly agitated and swinging quickly between laughter and tears, children compensate for their exhaustion by over-reacting. So, it’s important to act whenever you notice the first signs!

Since sleeping well is crucial for your child, help him or her get into a good sleep routine from a very young age. A smart bedside clock may make things easier. Urban Hello’s Remi is your child’s new sleep companion. It analyses children’s sleep and helps them fall asleep and wake up at the right times. An invaluable aid to ensure their well-being, all day long!

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Second baby: how to help your oldest cope with the new arrival

Second baby how to help your oldest cope with the new arrival

You’re expecting your second baby? Congratulations! If you’re wondering how to prepare your older child for the new arrival… here’s some helpful advice.

Defuse the situation

Since you announced the good news, has your first child turned into a real “little monster”? It’s quite understandable. As the oldest, he or she has been used to being the only child, the centre of attention and the focus of all your love and concern. So the arrival of a second baby is generally pretty unsettling! Attention shifts to the coming baby and your first child may feel a little abandoned. Fortunately, the situation can be remedied!

Second baby: how to restore the balance

First step: explain things clearly to your older child. In particular, talk to him or her about this new baby, who will be too small to be a playmate to begin with. Explain that new babies need lots of attention during the first few months because they are unable to do anything for themselves…

Spend time with your older child

When you first come home after the birth, you will be pretty busy. However, make sure you set a little time aside for baby’s big brother or sister. Give plenty of cuddles and play with your older child. Explain that you still love him or her just as much and spend as much time as possible together. Don’t hesitate to ask your partner to take over. Is your oldest child fretting and  worrying? Show that you understand how he or she feels. And remember to give compliments too. It’s important to comfort a big brother or sister, at a time when family and friends are cooing over the adorable new baby!

The arrival of a second baby is a major upheaval for both parents and big brother or sister. What was your experience?

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