Thursday, December 28, 2017

A Day in the Life of a Child Under 4: New Guidelines for Kids' Sleep, Movement and Screen Time

Let's face it--there are many demands on our time and the time of our children. For us, it's work, chores and daily care of our kids. For our kids, it's school, playtime, sports, and screentime all vying for their attention.

With all these competing demands, it's difficult to manage sleep, movement and screen time guidelines for our kids. New guidelines from Canada just helped parents get a full picture of how all these guidelines fit together. As parents know, how kids spend their time sleeping, moving and using screens are all related. A tired kid is more likely to gravitate towards a screen than go outside to play. Similarly, an active child is more likely to sleep better.

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Finally, an organization has combined all the guidelines together into one comprehensive guide for parents. This guide offers recommendations for what a healthy 24-hours looks like for a child under the age of 4.

Personally, I was excited to see such a comprehensive guide. Before this, all the guidelines were separate and not related to one another. Now, with one look, parents can see how all these recommendations relate.

This type of guide is not meant to make parents feel guilty, but rather to help us all understand the needs of our kids. Most of us instinctively know when our kids get too little sleep, just based on their grumpy behavior, but keeping these guidelines in mind can still help. There are always days when these plans go array, but understanding what type of routine help meets kids' needs best is always helpful. One of the authors described it this way,
"There's no need to fret over these exceptions, Tremblay says. But what we do need to do is think more fully and clearly about everything in our children's lives that make up a healthy day. That's what the new guidelines are there for."

I was so excited about this that I made a helpful PRINTABLE GUIDE that parents can post on their fridge to remind ourselves of these guidelines. It might even help our kids to see it too!

Grab your helpful guide by clicking below:

More resources for limiting screen time and keeping kids active:

Hands-On Activities for Toddlers

hands-on activities for toddlers

A Day in the Life of a Child Under 4: New Guidelines for Kids' Sleep, Movement and Screen Time

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