Turn it down

One of nearly every modern mommas standbys has been called into question thanks to a recently released study. Those awesome sound machines that seem to magically lull babes into a deep sleep and keep them there may not be so healthy after all. Cue panic mode over at our house.

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Per the study, "the machines could be harmful, capable of producing sound pressure levels that could potentially harm babies' auditory development. Its researchers are calling for manufacturers to print warnings about noise-induced hearing loss on packaging and urging parents to exercise caution."

There are no definitive results from the first study of its kind, but experts say it's important to keep sound machines as far away from cribs as possible, keep volume on the low side and use them sparingly.

 

Turn in off

Put down the phone and go to bed. It seems easy enough, but a new study proves what this momma already knows even once tucked in for the night sometimes we pick back up that iPad or iPhone to do "just one more thing" and it's damaging our snooze time. The worst of it? Kids are doing it, too.

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"The new survey from the National Sleep Foundation, released on Monday, shows that 89 percent of adults and 75 percent of children have at least one electronic device in their bedrooms, most commonly a television. And more than a third of parents and kids said they sometimes left some sort of electronic on at night, like a TV, tablet or smartphone or an iPod or other music player."

The rub here that soft blue light registers as sunlight in your brain. Per experts, having the electronics going suppresses melatonin (the brain hormone that puts you to sleep), which makes it even harder to go to sleep and takes the body longer to nod off.

"The survey found that 6- to 10-year-olds are averaging about 8.9 hours of sleep on school nights hours less than the 10 to 11 they should ideally be getting and older kids get even less sleep, with 15- to 17-year-olds reporting just 7.1 hours of sleep per night." The older kids should be getting more like 9.25 hours of sleep a night.

The good news parents that enforce rules about when kids can use electronics have good results in those children sleeping closer to the appropriate times.

 

Right at home

Home births are on the rise. While they remain a rarity, accounting for merely a little more than 1 percent of all births, they are the highest in the U.S. that they have been for four decades.

According to a recently released report from the CDC, Alaska led the charge with one in 17 births happening at home. The uptick in births outside of hospitals began in 2004.

 

Let it go

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We can't get enough of that Frozen song and we aren't alone. Idina Menzel killed it at the Academy Awards when she performed Let it Go (which won the Oscar for best song) and then this week Jimmy Fallon and The Roots joined her for the kiddie treatment — so cool even the parents are getting on board in a big way.

They performed the Disney-movie tune using a bevy of children's instruments and the new version has taken the web by storm. Check it out here.

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