Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Lighting Baby & Kids Bedrooms

There are several factors to consider when lighting your baby’s room and taking note of these before selecting the light source for that room would be wise.

Lights to stimulate brain activity

Mobile lights splash soft colours and pictures onto a wall and are ideal for stimulating infant brains.  A white wall is boring and dull to look at, and babies need colour and movement to promote brain activity.

Rest is equally important for a baby’s brain, making it is a good idea to install a dimmer control switch on your main light, so that when you feed at night, or when your baby wakes up, you can encourage him or her to go back to sleep as quickly and easily as possible.

Bedtime stories

Bedtime reading has a dual purpose of educating your toddler, and helping him or her to sleep.  Consider installing an intense directional bedside lamp.  This will ensure that you can see what you’re reading, but won’t interfere with the little one falling asleep.

As your youngster begins growing up, he or she may want the comfort of a night light, which can be left on all night, or alternatively put a mobile battery-operated touch-lamp on the bedside table, which your toddler can push on and off at will.  Another option is to install a timer-controlled lamp that can be plugged into the wall, and will switch off after a pre-determined time.

Just for fun

Light up your child’s bedroom or playroom with a delightful Eglo or Disney light fitting (contact Eurolux for your closest retailer) that will add an element of fun, and allow decorators and parents to express their creativity.  You’ll find both age-appropriate fittings as well as ones that will be suitable for many years.  Innovative designs include a cloud, a clown, the sun, an elephant, an aeroplane, a bee, and more.

The right light improves concentration

Many kids’ bedrooms double as a study, and it is important to choose a study lamp best suited to your child’s needs.  These needs change as your child grows up – a young child needs a small light focused onto a single book, whereas an older child studying from several books such as a workbook, a maths book, a calculator, etc, needs a greater spread of light to aid concentration.  The spread of light needs to be where the child is working to keep his attention on his books.  In fact research shows that concentration levels increase when working in a well-lit area. If concentration is increased, understanding of the work is easier and the time spent studying is reduced.

Fluorescent desk and floor lamps are ideal for people working for long periods of time since they don’t produce a lot of heat.  If however, you are working on something intense such as studying from a textbook or writing an article, then a halogen lamp is more effective as its colour rendering is superior.

Safety hazards and children

Ever wondered what the world looks like from your child’s perspective?  Get down on your hands and knees and take a look around.
You might be surprised to see some of the following:
  • Electrical outlets are now at eye-level,
  • Cords that can be pulled or wrapped around necks
  • Table or floor lamps that can be knocked or pulled over
  • Sharp corners and edges on furniture
  • Thick pile carpets that can hide dirt and other small things that toddlers can put in their mouths
Electrical outlets or plug points that are not in use should be covered with special covers.  Remember that small fingers can be strong and nimble enough to pry things off, so be sure the plug covers are too big to swallow.

All cords, including those attached to lamps and other appliances, on blinds, and any other ties should be gathered securely and placed out of reach, or put into a cord corral, or tacked to the skirting board.  Remember that’s what’s behind the couch may not be visible to you, but certainly is to a child crawling around on the floor.  Young children like to put loose objects into their mouths, and electrical wire can be a great (but lethal) teething toy!

Consider securing wobbly table or floor lamps by using double-sided tape or Prestik (provided your furniture or floor can withstand this).  Here’s a tip if your lamp stand has a circular base – use three pieces of tape rather than four, to ensure better stability.

Avoid using glass lampshades if you have young children, as these can present a serious safety hazard if they break or shatter.

Use energy saver globes rather than incandescent globes because they don’t get as hot and you won’t run the risk of little fingers getting burnt.  Energy savers burn much cooler than an incandescent globe because they convert 80% of electricity into light and 20% into heat, whereas incandescents work the other way around, converting 80% of electricity into heat and only 20% into light.  That’s why energy savers remain cool and save money on your electricity bill.

And finally, how to arrange bedroom furniture - ensure that it does not provide a climbing toddler with opportunities to investigate new heights. Be especially careful that there is nothing under a window that a child could climb up on! For good ideas around children’s bedroom decorating, why not contact us, The Bed King or a bed retail specialist in your area.

Article written by The Bed King.

As published on: Beds Cape Town

Photo credit: My nephew’s room via photopin (license)

Friday, 22 May 2015

How to get the best sleep during pregnancy

The National Sleep Foundation has outlined several common sleep changes that may occur during each trimester. These include constant waking, owing to the need to use the bathroom; increased sleepiness during the day; and sleep disruptions that are caused by emotional and physical stress. However, there are a few guidelines to follow which could leave you sleeping soundly and comfortably all night long. I recently found some good tips for just this on www.all4baby.co.za.

Ordered to bed

To prevent certain complications in pregnancy there are times when your doctor might prescribe bed rest for a few days or weeks. While the thought of this might seem welcoming at first, in reality it poses its own challenges, and could even be quite tiring on your body.
In these cases the best position would be to rest on your left side and alternate from side to side as you get sore. It is sometimes comfortable to rest with your hips and knees bent, but use a pillow between your knees in order to relieve the stress on your back and keep your hips aligned.
Remember that in these cases a firm mattress and bed should be used to support the body and stop it from sinking into the mattress.

What type of bed should be selected during pregnancy?

When selecting the right type of bed for your pregnancy keep in mind that an adjustable bed may be quite beneficial in the long run. These are good for back pain as you will be able to adjust the bed to comfortably suit the needs of your body. In addition to this, adjustable beds are good to use during breastfeeding as they will enable you to adjust the angle of your head and legs, thereby preventing strain to the neck and back.

If adjustable beds aren’t for you, then try sleeping on a king sized bed before and after your pregnancy. During your pregnancy you will have enough room to space yourself out according to the needs of your body. Once your baby is a year old or no longer at risk for SIDS a king sized bed will also provide you with enough room for him or her to sleep soundly beside you.

Mattress and more

Selecting the right mattress for the duration of your pregnancy is almost as important as your pregnancy diet. We all know how important it is to cherish your sleep before the arrival of your precious baby. As such, it’s best to choose a firm mattress that will support your body, minimise partner disturbance and eliminate high pressure spots.
A good buy would be a Latex Mattress as according to local mattress experts, the Bed King, latex mattress have many benefits that could benefit pregnant women including good ventilation, as well as hypoallergenic and antibacterial properties. A point to remember when selecting a mattress is be careful to stay away from memory foam mattresses as it is said that they give off gases that are harmful. However, there isn’t much clear evidence to support this so if you do decide to choose a memory foam mattress then be certain to do some in-depth research prior to your purchase.
Once you have selected the right bed and mattress for pregnancy, then you may want to buy some additional pillows which you might need in the third trimester. Try using a full-length body pillow and then a few smaller pillows for a bit of extra support. You can use pillows under your head and arms, under your back, or between your stomach and the bed. At the end of the day the choice is yours and your comfort, or lack thereof, will tell you what your body needs.

If this doesn’t work then try the following tips

  • If you are still struggling to sleep after changing your mattress, then try trickling a few drops of lavender oil onto your pillow before you sleep. The oil will assist in easing insomnia and anxiety, whilst leaving you feeling fully energised the next day.
  • Another way to ensure that you get a long night’s rest is to go to bed an hour prior to your usual bedtime and read or meditate to relax your mind.
  • In addition to this, try to avoid drinking liquids after 6:00pm. This will decrease the need to rush off to the bathroom during the night.