Healthy Kids Sit Less & Play More

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Recently updated guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) outline ways to help our little ones under age 5 to grow up healthy. These include recommendations for reducing screen time and time spent restrained in car seats, carriers, high chairs, and strollers.

BUT don’t think of this as a guilt trip for those times when you have to bend (or break) the guidelines and let your little ones watch some TV or stay strapped in for their safety. The key here is knowing what the healthy choices are for your kids so you can make educated decisions for how to raise your family that set your kids up for future success and give them their best chance at lifelong health!

“The pattern of overall 24-hour activity is key: replacing prolonged restrained or sedentary screen time with more active play, while making sure young children get enough good-quality sleep. Quality sedentary time spent in interactive non-screen-based activities with a caregiver, such as reading, storytelling, singing and puzzles, is very important for child development.” —World Health Organization

Recommendations At A Glance:

Newborn - 11m:

  • Be physically active several times a day through interactive floor-based play; more is better.

  • At least 30 minutes of tummy time (while awake, spread throughout the day).

  • Try not to restrain for more than 1 hour at a time (e.g. strollers, high chairs, or strapped on a caregiver’s back).

  • Reading and storytelling with a caregiver is encouraged. Screen time is not recommended.  

  • Get GOOD, QUALITY SLEEP, including naps:

    • 0–3 months old — 14–17 hours/day

    • 4–11 months of age — 12–16 hours/day

Children 1-2 years old:

  • At least 3 hours of physical activities of varying intensities, spread throughout the day. More is better.

  • Try not to restrain for more than 1 hour at a time (e.g., strollers, high chairs, or strapped on a caregiver’s back) or sit for extended periods of time.

  • SITTING TIME:

    • For 1-year-olds, sedentary screen time (such as watching TV or videos, playing computer games) is not recommended.

    • For those aged 2 years, sedentary screen time should be no more than 1 hour; less is better.

    • Reading and storytelling with a caregiver is encouraged.

  • Get 11-14 hours of GOOD, QUALITY SLEEP, including naps, with regular sleep and wake-up times.

Children 3-4 years old:

  • At least 3 hours of physical activities of varying intensities, spread throughout the day, of which at least 60 minutes is moderate-to-vigorous intensity. More is better.

  • Try not to restrain for more than 1 hour at a time (e.g., strollers) or sit for extended periods of time.

  • SITTING TIME:

    • Screen time should be no more than 1 hour; less is better.

    • Reading and storytelling with a caregiver is encouraged. 

  • Get 10–13 hours of GOOD, QUALITY SLEEP, including naps, with regular sleep and wake-up times.

Read the full WHO recommendations here

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Hey, Mommas!

Interested in ideas for how to interact, teach, and play with your 1-5 year-olds… PLUS meet other moms with little ones? Check out TOT SPOT, our monthly guided play group for moms and toddlers. It’s FREE!

Summer 2019 Tot Spot Dates:
Wednesday, June 26, 10-11:30am
Wednesday, July 24, 10-11:30am
Wednesday, August 28, 10-11:30am