Help your wee ones avoid sleep mishaps this holiday with these five easy tips!
Ding dong ding dong ding dong ding. The Christmas carols are blaring, the cookies are baking and the lights are a-twink-a-ling. The holiday season is officially upon us. Time for family and friends, and fun and festivities!
It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday season – and there’s totally nothing wrong with that! Wee just want to make sure that we don’t get so wound up in the hustle and bustle that our little one’s sleep falls through the cracks. With all the extra stimulation and excitement, it’s extra important that we honour our children’s sleep.
Here are some suggestions to avoid the biggest holiday sleep issues!
- Stage the Sleep Space: Your child sees his or her room as a familiar safe space. During the holidays, you may be spending nights (or weeks –ugh!) at your relatives’ homes, and socializing at people’s homes where you need to put your little one to bed. What you want to do is make this unfamiliar environment familiar! Bring along the favourite toy, the sleep sack and the snuggly buddy. Ensure you have a pack and play, travel crib or portable bed so your little one is tucked away cozy and safe. Make the room dark and peaceful – portable blackout blinds are great for this! And if it’s going to be a rowdy party, turn on a white noise machine to drown out the shenanigans.
- Stay Consistent: With presents to buy and ingredients to purchase, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to be home for every nap or exactly on time for every bedtime. Inevitably there will be some on-the-go naps for your wee one. But it’s important that these stroller or car naps are the exception – not the rule. Make sure your babe has as many proper naps as possible, and don’t stray more than 30 minutes from their normal routine.
- Great Things Take Time: It can be easy to fall out of habit with your usual great, consistent routines during the rush of the holidays. But, babies and toddlers LOVE consistency and predictability – it is always best to help them understand what is coming next. So, resist the urge to skip your child’s usual bedtime routine – don’t just pull your toddler out of the festivities and plunk them into bed! Your child will respond much better if you are consistent with your usual bedtime routine.
- Put Down the Sugar: This season is already so exciting for our kiddos…and then we go and add sugar! Of course we want our little ones to enjoy some festive treats, but wee suggest limiting sugary goodies as much as possible, particularly within a couple hours of bedtime. This gives your child the best chance for winding down quickly and slipping into a nice, peaceful, restful sleep.
- Say No: Overscheduling is the enemy of sleep and balance. With your mailbox full of invitations to parties, open houses, pot-lucks, and gift openings, your social calendar might fill up very quickly during the holidays. Try to avoid overscheduling your calendar with family events or buckling under pressure to visit everyone who asks. If you attempt to please everyone, it could lead to missed naps and late bedtimes, and you’ll end up with temper tantrums and meltdowns from your otherwise content and happy child. Stick to your babe’s schedule within reason, even if family and friends are waiting to visit. Then they’ll get to visit your sweet little angel – guaranteed to be on the nice list.
For a happy holiday season make sure all of your family members can get the rest, relaxation and sleep that they need. Especially the littlest members!