With Christmas literally days away, the countdown is on! Like every year, yet again the holiday season has totally creeped up on me. Decorations, gift shopping, baking – ahh, the list goes on!!
With the stress and demands of the holidays, many moms and dads worry about how the action-filled days and social evenings will impact their child’s sleep. First of all, if you already have a stellar sleeper – don’t fret! Great sleepers typically continue to sleep well anywhere, so just keep on doing what you’re doing. If your little one is not exactly a dreamy sleeper, you may have some more hurdles to handle your holidays.
Before you begin, if your little one will celebrate his first Christmas this year, check out my blog post about Baby’s First Christmas
Help your wee one get some rest and drink that eggnog while it’s hot with the tips below:
With presents to buy and ingredients to purchase, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to be home for every nap. 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 exceptions – not the rule. So, try to schedule your social activities for the afternoon, where you can show off your happy, well-rested babe!
Young kids love predictability. Even with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, try to stick to your normal routine – within 30 minutes of their normal nap- and bed-time. You might feel the pressure from family wanting to spend time with your child, but keep in mind that an overtired baby is not an enjoyable company. So, keep your wee ones rested, and spend some quality time with your guests while your kids are sleeping.
Candy, Cookies and Egg Nog Galore
Tasty treats are inevitable over the holidays and obviously, we want our kids to enjoy all the goodies this time of year has to offer. But be mindful of sugar levels! I recommend moderation in the sugary snack department and cutting the kids off at least one hour before bed-time. Hyper makes sleep-time harder!
Sleeping in Strange Places
Do your best to find a quiet, calm, safe spot where your child can sleep. Pack those blackout blinds and white noise machine to block out the less-than-peaceful environment. If sharing a room with your little one, if possible, try and create a little barrier between yourself and your child. Hang a small blanket or even put them in the nook of a bedroom away from your bed. And don’t forget to pack their favorite little comfort item; a snuggly buddy or small blanket to make space feel familiar to them.
If you have established routines and healthy sleep habits with your kiddos, they will know what to expect and will go to sleep. If you need to offer a little more comfort or assurance, that’s OK. But don’t fall back into naughty habits. And if you’re having a hard time establishing strong sleep skills, there are qualified, experienced sleep consultants who can help 😉
Think quality over quantity when it comes to your calendar this time of year. There are lots of demands made of us. Try not to overschedule your family, and do your best to honor your child’s sleep. They will thank you for positive attitudes and upbeat moods, and be able to truly enjoy this magical time of the year.
May your holidays be happy and peaceful, and your next year filled with all the sleep and ZZZs you and your family need and deserve.
Lisa is a WeeSleep Certified Infant + Toddler Sleep Consultant who has helped hundreds of families. To learn more or book a free 15-minute consultation visit: wee-sleep.com/lisa-kvapil
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