“How do I leave the house”?

This is a question that comes up a lot from my clients as we finish sleep training.

Q: “My child is sleeping so well now, that I am worried about deviating from his schedule. I am worried to go anywhere in case he misses a nap or goes to bed a little later than usual or he doesn’t settle well when we aren’t at home – and then we go right back to where we were when I called you.”

A: Take a breath and relax, your baby will do just fine. You can follow the 80/20 rule.  80% of the time, protect your child’s naps, bedtime and sleep environment, and 20% of the time, “live life”. Vacation, appointments, day trips, road trips etc – those fall under the 20% if you are not doing them every day.

I can’t tell you how your baby will respond to an adjustment in the schedule; he might have a bit of a restless night, or early morning, or you might not notice and changes in his sleep. I do know that a well rested child will respond better than an overtired child. The key is to get right back on track when you get home.

If you are off schedule for one or two days and once you return home your little one is waking at their normal time, then you don’t need to do anything. If you find that they are having a harder time falling asleep or they are waking earlier than usual in the morning, then I suggest an earlier bedtime for a few nights.

Remember, you have an excellent sleeper; follow the 80/20 rule and try not to worry too much about taking them off schedule from time to time.

Click here to find tips on planning for the winter holiday season.