The holiday season is fast approaching. That means family gatherings, parties that run late into the night, travel, etc. It’s a time of fun but also a time where sleep can often take a backseat. So how can you have it all and still have children who are well rested? Follow these simple tips to help you out
Where are you staying? How much room do you have? Are you staying in a hotel? By knowing what’s waiting for you when you get to your destination, you can bring everything you need. If you’re staying in a hotel it can be incredibly beneficial to book a room that has separate bedrooms or even get adjoining rooms. That way, the kids can head to bed early and you don’t have to hang out in the dark all evening.
Bring it to Go
Try to bring as much of your child’s room as you can. By that I mean anything that is small enough to bring with you in a suitcase or in the car. Things like lovey’s, favorite blankets, toddler clocks, nightlights. Bringing things that are reminders of home can help your child feel more comfortable in a new environment. It can also be a good idea to bring portable blackout blinds or garbage bags and tinfoil to put up on the windows in case it’s not dark enough.
Keep routines and schedules
Try to keep the routines you have at home as best you can. The familiarity of these routines will help signal to the body that it’s time for sleep. Also if it’s naptime, then it’s naptime no matter where you are. So have a space set out that is dark where baby can have a nap. Try not to deviate too much from your schedule.
Limit Sweets and Caffeine
This applies to the whole family. These are stimulants and can interfere with the body’s natural sleep drive. By limiting these items before bedtime, you’re setting yourself up for success.
This can be a tough one especially if you have lots of family and friends. It can often seem that for the whole month of December, there’s endless holiday parties, Santa visits and family gatherings. But if your children go to all of them, it’s super easy for them to get overstimulated and overtired very quickly. That equals meltdown central. So go to the ones that are super important and maybe find a sitter for the others so you can go childless. If your baby or child is melting down or is super hyper before bed, have a designated calm/quiet spot where they can go unwind before bed or anytime they need to get away.
Make sleep a priority a few weeks before the holidays
Try and make sure your kids are well rested before the holidays. Focus on awesome daytime sleep and early bedtimes. The better rested your baby/child is going into the holiday season, the better they will do. Limit technology before bed for everyone in the house so that everyone is getting quality sleep.
Yes, it can seem daunting but do try and have fun. I recommend following the 80/20 rule to help you find a great balance between sleep and a social life. It is ok to play with your child’s schedule a little bit (Christmas night for example might be a later bedtime) as long as sleep becomes your focus again. Messing with my son’s schedule always sends me into a bit of a panic but we always survive at the end of it all.
My final word of advice is to ask for help! If you are visiting family or have family visiting you, use them! I’m sure there are those who would love to hold baby while you cook, or have grandma give your toddler a bath or have grandpa cook dinner while you put the kids to bed.
I wish you all a very happy (and sleepy) holiday season!