Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a child was sleeping and mommy was TIRED! While the holidays are a wonderful time of year, it may feel overwhelming to find a balance between attending all the holiday events and keeping your child on schedule and well-rested. Your child’s sleep may get off track and before you know it, you and your little one may be struggling to stay on Santa’s Nice List this season. Making your child’s sleep a priority during the Holiday season doesn’t have to feel overwhelming. If you are looking for help to keep your little one well-rested during travel and this Holiday Season, check out The Ultimate Holiday Travel and Sleep Guide.
Here are some Holiday Sleep Tips to help keep your children merry and bright.
Maintain current schedules.
When we are well-rested, is it easier to be a little flexible and handle changes. Having a well-establish nap and bedtime schedule helps with planning visits and allows you to work around your child’s sleep schedule, keeping their sleep a priority. Even though it is tempting to succumb to pressure to push your child past their threshold, try to suggest visits outside of the sleep time or host visitors instead. While exceptions can be made, limit the exceptions to one or two nights in a row and add in an early bedtime to help get back on track and avoid the holiday meltdown.
Prepare for travel.
While traveling, bring familiar items from home and help make the child’s temporary environment ideal for sleep (with a white noise machine, blackout blind, etc.). If your child has favorite books that are a part of the bedtime routine, bring them along. Continue to keep the bedtime routine even while away from home and let your child know the sleep rules apply even with travel.
Make safety a priority.
When traveling bring along a safe sleep environment for your infant such as a portable crib or pack’n play. For older children, make sure their room is safe for sleep as well. The homes you visit may not be “childproofed” and may have unlocked cabinets, access to stairs, exposed medications or other potential injury hazards. Scan the area and remove access to possible hazards to help your child stay safe this holiday season. Keep a close eye on your child and encourage visitors to place their purses, coats and other belongings, which may pose a danger to your child, out of the reach.
Remind yourself that it is fine to say ‘NO’ sometimes. While visiting with friends and family during this holiday season is very special, if your child gets off track, you will most likely be the one dealing with the over-tired child. Give yourself permission to say ‘NO’ if it feels like you are doing too much and to help keep your family’s needs a priority.
Remember that you are forming memories with your children during this season. If you get off track, refocus and spend a few days committing to your child’s schedule and allow everyone a few early bedtimes to catch up on the sleep they have lost.
Hoping these tips will help prevent everyone from turning into a Grinch this holiday season.