SLEEP AND THE HOLIDAYS
I know this time of year can be stressful, especially if you have a newly sleep trained baby. All your family’s hard work, potentially at risk of back sliding. On one hand, we want to partake in ALL of the festivities of the season…. But on the other, we desperately do not want to risk disrupting our baby’s sleep so much that we are back to square one.
Typically, this time of year I am talking a lot about maintaining schedules due to holiday parties, travel, and gatherings. This year is definitely different. At least in my area, there are no gatherings of any sorts happening.
Even though staying out late celebrating or kids skipping naps because of travel probably won’t be an issue this year, the holidays in general can bump sleep around. Having time off of regular schedules often leads to a shift in our sleep routines (even when you’re stuck at home).
You know that “sleep hangover” you feel on Monday morning when you’ve stayed up a bit later on Friday and Saturday night? We really want to prevent that from happening with our kiddos. A week or more with grumpy kids is not my idea of fun and here are a few ways to avoid it!
1 - Aim to keep bedtime ON-time! Letting it fluctuate by 30 mins should be fine, especially with older ages, but much more than 30 min… there’s a good chance you’ll have a grumpy pants on your hands.
2 - Respect your child’s need for naps! Skipping naps is a recipe for disaster for any age. It can negatively affect the following 24 hours of sleep! If your child usually has a nap, try your best to maintain that over the holidays. If napping in a crib or playpen is not possible, go for a motion nap (carrier or stroller).
3 - Christmas movies are the best! And it can be so tempting to completely indulge and marathon watch over the holidays. But remember that fresh air and vigorous outdoor play helps promote sleep. Whether it’s tobogganing, walking, snowman building… try to get outside at least once a day.
If you live in an area that is permitting travel right now, here are a few extras to keep sleep on track (in addition to the above).
Plan your travel during nap time. If you have a long drive to your destination, plan to leave at your child’s ideal nap time.
Replicate the sleep environment as best as possible. Don’t forget the white noise machine, your child’s lovie, and portable blackout blinds as needed.
Keep consistent with your child’s normal sleep routine. As best as possible, keep the bedtime routine the same as what you’re doing at home. (bath/pj’s/book/bed)
I hope these tips help keep the sanity and sleep in your home or wherever you are over the holidays! We all feel better when we are well rested.
From our family to yours, wishing you a healthy, warm, and very Merry Christmas!