Sleep tips for the festive season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… until your child refuses to sleep.

If you’re worried about sleep during the holiday season, you might find some of the below tips helpful:

  • Try and stay consistent and stick to the sleep schedules and meal times.
  • If you are traveling, try to stick to your child’s normal routine as much as possible.
  • Don’t forget to pack the things your child needs for sleep (for example favourite teddy bear, blanket, pillow, white noice machine, dummy etc). Make your child’s sleep area as similar as possible to what he has at home. This will make your child feel secure and help them fall asleep more easily. 
  • When you are surrounded by family, give your little ones extra time in the evening for everyone to say goodnight. That doesn’t mean allowing the bedtime to be too late, but instead plan some time for their rounds of goodbyes before the bedtime routine.
  • Try not to skip naps! With all the excitement children might not seem tired at all, but cutting out their nap will only get them overtired and may lead to a worse big time sleep.
  • When however naps are cut short or left out completely because of the daytime celebrations, plan for an earlier bedtime to  make up for lost sleep.
  • Keep an eye on the sugar your child consumes. Try and limit sugar goodies, especially in the hours leading up to bedtime. On a bright side – turkey is a great sleep inducing food.
  • Make the hour before bed screen free time and do some quieter activities.
  • Allow for extra wind down time before bed and spend it alone with your child in their bedroom. They might be missing the one one one time during all the holiday hustle and bustle.
  • Plan that things might not go as expected and you might have a late night or two. In that case allow for an extra afternoon nap or for some quiet activity in the evening. Ensure though you keep the bedtime routine as close to normal as possible.

It’s important to have realistic expectations. It’s hard to sleep when you’re excited so your child may well have some disturbed sleep during the festive season. And that’s all right. It’s Christmas after all!