Heading into the holiday season can be stressful for parents of young children and babies. Suddenly routine and consistent schedules seem next to impossible and finding out how to keep your baby well-rested during the busy festivities is at the top of your Christmas list.
Over at Good Night Sleep Site we shared our 12 Days of Holiday Sleep Tips. Each day, on our Facebook and Instagram accounts, we shared a new and valuable tip to help you and your family find better sleep this holiday season. I wanted to share each tip with you and give the gift of sleep to your little one, and a few extra hours of eggnog and cheers for mom and dad.
Helpful Christmas Sleep Tips:
Day 1: Today's tip is a simple one, but an important one: Keep a consistent bedtime routine, even during the holidays. If you read a book, or sing a song as part of your process, continue doing that, no matter where your child is laying their head.
Day 2: Thinking about sleep training or changing up your bedtime process? The holidays are not the best time to start! Consistency is key when making these changes and it's best to wait until the new year to begin.
Day 3: Even though bedtime and naptime may be a bit out of routine because of house guests, family gatherings or events, I recommend that you offer your toddler some quiet time, away from the excitement at some point during the day. Maybe that means 30 minutes before bedtime they play a quiet activity in their bedroom, or in the afternoon you sit and read a book for a few moments. This will help your toddler avoid a meltdown -- the holidays can be overwhelming for them!
Day 4: The No. 1 tip I can give you for sound holiday sleep? Say no. Sometimes it's hard, but you don't have to attend every party, get together or event. Sometimes the best thing for you and your family is to get to bed at a good time. You'll be thankful the next day!
Day 5: Naps don't need to be optional during the holidays. Keep the same nap routine that you usually have (or add an extra one as needed!)
Day 6: There is going to be a lot of hustle and bustle during the holidays, so when you can, go back to early bedtimes. After all the excitement is done, early bedtimes will help everyone get back on track for better sleep in the new year as well.
Day 7: Travelling over the holidays? Don't let bad sleep get in the way of your festive fun. Pack handy travel items like a white noise machine and black out blinds that will help you create a welcoming sleep environment for your little ones no matter where you are.
Day 8: Try to time out travel around nap time or bedtime. If you are leaving around bedtime, put the kids in pjs and plan to transition them to a safe sleep space upon arrival. After a long drive, they may need extra nap time the next day!
Day 9: Whether you are going on a long trip to visit family, or just a few blocks over to grandma's house for Christmas night, you'll want to pack a few favourite travel products for sleeping on-the-go.
Day 10: We know how exciting and fun this time of year is, but don't forget the 80/20 rules. What is that? It means that 80 per cent of the time you are keeping your child's bedtime and naps on schedule and 20 per cent of the time you deviate a little because of circumstances (like holiday parties!). Don't overuse the 80/20 rules and always go back to consistency as soon as you can.
Day 11: Are you noticing that the holidays have changed your once-great sleeper into an overtired kiddo? Look to going back to some basics like consistency and an earlier bedtime, no matter their age. Sometimes we have to help our children re-establish their good sleep habits after a busy time!
Day 12: Holidays are for celebrating and spending time with those you love. No matter what your plans, one tip to remember is that you want to enjoy the time together. Squeeze in some naps, establish a great family bedtime routine together and celebrate all that this time of year has to offer! For more bedtime tips, we have a full resource dedicated to family bedtime routines on our #BringBackBedtime page.
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