Whether you're travelling to see family and friends this holiday season or sticking close to home, chances are there will be some late nights, missed naps and general disruption of regular routines. So, how do you keep everyone well rested (this goes for adults too!) while still enjoying all the best that the holidays have to offer?
Take a deep breath, and keep reading. Rest assured, you don’t have to be a prisoner to bedtime and nap time – there are lots of ways to be flexible while still being mindful of your children’s sleep needs. Remember that the few weeks around the holidays are just a short period of time, so try to enjoy them without stress. Here are some tips and recommendations to help minimize overtired kids among the eggnog, presents and shortbread cookies.
Tips For Staying Well-rested Over the Holidays
1. Stack the Deck
Take a good look at your holiday schedule and make note of when the busy days and late nights may fall. For the week leading up to those big party plans, make sure that nap times (or quiet time for older kids) and bedtimes are kept on track and fill that sleep tank as best you can. If your children go into the holidays feeling well rested, they will make it through a few late nights much better than if they go into the season already feeling overtired and sleep deprived.
2. Be Prepared
Need to nap at Grandma’s house, stay late at that Christmas Eve party or sleepover at the in-laws? Don’t forget to pack a travel sleep bag for your child. Pack positive sleep tools like black out blinds, a sound machine, their bedding, stories and favourite lovey to help make a new sleep environment as comfortable as possible. Be sure to use your regular bedtime or naptime routine wherever you are and whenever you can. Doing the same events before sleep time that you do at home will bring comfort and security and help prepare your child for sleep no matter where you are.
3. Know Your Limits and Keep It Simple
It can totally be tempting to accept every holiday invitation you get, but when you have young kids, you need to be realistic about how many late nights or extra busy days they can handle before you are dealing with more meltdowns than you can count. Different children also have different limits, so if you have a sensitive sleeper, take into account their temperament and what they will be able to tolerate.
4. Don’t Run On Empty
Yup, this tip is for you parents! When you are shuttling your kids between family visits and asking them to be on their best behaviour in unfamiliar environments, you will handle the situations much better yourself if you are well rested too. Even though there will be many great holiday movies on TV, turn off the technology and head to bed early when you can. Being well rested is an extra tool in your parenting toolbox as you navigate a very busy time.
Ready for a fun filled few weeks?