It’s not long now until the big C! Christmas is the most magical time, for children especially. Inevitably there will be later nights and Christmassy sweet treats - but how can you juggle all the excitement with ensuring they get enough sleep to enjoy the festivities without dissolving into overtired and over-sugared melt downs?!
Here at Little Dreams, we have put together our top tips for managing sleep over the festive period, especially for Toddle readers:
- Schedule in some ‘down time’. Try and have some quieter periods during the Christmas excitement in order to allow your little one time to ‘recharge’ amongst the presents, visitors, sweets etc! When little ones are overstimulated during the day, it can impact night time so ensuring there are some quieter moments can really help ‘keep a lid’ on the extra adrenaline that Christmas can cause.
- Try to stick to your little one’s normal routine. If they usually nap, try to ensure they still have their nap at the usual time, even if this needs to be on to go if you are out and about. If you do have a hectic few days and naps go a bit off track, pop your little one to bed a little earlier to make up for any lost sleep during the daytime. You may notice that more than a day or two of changes to their usual routine might result in an increase in protest at bedtime, so it’s important to be mindful of this.
- If you are going away over the Christmas period, try to remain consistent. It may throw your little one off if they are suddenly sleeping in an unfamiliar environment so we would recommend a few things to make the transition easier:
- Take bedding from home so that they are going to sleep with a familiar smell and feel
- Stick to your usual boundaries. It’s completely normal for children to test the boundaries when in an unfamiliar environment. Just because there is a certain rule at home, in their mind this may not be the same at Grandma’s – especially at Christmas when everyone may be a little more relaxed than normal! This is particularly important with sleep as everyone will probably be a little more overtired than normal, so sticking to your usual boundaries and routine at bedtime and during the night will help your little one feel safe and secure
- Take a gro-blind: Spare rooms can often be very light with no black out curtains. So a gro-blind can be a good idea to take to a new environment to ensure that it’s as dark as possible and to limit the stimulation around them at bedtime
- Don’t forget your little one’s comforter!!
- Don’t forget the outside time. The excitement, on Christmas Eve especially, will be high! It’s important to ensure that your little one has lots of opportunity to burn this excess energy off by running around – plus fresh air and exercise always aid sleep.
- The bedtime hour. Try to allow for a nice quiet pre-bedtime routine to allow your little one time to calm down before trying to put them to bed. Some quiet play time, or a family game, in a nice cosy living room, followed by bath time and a Christmassy story will help to calm your little one before bedtime. But don’t forget to put the festive snacks out for Father Christmas!
If Father Christmas misses you off his list and sleep doesn’t come your way this Christmas, we are now booking appointments for the New Year and would love to help deliver sleep to you for 2023, so please do get in touch! Or, perhaps you’re looking for a new challenge in 2023 and are looking for a truly flexible career doing the best job in the world?! Our franchise prospectus is full of information as to how you can make this a reality – you can download this here.
From all of us at Little Dreams Consulting, we wish you all a very merry (and sleep filled) Christmas!