You've worked so hard on your child’s sleep. You have a routine down, bedtime is a breeze, then all of a sudden it comes to a screeching halt: the holidays. The time of year where days become busy, routines disappear, and suddenly you’re hoping Santa gifts you with your child’s sleep again.
Juggling the holidays and your children’s sleep doesn’t have to be stressful. You can have a restful holiday while also enjoying festive activities!
Even as adults, we typically don’t sleep well when away from home, so we have to have the same expectations of our children. Be patient and don’t set your expectations too high. If a nap is missed or skipped, try putting them to bed earlier that night if possible. If the night didn’t go well, make a restorative nap a priority the next day.
Keep a Routine
I know it’s hard to keep a routine when you’re travelling from one home to the next, or even going away on vacation during the holidays. Remember that children need structure, even while they’re away from home. Preserving nap and bedtimes will make your holidays that much more fun! No matter where your kids are, create a comfy sleep environment where they are able to get the rest that they need to enjoy the fun you have planned for later. An overtired and cranky child means less fun for everyone.
Being organized is key. Having the necessities with you at all times without packing up the whole house will make your life easier in the long run. Bring a travel crib in your car, an extra set of pajamas and one special thing that is familiar and comforting to your child, like a favourite teddy bear. Creating familiarity in an unfamiliar environment will help you child adjust to their new surroundings that much easier.
Remember, travelling and the holidays can be tough - have fun and don’t stress! If things get slightly off track, once you’re back at home, just reset and get everyone back on the usual schedule!
Laura Armstrong is a certified Sleep Consultant with Good Night Sleep Site Toronto and mother to her amazing daughter Norah, and wife to her wonderful husband Daniel. Laura knows the frustrations behind sleepless nights and overtired children and wants families to know that they’re not alone. When Laura isn’t helping families sleep, she works as a Registered Massage Therapist at her own practice in Toronto located in Roncesvalles Village, specializing in infant and family massage. Laura and her family also enjoy spending time up north at the cottage or just exploring the great city they live in.
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