It is always a very exciting time of year for children and adults alike. Not only on Christmas eve but the build up to it too. From town Christmas light switch on events to school events and seeing friends and family, there are a lot of factors that may make your child's sleep take a downward spin.
Here at Sleep Easy I have put together some simple rules to follow over the festive season to ensure your child manages to maintain healthy sleep and enjoy the magical time of year.
1- Do not forget the naps!
If your child is still napping, then you need to continue to factor this into your days plans. Knowing your child's sleep needs depending on age will allow you to plan and manipulate them to fit in with your plans. Instead of skipping the nap or stretching their wakeful window too long consider going for a tactical walk with your pushchair to get at least 45 minutes in before waking them up. On Christmas day itself, feel free to rope in a family member to take them for a walk in the pushchair as the house is likely to be louder than normal and they may struggle to sleep in their usual sleep space.
2- Plan for Christmas eve!
Many children are likely to take a while to settle on Christmas eve, but there is no need to avoid getting Santas food ready. Whatever your family traditions are, try to plan on getting them to bed 30 minutes earlier than normal. Your evening may well look very different to a normal night, which is fine but once you take them upstairs to get ready for bed, try to stick to your normal routine. This will allow them to start winding down as normal and by doing this a little earlier you allow for a certain amount of 'up and down' before they fall asleep while avoiding them becoming too overtired.
3- Agree on your wake-up time and stick to it.
If your child uses any visual aid such as a gro-clock then you need to stick with the rules to avoid issues after Christmas. If you are happy to start your day early on Christmas day then make sure you manipulate the settings so that they still wake up in the right way. If you want to stick to your normal wake up time, then do just that!
4: Christmas night.
Christmas day is very over stimulating and while your little ones may want a late night it is much better to get them down a little early. This will avoid them becoming a grinch which no one wants to deal with and will allow you to enjoy your evening. If your child has a late-night Christmas you may well find that their sleep is disturbed during the night and could ruin their mood for the following day which is likely to be a busy one too.
5: Enjoy it!
We do not get enough years with our little ones being little. Try not to stress and allow for catch up naps and early night after Christmas day so that it does not become an issue. It is important to avoid starting any habits that will be difficult to move away from but if you follow the advice above you should have a peaceful Christmas with a happy child.
To find out your child's sleep needs by age why not head over to our website to download your free complete sleep! You can also book your free sleep assessment if you are interested in more support with your child's sleep.