With the holidays upon us, many parents wonder and worry about their baby or toddler’s sleep, particularly during visits from family or holiday traveling. What will happen to the schedule?
First and foremost, the holidays and traveling, in general, is a time to have fun and enjoy yourselves! So, try not to worry too much about your little one’s sleep and schedule when you are supposed to be relaxing and having fun. That said, if you aren’t careful, you could end up with a big mess to clean up beyond the dirty dishes.
Here are 5 tips to make your holiday sleep with your family that much more restful:
- Before you travel, make sure you have a well-established nap and bedtime routine. This will make it easier for your baby or toddler to know what to expect, even though they may or may not be at home or on their regular daytime routine. This routine can be your “anchor” so your child will know your expectations, even if other things are different.
- For older babies and toddlers, consider introducing a “lovey” (a favorite item to which your child can cuddle) leading up to the holidays for added comfort. Visitors or traveling can cause some anxiety (not just for children), so having a comfort item can help give them something they can always take with them.
- If you are traveling time zones, try to get onto the normal clock schedule as soon as you can, within reason. If you are traveling too late at night, allow one day of sleeping in and off-schedule naps, but then try to get back on schedule the following day. If you travel early enough, stick to the regular schedule right away for an easier transition across time zones and battling jet lag.
- Stick to your sleep schedule as much as you can without sacrificing fun during your festivities. And, once you get back home, try to get back to your normal schedule as quickly as you can for a smoother and faster transition back home.
- If you have visitors and a sensitive baby or toddler, explain to your visitors that you understand how limited their time is with your child, but that his sleep needs have to be a priority because of his behavior, happiness, and well-being. And, try to plan ahead by having visitors come over after at least the first nap of the day (if your child is still taking more than one) because typically that’s the most important. That way, if the rest of the day doesn’t go exactly as planned, she might not be as overtired, at least.
While the holidays can throw a wrench even in the best of schedules, the magic of the season doesn’t have to lead to a cranky mess for months later. For more sleep help, including tips to promote sleeping through the night you can put to use all year long, check out our free e-Book, 5 Ways To Help Your Baby Sleep Through The Night! If you want to have a library of resources at your fingertips as your child grows and you grow your family, you can also check our Members Area, where we have an e-book called Mastering Naps and Schedules devoted to the topic of helping keep your child on schedule whether it’s rigid or flexible. In addition, it has over 30 sample schedules for you to find the right fit for your child, since no two are identical.
In addition to many other resources, we also have a custom schedule generator for all ages where you can simply input your child’s age and instantly receive a custom schedule, including feeding times, and host a live chat with a sleep consultant weekly. Join now for just $1 through December 7, 2016 by visiting our Members Area today! If you find you need more help, join us in one of our live chats with a sleep consultant! You’re never alone in your journey to better sleep!
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