WeeSleep’s Holiday Sleep Guide
Written for Kids & Company by WeeSleep
Happy Holidays to all! For my family, the holidays include a lot of late nights, visiting family and friends, travelling, overeating, and enjoying holiday drinks and treats (lots of sugar!!)
Do your children get overtired and cranky this time of year? Do all of the holiday commitments cause you anxiety? We want you to be able to enjoy the holiday season while keeping your children (and yourself) well-rested! When the children are sleeping, everyone is sleeping.
Below are our top tips and tricks for families looking for a restful holiday season.
Sleeping Away from Home
Arrive at your destination early so your children can get comfortable with their new space and explore. For toddlers, take them to their new space and let them help you set it up and explain to them that while you are away that is where they will be sleeping. Make sure they know where the bathroom is and where mommy and daddy will be sleeping.
When bedtime is near always honour routine, a 30-40 min routine is great. Start with a bath or a warm washcloth wipe down. After, take them back to the space that they will be sleeping in away from all other stimulation. This will give them time to unwind and get comfortable with the space before you leave them to fall asleep on their own.
Important Items to Pack
• Favorite Sleep Sac/Blanket – smells like home!
• Snuggle Buddy – brings them comfort
• Pack n’ play for a safe sleep space
• Blackout blinds (or something creative to block out sunlight) – makes the environment look like home
• White noise machine – makes the environment sound like home
Naps on the Go and Late Bedtimes
Naps in the car/stroller and late bedtimes will happen and that’s ok. When having a nap on the go try to make sure it happens at the same time it would happen at home. If they have a shorter nap than usual or a missed nap, then plan for an earlier bedtime that night. If you’re travelling before bedtime, do the bedtime routine at home and get them into their jammies before leaving.
Naps on the Go
• Same time as normal nap
• Do a little nap routine
• Give them their lovey
• Let them sleep as long as they would at home
• Bring along a travel sound machine
Too Busy for Routine?
Babies and Toddlers LOVE consistency and predictability especially when it comes to sleep. Routine is probably most important during this busy time. Try not to just pull your toddler out of the fun and put them straight to bed. Children respond much better if they are consistent with their usual routines. They will go to bed better and sleep better which results in a happy child the next day!
Create a Routine and Environment That's Just Like Home
• Give them an extra few mins of unwind time
• Bath or warm cloth wash down
• Into quiet place they will be sleeping
• Jammies, lotion
• Books, songs
• Into bed (pack and play or safe sleep space)
• Sound machine on and lights out
Let's Talk Sweets
I get it, I get it! It's just so good and we don't get it all year long. On top of that, it's usually all set out for easy access. We want our children to enjoy as well, and they can, but try to limit it after supper. Children are often very over-stimulated during the holidays, without adding all the sugar. Limiting sugar after supper will help them settle during their bedtime routine and allow them to have a good night's sleep.
This can be an easy thing to do all year round but when it comes to scheduling during the holidays, try not to overdo it. You want to partake in all the fun, we all do, but holidays can be especially overstimulating for our children! Try to keep their sleep schedule in mind. It's always best to allow them to have the first nap of the day in the crib or pack n' play and schedule an afternoon nap for on the go. Try to not have too many missed naps or late bedtimes in a row. Allowing them a couple of days in between can go a long way to help keep them in a great mood and avoid too many meltdowns!
7 Things to Keep in Mind This Holiday Season
- Be prepared, children can easily adapt and sleep away from home
- Honour naps in the crib if possible, otherwise, one nap on the go won't hurt!
- Avoid late bedtimes when possible, especially after a nap-on-the-go day
- Don't let routine go out the window! Consistency + predictability are key
- We are all consuming more sugar than we are used to, try to limit leading up to dinner time
- Try not to schedule too much, keep planning sustainable
- DON'T PUT TOO MUCH PRESSURE ON YOURSELF
Certified Sleep Consultants Natalie Moran + Amber Monette