Updated: Dec 9, 2020
I love this time of year. The weather is warmer and we get a little time away from work to enjoy magical moments with our families.
As joyous as the festive season can be, it can also be a little stressful in the lead up. Worrying about meeting work deadlines, battling the shopping crowds, budgeting and buying gifts, decorating the house, organising Christmas lunch all while trying to maintain your sanity.
With all this going on it's tempting for us adults to drop our guard, relax the rules and throw our routines out the window so we can get everything done and accept and attend every event invitation, but we need to remember that it’s our little ones that may suffer the consequences.
Attending christmas events means long days out. So, how do you manage this time of year without your kids becoming overtired and over stimulated?
Respect your child’s need for sleep
Just because it’s the holidays, doesn’t mean your child should be made to stay up to enjoy the celebrations. Your baby will still need the same amount of sleep during the day and overnight to prevent them from becoming overtired.
It may be more convenient for you if they skip a nap or go to bed late, but just think… is it really worth it when you’ll be stuck with a cranky baby or toddler who is difficult to settle?
Plan ahead and adjust your routine
In reality, it probably won't be possible to stick to your regular routine, but it’s still possible to adjust the routine instead of throwing it out the window completely.
Plan your shopping around nap times, or better yet, try to do most of your Christmas shopping online.
There is so much excitement for little one’s with new toys and lots of people, so they may become easily overstimulated. If you feel your baby is becoming a little overwhelmed, take them to a quiet room for a little while so they can have a moment to relax or allow them a little longer to unwind before nap time.
If you are going to be out for the day, take some familiar things from home to mimic their usual sleep environment. This might include a port-a-cot with the sheets from their bed at home, their comforter, portable black out blinds and white noise and their sleeping bag.
Try not to cram too much into one day. If you are out all day, aim to be home for bedtime so they have time to unwind and get into bed early if needed. If you're going to be out at night, aim to spend most of the day at home so they can have a good nap at home in their bed.
If you are still out at their regular bedtime, try to put them down for a sleep at this time. Even if this just ends up being a short nap it should see them through to a later bedtime. If they manage to stay asleep you might just need to give them a top up feed when you transition them into bed when you get home.
In saying all this, it’s your holiday too. Remember to take the time to enjoy yourself and relax. Recruit family members to entertain the kids for a while. And remember, if nothing goes to plan, it’s ok, you’ve done your best and you can try again tomorrow.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your families x