The holiday season can present a number of challenges for your Zzzzz
Remember when the holiday season was a time to relax, reconnect with family and friends, and maybe even take a nice long afternoon nap after finishing off that egg nog? I'm coming to terms with the fact that having two children under the age of 5 means the holidays are now about making memories, not relaxing. At all. However, there are some things you can do to avoid getting too off track at this busy time, and then if your little one does experience a sleep regression, rest assured that you can make a plan to catch up on sleep and get back to normal.
1. Beware of overbooking
It can be hard to fit in proper naps between shopping, pictures with Santa, cookie decorating, holiday parties, kid crafts, and caroling, especially if you're traveling or hosting guests. However, these events will be much more fun with well-rested kids, so I recommend making time for quality naps and sticking to normal bed times to assure that your kiddos are ready for fun. One exception to the rule wont hurt but multiple skipped naps or late bedtimes can quickly create sleep debt.
2. Consistency is key
The excitement and stress of the holiday season is something your perceptive little ones will pick up on easily. During busy or overwhelming times it's most important to keep your routines and expectations around sleep the same. Don't forget the lovey when you travel and make sure that the sleeping arrangements (dark room, white noise) are similar to what your child expects every day. If they sense something is off and protest, stick to your home rules, changing the game will only cause insecurity, which means less sleep for everyone. If you bend the rules every night and extend bedtime 2 hours, allow them to eat bins of caramel corn as a bedtime snack or sleep by the fireplace in anticipation of Santa, there will be push back when you try to go back to the way things were.
3. Expect over-tiredness or overstimulation
Between travel, family events, or that tree lighting festival it's common to experience a few days of missed or short naps and late bedtimes. Coupled with general overstimulation and increased sugar intake, sleep may be compromised (for kids AND adults!) causing sleep debt. This over-tiredness causes us to produce more alerting hormone than normal which can make it harder for tired kids to go to sleep and cause night wakings or early mornings. Following poor sleep, plan to get kiddos to bed early for naps or bedtime.
Is sleep on your wish list this holiday season?
If you are too tired to go anywhere or plan anything this holiday season, let me help you! Contact me and we will find out WHY you're tired and HOW to heal your sleep habits (or your child's) so you can make 2019 your best year yet! firstname.lastname@example.org