Just when you think you’ve cracked bedtime, Christmas is here which usually means a lack of routine and a much busier schedule.
We have asked our Sleep Experts for some quick and easy tips to help you with your little one's sleep over this busy time of year.
Karen Bramall from Baby Sleep The Night
Don’t over-schedule yourself. Late nights will only make sleep harder for your overtired child so stick to routines and bedtime as much as possible.
Don’t share a bed. If this is something that you don’t already do then don’t start it now, even for a few nights, you could find yourself having to teach them to sleep independently all over again when you get home.
Create a private space. If a separate room is unavailable then try to make some sort of private space for your baby to sleep, anywhere that you can build a partition so that if she has a night waking she is not excited to see you and thinking its playtime!
Remain calm and don’t change anything. It is very normal for children to test the boundaries around sleep when they are somewhere new, this may mean that your baby cries for some time at bedtime or has a night waking or two. The best way to deal with this is not to do much different than if you were at home, go in and offer a little reassurance every 5 minutes or so, but other than that don’t bend - even to the pressure of your well-meaning in-laws standing outside the door repeatedly asking if you’re sure the baby is ok!
Jo Tantum - The Baby Sleep Expert www.JoTantum.com
Stick to a routine. If you are staying away in the Christmas holidays then stick to your baby’s routine as much as possible.
Familiar smells. Take their cot sheet and sleeping bag they’ve already slept in rather than clean ones. This way your baby will have all the familiar smells of home. And will, therefore, settle into their new surroundings better.
Mandy Gurney from Millpond Sleep Clinic
With all the excitement of being with family and friends over the holidays, it will be hard to keep your baby’s naps on track.
Avoid overtiredness. Make it a priority to take your little one away from the fun, to a quiet space about 15 minutes before his usual nap time. After some peaceful cuddle time with you settle your little one to sleep.
White noise machine. If there is a lot of background noise that may wake him, using white noise will help stop his naps from being disturbed.
Nap on the go. You may wish to schedule some of his naps in the pram, with a much-needed walk out in the fresh air to help you all burn off those extra calories.
Heidi Skudder - The Parent and Baby Coach
Match traveling times to nap times. This works well if your baby/toddler sleeps well in the car. If your baby/toddler isn’t a fan of sleeping on the move, then it’s worthwhile investing in a new favourite toy and some snacks to keep everyone happy on the journey.
Don’t panic about later bedtime. Keeping to your rigid 7pm bedtime isn’t always possible when you’re away. It really isn’t the end of the world if they go to bed later and chances are, if anything, they will just wake a little earlier from being a bit more tired so no adverse effects!
Minimise distractions. Naps might be different and that is ok. You could try white noise and the Snoozeshade travel cot cover if you are at someone else’s house, to minimise distractions.
Keep bedtime routine the same. Don’t forget your bedtime settling routine will be the same whilst away, so that your child will know that bedtime is coming and feel comfortable with your consistency, even if in a different environment. This is really important and will help baby to go to sleep feeling settled and relaxed. Keep the same stories, sleepy song and comforter that you’d have at home so that baby knows it’s time to sleep.
Merry Christmas from everyone at SnoozeShade x