It’s a lovely time of year but the holidays can be overwhelming for your little one. Here’s how to make sure you keep your baby’s sleep routine over the Christmas period, even with the family involved!
The holidays are here, you’re excited to see relatives and they are keen to meet your new baby. Though that all sounds wonderful on paper, the reality of parties and family visits at this time of year can actually have a detrimental effect on your baby’s sleep patterns. If you have only just got your baby used to a sleep routine, time spent away from home visiting friends and loved ones over the festive season can totally disrupt this.
Here are some ways to make sure your baby sleeps properly over the holiday period.
Ring Fence Nap Schedules
Babies need naps as much as they need their sleep at night, so try to make sure that you stick with your nap schedule as much as you can. Of course, it won’t matter if occasionally your baby has a later nap or they stay up a little late but routine can really help make sure that your baby doesn’t get too over-excited. That leads to bad nights for all.
Learn to Say No
We know that all the relatives will be excited to meet the new baby but make sure you choose family meetings and parties wisely. You’ll both be tired and your baby can easily get over stimulated by being passed from person to person. Make some rules (it’s good to rope in a strong family member – perhaps your mum or a sibling) who will reinforce your sleep routine and discourage other friends and family members from wanted to ‘just peep in on’ your baby or play when them when they really need a feed or a nap.
Create An Instant Sleep Environment
Place a SnoozeShade on your pushchair and people will know that your baby is sleeping – it even has a little sign to deter people from disturbing your little one.
You can also use a SnoozeShade over a travel cot if you are staying away from home, keeping your child’s sleep environment calm and dark. This is great is you are sharing a room with your baby, as you can put them down for a nap or for night time and not disturb them when you come to bed.
If you are going out to a restaurant for a meal, taking the pushchair and SnoozeShade will mean you can let your baby sleep while the others are enjoying the meal.
Have Some ‘Normal’ Times
Even if you are away from home, or you are with friends at your own house, try to make sure that at least one nap per day is in a familiar place – so that could be their own cot, their travel cot with a SnoozeShade over it to keep it dark and quiet or a pushchair, also with a SnoozeShade. Make sure you pack some favourite toys and books that you would usually use in your baby’s bedtime routine, and of course their familiar pyjamas or sleeping bag.
Learn Your Baby’s Sleep Cues
You know your own baby better than anyone else, so keep an eye on them and watch out for sleep cues. These include pulling the ears, rubbing the eyes, getting unsettled and grumpy. If you spot these signs, take your baby into a quiet room, give them a feed and a nappy change and settle them down for a sleep. You usually have 10-15 minutes from when your baby starts to show these signs to when they become really overtired and grumpy. If your baby prefers motion for sleep, take a stroll with your baby in the pushchair with the SnoozeShade over it or have a drive with a SnoozeShade for car seats.
Include The Relatives in Other Ways
The time a new baby is awake is very short in the early days, so to ensure the most important people get some quality time with your baby, rope them into their everyday routine. One friend or relative can give your little one a feed, another can read them a bedtime story and they can even get involved with bath times and nappy changes – well, they wanted to be helpful!
Plan Your Travel Times
If you are heading to a relative’s, or back home, try to have the journey coincide with nap times, as many babies like to sleep in the car. Change them into their night clothes before heading home.
If Things Go Wonky…
If your baby’s sleep patterns do get disrupted over the festive season, don’t worry too much. You can get back on track once you are back home and back in your normal daily routine. After all, it’s better that the whole family gets to meet and love your precious new baby!