It's the most wonderful time of the year. The holidays are a time we treasure with our families. Many good memories are made and great times spent with our loved ones. Of course our little ones are in on the excitement as well. Holidays can make for many overtired babies and children. All of those missed naps, short naps and late bedtimes really take a toll on our littlest family members. There are some things that you can do to ensure that the little people in your life get in on the holiday action, but stay well rested at the same time. Here are my suggestions.
1. Make sure your children are well rested prior to the big events. Make sure they are starting the holidays with a full sleep tank. Plan to be home as much as possible and keep them on routine in the days prior.
2. Try not to overbook your family. Young children have limits. Chances are if you are tired from all of the activity, your baby is exhausted! Every year I say, "What was I thinking?" You don't have to say "yes" to every invite.
3. Go to events around your baby's schedule, as much as possible. For example, if it is an 3:00 event and you know you will be out past baby's bedtime, let your baby get a good afternoon nap in and go to the event a little late. We are always a bit late every year on Christmas Eve because I make sure my children get that afternoon nap in prior, anticipating a later than normal bedtime.
4. After the holidays plan to be home for a few days to get your baby caught up on rest and back on track. Babies and children need some downtime to rest after the festivities.
5. Enjoy yourself! If your baby misses a sleep period, it's okay. Babies who are on good routines will bounce back relatively quickly as long as you give your baby ample time to do so after the events are over. Some babies do better with this than others, depending on their temperament and how solid their normal routine is.
6. If you have to choose between a missed morning nap and a missed afternoon nap, opt for the missed afternoon nap, but be sure that your baby gets to bed at an early time. The morning nap usually sets the tone for the rest of the day.
Please enjoy the holidays as much as possible. Baby's sleep can be worked on once you return home and the holiday events are over! Happy Holidays to you and yours! May your wishes of a good night's sleep come true!