Are you stressing about keeping your little ones on track with their sleep schedule during the holiday season? Katelyn of Sweet Pea Sleep Solutions is back to help walk you through this approaching busy season and how to smoothly get through the time spent outside your home, with family, to ensure everyone is still rested, happy, and enjoying the holiday season!
Read on to see what Katelyn recommends…
With the winter holidays quickly approaching, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about how to keep your kiddo’s sleep on track during travel and other times when schedules are unpredictable. Here are my best tips to keep you all sleeping through the holidays!
Give it two weeks. If you are thinking about gentle sleep training or making any changes in your child’s sleep habits, make sure you have at least a solid two weeks at home to get your sleep routine down before any vacations or big events where consistency will be difficult. The more set your child is in their good sleep habits, the easier they will carry over into other settings and situations. Right after Thanksgiving is the perfect sweet spot to sleep train in order to have your little one sleeping through the night and taking good naps by Christmas (Merry Christmas to you!)
Bring all of your gear if you’re traveling. When we travel, we bring all the goods. The sound machine, the mattress pad, our own fitted sheets, and the sleep sack. We even bring the diffuser and lavender essential oil (I’m a little crazy). I bring my phone with a sound machine app if we are in the car for a long trip. It definitely helps to better create that familiar sleeping environment, even when you are in an unfamiliar place!
Offer sleep. Try to stick to a loose schedule. During the holidays, you may be in a completely different environment staying with family, or you may just be trying to make the most of the Christmas parades, tree lightings, cookie swaps and tacky sweater parties. You may not always be in your normal environment at nap time. If you are out and about and you know that you are getting towards the end of your baby’s wake time and they would normally take a nap, put them in the carrier or stroller and cover them the best you can. See if they will fall asleep. Or if you are hanging around where you are staying, try to put your baby down at their usual nap time. It may not happen, but you are providing the opportunity for them to keep a loose schedule. This will help prevent overtiredness and help you get back into your schedule more easily once you get home!
Don’t stress. As best you can, try to roll with the punches and enjoy all the festivities. When I took my son on vacation to Mexico at 9 months old, I was absolutely terrified by what the vacation would do to his routine. He surprised me in the best way with how well he slept and how he did with his schedule! I wish I had not been so anxious and chilled out a little about things I didn’t even need to worry about. Yes, your child’s sleep will probably get a little mixed up no matter what you do, but you are there to enjoy yourself!
Get right back to it. Once the holidays are over, no excuses. Get right back into the usual routine. If you don’t, a week of holiday cheer can end up creating a host of bad sleep habits. After traveling or being off schedule for a few days, it may feel like a mini sleep coaching experience for a night or two. Armed with that knowledge, just stick it out and know that your reward is good quality, reliable sleep habits for months and years to come!
If your New Year’s resolution includes getting more sleep for you and your little, let’s chat!