Just when you think you’ve cracked your baby’s bedtime routine, Christmas is here – and that usually means a lack of routine and a much busier schedule.
We have asked our Baby Sleep Experts for some quick and easy tips to help you and your little ones sleep well during 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 do already, don’t start now, even for a few nights. You could find yourself having to teach your child to sleep independently all over again when you’re home.
Create a private space. If a separate room is unavailable, try to make some sort of private space for your baby to sleep. See if you can make a partition, so that if she wakes in the night, she is not too excited by seeing you and thinking that it’s playtime! A SnoozeShade for cots or pack n play will create a calm, dark, stimulus-free space for your little one, so don’t forget to pack it!
Remain calm and don’t change your behaviour. It’s normal for children to test the boundaries around sleep when they are somewhere new. This may mean that your baby cries for a while at bedtime or wakes up a couple of times at night. The best way to deal with this is to use the same routine and techniques as you would at home. Go into the room, or just to the door, and offer reassurance every five minutes or so. Other than that, don’t give in to the pressure caused by either your baby or your well-meaning relations 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 holidays, stick to your baby’s routine as much as possible.
Familiar smells. Take their cot sheet and a sleeping bag they’ve already slept in, rather than fresh ones. This way, your baby will have all the familiar smells of home and will settle into their new surroundings better.
Mandy Gurney from Millpond Sleep Clinic
Avoid overtiredness. All the excitement of being with family and friends over the holidays will make it hard to keep to your baby’s naps. Make it a priority to remove your little one from noisy rooms 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 stroller, with a much-needed walk out in the fresh air to help you all burn off those extra calories. Popping your SnoozeShade over the stroller will help keep the space inside dark, calm and free from distractions that might distract your baby from sleep.
Heidi Skudder - The Parent and Baby Coach
Match traveling times to nap times. This works well if your baby or toddler sleeps well in the car. If your child 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. You can cover the infant car seat with a SnoozeShade for car seats to keep them settled.
Don’t panic about later bedtimes. 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 there will be no adverse effects!
Minimise distractions. Naps might be different - and that’s ok. You could try white noise and Snoozeshade for pack n play if you are at someone else’s house, to minimise distractions.
Keep your bedtime routine the same. Your bedtime settling routine should be the same whilst you are away so that your child will know that bedtime is coming. They will feel comfortable with the consistency, even if it’s in a different environment. This is real important and will help your baby to sleep feeling settled and relaxed. Read the same stories, sing the same sleepy song and offer the same comforter that you’d have at home so that your baby knows it’s time to sleep.
Happy Holidays from everyone at SnoozeShade x