By Karoline Babaian
The holidays can seem like a giant tidal wave is about to hit, in the sense that it rolls by quickly and makes a big impact with one’s time, effort, cooking and celebrations. If you’re lucky, like my family, you may even have a child born around the holidays. Our first-born was born on Christmas Day. Yep, that’s right, the 25th! Although this is a fun, blessed, and joyous time for us, it’s also one that didn’t come easy at first. You see, we sleep trained our baby girl just in time for her first birthday because things were just falling apart with regard to her sleeping at nights. So, I guess you can think of it as her gift. And let me tell you folks, boy has it paid off!! Five years later, and she has overcome all her initial baby sleep problems and is probably better than her little sister! (ok let’s not let that info out…)
But really, think about what happens when the holidays roll by. We get a long to-do list written up, list all the things we need to buy, make, and schedule for gifts, meals, and gatherings. Not only does this make time go by extra fast, but we also lose track of our normal day-to-day routine. For adults, this may not be a problem. We bounce right back because we know what’s ultimately the right choice for our body and mind. With our children, however, the late nights, constant treats, desserts, and endless candy canes will sure enough throw their sleep regimen off.
In order to keep the peace with sleep for your children, here are some important ideas for how to help your baby sleep during this busy time:
1. Keep naps and nights structured, as usual, when there isn’t much going on in the day. This will allow your kiddo to get the needed sleep. The sleep your child gets in a day, affects the outcome for the next 24hrs to come. In other words, your kiddo gets good rest, the next day he will be much more refreshed and ready to take on the holiday festivities!
2. If you are attending a daytime event and your kiddo will most likely skip a nap, make sure the remainder of the naps are followed through as normal (if possible), and bump up bedtime. My rule of thumb on that: 30/45mins earlier than normal bedtime to prevent overtired tendencies to kick in.
3. If you will be traveling, honestly, there is only so much that one can do to prevent sleep slip-ups. I would say keep time zones in mind, pack the right baby sleepwear and remember to make necessary adjustments, just as you would when you adjust the time difference for daylight savings.
One thing I always say to my clients is that sleep is just as important as nutrition. In fact, they kind of go hand in hand many times. The more sleep a child gets, the better their mood and temperament, learning capabilities, a sense of refreshment in their eyes, and a bigger hope for more and more better nights to follow.
Happy Holidays and Sleep Well!
Karoline Babaian is Mommy to two little girls, and the Founder of The Sleep Nest. As a Certified Sleep Coach, Karoline has helped countless families, all across the states, in just under five years, gain healthy sleep habits! Her main passion has always and will be to help those that need it most. Her youngest clients range from 5 weeks of age, up to 10 years. She is a member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants (IACSC) and Certified by none other than bestselling author Dana Obleman of Sleep Sense TM.
Traveling is actually a big cause for sleep regressions during the holidays. If you would like to be best prepared, take some preventive measures, and get some insight, The Sleep Nest offers a travel guide ideal for this time of year! Visit our website www.thesleepnest.comand pick up a copy today!