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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holiday Sleep Tips for Kids

With the holidays fast approaching there's lots of festivities to enjoy. This is when families get together and memories are made. But if you have young kids, it can be tough to figure out what is best to do with them when it comes to all the merry- making. Do you let them stay up late? Put them to bed at the host's house? Hire a sitter? It can be tough to decide what to do, especially if you have a week with multiple events. To help your family get through the holidays without a ba- humbug in the sleep department, I asked Sleep Consultant Marnie from Cheeky Chops to give parents some advice. Here are her suggestions to help your kids (and you!) get through the holiday season without losing out on valuable sleep:



What do you do if you have a special occasion that requires you stay stay out late with the kids? 
If you need them to stay up really late, you can give them a short power nap so that they don't get overtired/ cranky. They will probably fall asleep on the ride home. The morning after, you can wake them up at the usual time or let them sleep in but be prepared for a late night again if you do so.

What about staying up late/ a break in the routine? 
It's ok for a few days, but if you want to get back to normal you shouldn't deviate from your routine for too long. Habits come quite easily!

What if you have plans 2 nights in a row or have multiple parties in a week?
If you choose to bring the kids along, you will probably have to deal with cranky/ overtired children at some point, but as long as you are prepared it will be ok. Try to keep the routine during the day as much as possible.

How can you help your kids settle down after a festive night out? 
Do a quick version of the bedtime routine to help them settle down, tell them it was a fun night and remind them it's time for bed.

How can you help kids settle down at someone else's house (ie when at a holiday party)?
If you must sleep somewhere else, show your kids the room as soon as you get there and let them get used to it; make it comfortable for them by bringing along a favourite stuffed animal or blanket for comfort. Talk to them about how much fun it will be to sleepover somewhere else, focus on the fun rather than the fact they're away from what they're used to. Keep in mind that you may have to give them lots of reassurance, especially if they are not sleeping in the same bedroom as you.

What if your kids don't sleep at other's houses? 
You will probably not be able to say at the party as late as you would like, as your kids will get very tired and cranky/ needy. It could be a good idea to hire a sitter if you would like to stay at the party past your kid's bedtimes and/ or and your kids don't sleep well at other people's house.

When should you choose to get a sitter? (ie if you have several parties in the same week or would like to stay up really late- aka have some 'grown up time')? 
If your kids do not fall asleep at other people's house it's definitely a good idea to get a sitter. It will also be more fun for you and for the kids, especially if they are fond of their baby sitter.

How can you avoid kids getting over tired and when do you decide no more late nights? 
You can give them a power nap (30 mins or so) a bit later during the day so that they can stay awake longer at night. Be aware that it's not because they go to bed later that they will automatically wake up later; they can wake up earlier, at the same time, or later than usual. If you feel like you child is getting out of routine, starting to wake up during the night, or overall very tired/ cranky, it might be time to say no to more late nights and parties or hire a sitter.

Thank you Marnie for the great advice- I hope it helps you enjoy the holidays with your youngsters & still get all the sleep you need!

If you are facing challenges with getting your kids to sleep, hiring a sleep consultant like Marnie can make a big difference. For more information about Marnie visit her page on the Cheeky Chops website

You can contact her via email: marnie.huard@cheekychops.ca or phone: 604 510 9922


Image Source: Chronically Vintage
December posts sponsored by Cutie Pie Boutique