"Tis the season of traveling for many of us: traveling to parties, holiday events, relatives' houses for the sometimes awkward gift exchanges ("I have the gift receipt if you don't like it.") In addition to disrupting our own schedules, this also means disrupting the sleep schedules of young children, which can sometimes lead to cranky beasts, holiday season or not. I guess I just always assumed this was part of the magic of the season,but it turns out you can actually survive without the lack-of-sleep meltdowns.
Children's sleep expert, Dana Obleman, offers practical and, dare I say it, easy tips for parents to allow their children the joy of the holidays without sacrifcing their much-needed z's,(and even more importantly their parents some peace and joy). Isn't that what the season is all about? The following is her list of do's and don't's for keeping the kids in check.
Don't overschedule your family or succumb to the pressure to visit everyone who asks. Attempting to please everyone will lead to missed naps, irregular bedtimes and a potential meltdown from your overtired child.
Do keep nap and bedtime schedules regular.This doesn't mean that the occasional nap in the car seat is absolutely out of the question, but it should be a rarity. Make sure your child is in bed within 30 minutes of her usual bedtime.
You may feel like the "bad guy" for putting your little one down at 7:00 just as the guests are arriving, or saying no to insistent relatives who want to wake baby from a nap for playtime, but remember: you are the boss. You know how important your child's sleep is, and it's your job to protect it.
When people see how pleasant and social your child is when he or she is awake, they will soon come to realize that a well-rested child is a happy child. Remind your loved ones that the quality of time spent with the child is more important than quantity.
As we all know kids are going to be over-excited and a little off their game during this hectic month, but by trying to follow these tips you just might avoid the post-holiday exhaustion that seems to overwhelm most of us.
More from GalTime:
- 10 Great Gifts for Your Son
- Best Family Holiday Destinations
- Tips on Making Bedtime Less of a Battlefield
- Holiday Hair for Your Kids, Without the Tears