With the holiday season quickly upon us the excitement of a turkey feast and Santa’s magical visit may have your children on the edge of their beds instead of safely tucked in them sleeping. Whether you’re driving, flying, hosting or just spending some extra time at home this holiday season maintain your child’s sleep schedule with these tips.
Stick With the Old
This may not seem like a profound, ah-ha tip, but it’s definitely one worth paying attention to. Try to stick as close to your baby’s regular sleep schedule as possible when things get a little off track. If you’re driving or flying, try to do so around your child’s nap and nighttime schedule. If your baby is a great sleeper while traveling, consider a red-eye or early morning flight where she can sleep through most of the excitement. Likewise, drive during those prime sleeping hours as well so that more awake time can be spent out of the car seat.
If you’re having visitors during the holidays and have a lot of activities planned, try and schedule your outings between naps and get home with plenty of time to wind down before bedtime. It may be inevitable that a nap or two gets skipped, just go with it. Try to get to bed earlier that night or extend the nap later on during the day to try to make up that sleeping time.
Practice Makes Perfect Sleep
No matter how hard you try, you might not be able to schedule your travels around your baby’s sleep schedule. If you know in advance what that schedule is going to look like, you can try to set a new routine before leaving. Let’s say naps may need to be an hour later for a few days during your vacation. Starting a couple of days before you leave, move naptime back 10 minutes each day until the new naptime seems normal and vise versa move it up 10 minutes a day when you get home.
If you think your child is going to reject his new napping digs, you can try to practice this as well. Napping in the portable crib for a few days or even weeks before you leave can help him get used to this new location so that it’s not such a shock when that’s the only sleeping site you offer.
If you’re headed out on a camping adventure, again practice, practice, practice! Camping usually requires everyone to sleep in close confines, so getting baby used to sleeping with some extra noise and movement for a few days prior to your trip may really help those naps and nights.
Keep it Familiar
When traveling or when company’s over, it’s hard to feel just like home, but you can try to make it feel that way. Take along some of your baby’s favorite sleep time things. Having familiar items in an unfamiliar environment goes a long way to keeping up his sleep routine.
A noise machine can help drown out the sounds of an unfamiliar street or the roar of a house full of people. Bring along a crib sheet or two. The familiar smell and feel will help him drift off to dreamland as if he were in his own crib at home. If your baby is less than one year old, bring her favorite Kyte BABY Sleep Bag. If older than one, don’t leave behind her Kyte BABY blanket or her best stuffy friend. And don’t forget a favorite storybook!
Don’t Forget About Mom! (And Dad)
When it comes to your child’s sleep schedule while traveling, it’s important that you don’t stress it too much. Things will return to normal quickly after the craziness ends in most cases. Stay flexible and don’t be afraid to change plans at the last minute if need be to squeeze in an extra nap or to get to bed a little bit earlier. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your guests or hosts for a little help.
If you’re worried about your baby’s sleep schedule with the upcoming holidays, just remember to stick to the tried and true routines that you’ve established at home. With a little preparation and some gentle modification, your baby’s sleep routine can stay strong through even the craziest schedule. If things fall apart, don’t stress! Just remember that it usually doesn’t take long to get back in the swing once your schedule returns to normal. Happy sleeping!
Photo for blog post by: Vicky Godbold Photography