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9 Tips to Survive the Christmas Holidays with your sleep & routine intact

Holiday sleep tips


The Christmas holidays are fast approaching. This time of year is a thousand times better now that you have a little bundle of joy to share the magic of Christmas, but how do you navigate Christmas and your littles ones sleep and Routine? 

With all the excitement of the holidays and festivities, some parents can have some concerns or anxiety about their child’s sleep and routine. Family events, interstate or overseas travel and visitors will often clash with your little one’s sleep and routines. Still, following some general sleep tips will help you survive and thrive during the holiday season.


If you are planning on being away from your home for the holidays, remember to pack all of your positive associations around sleep for your baby. If your baby is used to being in a dark place bring some portable BLOCKOUT BLINDS.   A favourite toy or bedtime book. Bring the sheets and sleeping bags that they’ve already slept in the night before so it has a familiar smell.    Bring their WHITE NOISE MACHINE /comforters and anything else that you can that can to help them feel familiar in a strange environment.


Try to prioritise a consistent bath and bedtime routine that is the same as what you would do would you be at home. The timing might be different but your bedtime routine should be as much as you can the same as it is at home. This sends very strong signals to them that even though the environment is different, their routine is the same and sleep is coming;  The routine will help them feel more comfortable and confident as they drift off to sleep.  If your staying with friends or family, say goodnight to them before bathtime, to give your little one plenty of time to wind down without the extra stimulations as doing so after bathtime might be confusing for your little one. 


Try to prioritise at least one good nap a day. This might be the morning or lunchtime nap but if you baby can have at least one good quality nap a day then the rest of the naps can be quick naps in the pram or the car or carrier over lunchtime or later in the afternoon. Hopefully, this will prevent overtiredness and keep you all on somewhat of a routine. You might need to do an earlier final settle at the end of the day and that’s ok. Remember that whether it’s naptime or night time give you a little one time to wind down away from the family before doing your bedtime routines to help calm them and their littleds prior to their sleep. Naps are going to be disrupted so dont beat yourself up about it. 


If you know that you’re going to have a later evening, be out at family members for dinner and need to take your little one with you try to let your baby have a later last nap of the day IE 4:30 or 5.30 pm. This may help them stay awake later so that you can bring them back home and do a bedtime routine at a later time than usual. Alternatively, you can bring your porta cot with you to your family’s home and do a bedtime routine there. If your out and they nap in the pram it may only be short but that’s ok. Regardless of where they have slept if you do come home that evening I would recommend that you wake your baby once you return and offer a final feed and then place them back in their own cot so that they are aware that they’re back home again.


This is probably one of the most challenging things that most parents have to face when catching up with families and friends with a little one. Everyone wants a cuddle and to make your little one laugh and smile, but this can be hugely overstimulating and stressful for some babies. In situations like this, I recommend that you use your parent’s discretion and your baby’s cues and take their lead. If you see that they’re getting fussy and frustrated, take them away from all the stimulation and let them just cuddle into you. Baby carriers and simple excuses can put an end to asking for a nurse.


Don’t put too much festivity pressure on yourself and your baby. Babies can get very overstimulated very quickly, especially if there is lots of new people to meet when they over-tiredness. Being overtired and sleeping in a strange environment can be a struggle so try to only say yes to things that you genuinely want to participate in and no to others. If you have lots of events on, try to go for one day and then one day off to give you all a break for the simulation


If your little one can self-settle at home, then don’t automatically assume that they cannot do it when they’re away or out of their usual environment. Remember their bed is only one element of their sleep environment If you can keep your naptime routine and your behaviours fairly consistent and familiar, you should have enough triggers for your little one to let them know that even though the environment is different everything else is the same, allow them the opportunity to try and self-settle, if they can’t do it after a few minutes by all means go and help them out, but don’t be afraid to let them try.


Once you do get home or things settle down from the festive season try to get back on track quickly and consistently aim to give yourself two weeks to get your baby back onto their usual routine


When you have a baby and little ones in your home this really and truly is the most magical time of the year so enjoy the simple things, create your own family traditions take lots of photos and videos and Merry Christmas X

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