Are you worried about the holidays and the many events that go along with it clashing with your child’s sleep routine? A bit of indulgence every once in a while that delights a child or allows them to connect with family or a tradition is great. Connecting with family is as important as your daily routine.
One mother abides by that philosophy. On the nights they are with extended family past her kid’s bedtime, she puts her children in their pajamas and lets them snuggle if they are tired before the night is over. She sees the benefit of her kids having a relationship with family, and that is as important as a firm schedule.
Another mother may see things quite differently. She may choose the best schedule over additional family time. She understands her baby can’t handle being up past their normal bedtime routine without throwing tantrums and making everyone miserable.
It is sometimes necessary to cater to the needs of your children and often is not an option. You, as a parent, have complete permission to follow what you think and know is best for your child.
You may come across an occasional judgmental relative who thinks they know best. But as a parent, you have to prioritize what is the right thing for your family. It can be especially hard during the stressful holiday season to sync multiple families’ schedules.
Those relatives may not be aware of the consequences when your child deviates from their usual nap schedule. They don’t understand how hard you have worked to develop a sleep routine that works for your family.
The 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule says, “Stick to your child’s routine 80 percent of the time and allow a missed nap or late bedtime 20 percent of the time.” When special occasions arise, use this policy, but not for too many days in a row. If you know bedtime will be later than usual, focus on a solid daytime nap.
If your little one is still taking two or three naps, the most important rest is the first one of the day. It is usually the strongest and longest, so if they have had a good start to the day, they can handle a later bedtime.
You may choose to arrive early to the festivities and set up a travel crib for a quick nap time. You can keep their sleep habits similar to what they would experience at home with a familiar crib, a stuffed animal, or even a white noise machine to keep noise at bay.
Remember not to nurse them or rock them asleep while somewhere new or on vacation. If they are used to falling asleep independently at home, they should be expected to do the same at a different house. The important factor is consistency: a quiet room and a few minutes of wind-down time. If you revert to your old habits, you may need to re-sleep train when you get back from your trip.
Ask for Help
If your little one will not fall asleep in a strange place, try plan B. A carrier or stroller nap may be the way to go. Just getting away from the noise of the house and party can be therapeutic for you and the baby. Maybe a relative would help by taking the baby on a stroller nap around the neighborhood and give you a break.
Take a Break
Children who don’t take naps can still benefit from a quiet time during the day or before a big event. Kids can get overstimulated and not even know it. The excitement and chaos of big days can leave little ones high on adrenaline and sugar highs, leading to a crash by the day’s end. Find a time to get away to a room and read, go for a walk, and regroup so they can make it through the day.
Paediatric Sleep Coach in Singapore
Although holidays can be difficult for parents and children, a few simple steps can help everyone stay calm and relaxed. If you need extra support for sleep during the holidays, contact Louis at Petite Dreamers in Singapore. She will provide you with respectful and practical solutions to help your child create and keep healthy and happy sleep habits.