Holiday travel, hordes of people in and out of the house all day, irregular sleeping and waking times – these are all things that can throw anyone’s sleep schedule out of whack. But kids, who tend to need more sleep and have more trouble than adults getting it, can be especially affected.
Yes, the holidays are lots of fun, but the schedule shake-ups and change of scenery can make bedtime a real nightmare. But it doesn’t have to be that way! There are plenty of ways to minimize stress and maximize sleep for your little ones no matter the time of year, so try these tips to keep your kids’ sleep on track during the hectic holiday season.
Stick to a Schedule
If you’re travelling to a new time zone for more than a day or two, it’s important to get kids adjusted to local time as soon as possible. If kids sleep in until noon and stay up until they feel sleepy, you’re going to be stuck wrestling restless little ones into bed long after midnight during your whole vacation. Nip it in the bud and get the kids used to the new schedule ASAP!
Even if you’re not travelling, it can be easy to fall into an “anything goes” kind of bedtime schedule with all the excitement of visitors and activities. Regardless of the holiday thrills each day has to offer, getting the kids to stick closely to their usual evening routine can help bedtime go much more smoothly.
Prepare Ahead of Time
On a related note, sticking to a schedule is often more easily said than done, so if you can, adjusting kids slowly during the week leading up to your big travel plans can be a big help. Putting them to bed 15 to 30 minutes earlier each night will reduce the shock to their system and help get them on track faster.
Bring Pieces of Home
If your little one is sleeping in a strange bed, it can be helpful to bring along some things that remind them of home and put them at ease. Blankets, toys, or even a pillowcase that still smells like their bedroom can all make new surroundings not seem quite so scary. Whatever you bring, the comfier the better. Be sure to stop in to our store and pick up a comfy new pillow to help your little one get cozy in their unfamiliar surroundings.
If the kids are still restless, a flashlight and some “anti-monster spray” (which can be made with a spray bottle, some water, and just about any fragrance you have on hand) can help ward off fears of creepy corners or dark closets.
Plan Relaxation Time
Your little one might not be able to drop off to sleep right after being plopped into bed during this exciting time of year. New faces, tasty food, and the promise of new games, toys, and gifts can keep kids from simmering down for a long time, so you may need to add in some extra time for kids to relax and unwind before lights out. Reading a favourite book together or listening to soothing music can help put your little one in the right state of mind for bed.
By following these basic tips, you can minimize the evening struggle of getting your little ones to sleep, and make sure you get enough sleep to take on the holidays, too! If you’ve followed all these tips and your little one is still struggling to sleep, even in their own room, it may be time to upgrade their bed. Uncomfortable beds can cause fussiness and poor sleep quality in kids as well as adults – so check out all the incredible Beautyrest mattresses, pillows, and more that we have to offer in-store. Your bedtime routine will thank us!
Angela, Your Sleep Expert