In the run-up to Christmas, a lot of parents can put pressure on themselves to make everything perfect and enjoy these key milestone moments. Whilst Christmas can be enjoyable with a baby, the hustle and bustle of lots of visiting, different locations and baby-friendly Christmas socialising can be difficult to balance for parents. With this in mind, I have written some of my best advice for helping your little one to sleep during the Holidays.
Whilst we are very much a fan of following your baby’s lead when it comes to their nap times, amidst the festive season it’s best to have a plan and a contingency plan in place for naps. If your little one isn’t used to a lot of company and you bring them into a busy home at Christmas it can be overwhelming for babies and lead to them feeling tired earlier than usual or being overtired and cranky.
Here’s Some Of Our Advice To Allow That Much-Needed Rest To Go As Smoothly As Possible:
Bring Your Own Travel Cot
Use your own travel cot where possible and practise beforehand. These days travel cots are a lot easier to transport around and it’s a good idea to have one thrown into the boot of the car even if you aren’t planning on staying long enough for a nap. Bring their cot bed sheets and pyjamas that they have already slept in. A familiar smell will be soothing for your child. Read more travel tips here
Try To Avoid Cat Napping
Try not to let baby cat-nap in the car for multiple short periods if you’re going between numerous houses in one day. This can disrupt their sleep pattern and leave them in a worse mood than if they’d not napped at all. When you have a baby you have every right to text and say ‘sorry, going to be an hour late as baby has fallen to sleep at Granny’s. Read more here on how to get baby sleep while travelling.
Make Sure To Bring The Bedtime Favourites With You.
Don’t forget the favourite features of their bedtime routine! If your baby is stopping overnight (either with or without you) in a different place, don’t forget what makes the bedtime routine special to them. Whether your baby has a favourite soft toy, baby comforter, bedtime story, their top baby bath toy, a white noise machine or even a favourite pair of pyjama’s make sure to pack it! If you wear their pyjama under your top for a few days, your baby will find your scent very calming, relaxing and soothing.
Don’t Forget To Bring Travel Blackout Blinds And A White Noise Machine
Travel black-out blinds & White Noise machines – these can be a lifesaver when staying somewhere other than home. If your baby is accustomed to a dark room then you will want to purchase a travel blind before staying away, the white noise will help drown out any adult merriment going on past bedtime but remember to test it beforehand if they don’t usually have white noise as it could have the opposite effect.
Put Them To Bed Yourself Before Heading Out
Put them to bed yourself, unless they are very used to another person doing it regularly. This will make them feel more settled into the new environment because they know the comfort of their parents is there.
Remember vitamin D can help your baby sleep better so go out whenever you can. More on that here.
Choose The Right Foods For You And Your Baby To Support Better Sleep.
If you are breastfeeding, avoid caffeine and artificial additives.
Avoid giving babies that are weaning caffeine and artificial additives. This includes chocolate.
Sleep supporting foods for babies that are weaning include foods rich in tryptophan, B-vitamins and complex carbohydrates. Full list of sleep supporting foods here.
Allow time for your baby to digest their evening meal before bed.
A warm milk drink or breastfeed immediately before bed can help your baby to sleep well.
Relax! If the sleep routine is disrupted for a couple of days it won’t set back all your hard work. Just make sure it’s clear that once you are back home, so are the bedtime rules
We hope these tips help, let us know in the comments! Remember, whilst everyone will be excited to spend a few moments with your little one just be reassured that you can say no to visits, holding your baby, looking after your baby etc if you would prefer they didn’t!
Parents, often mothers, feel guilty at Christmas wanting to please everyone – you only have to please your little one! I hope you have a wonderful and restful holiday period, however, or whatever you choose to celebrate.
PS – Still Looking For A Christmas Gift For A New Parent? We Offer Gift Cards For Our Services And Store!
Have you downloaded your freebie yet? Top 10 Baby Sleep Coach Tips To Help Your Baby Sleep Better Guide! If not, then make sure to click here.
For more advice on how to help your baby sleep and find a baby sleep solution that works for you and your family, you can check out our 1 : 1 consultation services or our new baby sleep guides which come with free access to my Sleepy Village Facebook community for easy access to get your questions answered.