As a parent, you know how hard it can be to make sure your child goes to sleep at a reasonable hour (and stay asleep..or at least in bed). This is especially hard around the holidays. The kids are excited about the festive meals (hello- sweets + candy) and the gifts/toys.
Here are some things we do at our house that may work for you:
1. Stick with the routine. We have had the same routine for our three year old since he was born. Bath; then stories (fortunately he loves books); then songs; then off to sleep. Consistency is key. You can even add a little TV time or watching a video like this one
2. Mind the window. You know, that period of time where your child slows down and actually shows that he or she is tired. Don’t stay up to watch “Rudolf” just because it is on television. DVR or TIVO it to watch it when you and your child can actually enjoy it.
3. Talk about what’s next. When our 3 year old whines and tells us he isn’t tired, we remind him of fun plans for the next day. Tell your child that he/she won’t be able to learn/play as much the next day.
4. If your child is not able to fall asleep without you in the room, it is important for he or she to fall asleep independently. Before my son (and now 1 year old daughter) were able to fall asleep by themselves my hubby or I (sometimes both) would stay in the room, sing a song or talk to him/her and then almost always wake him/her up when we left the room only to start the process over again. A good way to do this is to talk your child through the sleep process. “First you will lay your head on the bed, here is your blanket, close your eyes..”
5. Don’t give into bargaining. “Just one more drink of water” “I need to go potty” “I don’t have the red teddy bear” Any of those sound familiar? Address what can be valid (make sure your child goes to the bathroom or at least tries to before bed if he or she is potty trained. Everything else can wait until the morning.
Sweet dreams and happy holidays!
What are your five tips to putting your kids to sleep around the holidays? Share them in this fun blog contest