With the end of Thanksgiving and preparations for Hanukah, Christmas and New Years ramping up, family schedules can feel crazy. Many parents who have worked hard to instill healthy sleep habits are concerned over traveling, visiting guests and parties that disrupt bedtimes. If your child is a good sleeper then the holiday time will not set anyone back. Surrender to the season and enjoy yourself as a family. Letting the schedule slide here and there is fine.
If you are traveling out of town it is a good idea to prepare and plan for how you will handle your child’s sleep. Pack important sleep items that your child likes to have with him while he sleeps. If your child will be sharing a room with you while travelling consider ways to separate you from your child. Some hotel rooms have large closets, bathrooms or small coves that fit a crib perfectly. If feasible, reserve a hotel suite, which makes this separating easier. Also, bring a noise machine made for traveling, so your movements and sounds will not disrupt your child while sleeping. The other option is to co-sleep for part or all of the night if that will help everyone to sleep better.
While traveling try to honor your child’s sleep schedule when possible. Afternoons can be a great time for the entire family to take a siesta and have quiet time. If a nap is missed then try to get your child to bed earlier that evening. Also, keep your sleep rituals the same as at home. This will help make the transition to sleep much easier for your child.
The first full day or night you are at home from your trip immediately return to your regular routine. Your child should sleep in her crib or bed at normal times. Your child will learn the difference between “vacation sleep” and “home sleep”.
Having Company at Your Home:
If you are hosting company at your house the same applies, try to adhere to your child’s schedule when possible. If a nap is short or missed then put your child to bed a bit earlier. It is perfectly ok to alter sleep arrangements in order to accommodate guests. On the day your company leaves, that night go back to the normal sleep routine. Your child will quickly understand that sleep is different when family visits and all goes back to normal after everyone leaves.
If your child is not a good sleeper and you are eager to have everyone sleeping soundly all night, choosing when to implement these new rules is critical. Generally speaking, holiday time is not optimal, but this is not always the case. Contact me for a free 30 minute call to learn more.