Avoid toddler meltdowns on the 4th of July
It’s the 4th of July weekend in Atlanta. Red, White and Blue everything.
The Peachtree Road Race, picnics, BBQs, kids playing in the pool, family and friends.
You’re excited to take your kids to see the fireworks and they can’t wait.
But instead of the Norman Rockwell evening that you have imagined, you get this instead….
Whining, clingy, overtired kids.
“It’s too loud”
“I want to sit over there”
They fall asleep in the car on the way home and then won’t go back to sleep once you get home.
And you think they’ll sleep in on Sunday? Wrong.
They’re probably the first ones up. They may be up and down all night. You might even find them in your bed in the morning.
So, what do you do? How do you avoid this fate? How do you actually have fun on the 4th without having a mini human disaster on your hands?
You just have to plan ahead.
Avoid too much activity during the day that can wear them out.
Give them the opportunity to take a nap in the afternoon or if they are over 4 years old and don’t nap anymore, give them a rest period to be quiet and calm for an hour or so. Let them look at books, draw, play with toys – anything that will keep them occupied and calm. This can help restore their energy and get them through to their later than normal bedtime.
The best thing is to have them on a consistent daily sleep schedule before the holiday weekend hits. The better rested they are, the better they can handle changes to their schedule.
It might sounds weird, but the more scheduled they are on a regular basis, the more flexible they can be without falling apart.
After the holiday, get them back on their regular schedule as quickly as possible. If they have accumulated a sleep debt from traveling, staying up late, skipping naps, etc, be sure to watch for their sleepy cues. They may need to take longer naps or go down for bed earlier than normal. Going to bed as early as 5:30 or 6:00 isn’t uncommon for kids that have really missed out on a lot of sleep. Don’t worry, they can go back to their normal bedtime after 1 or 2 nights once they become more rested.
Remember, plan for sleep just like you plan for food. It is a biological need after all. Be educated about it and make it a priority.
Cheers to you and your Awesome Little Sleepers!
Have a great 4th of July weekend!