Sleep, Sanity & Holiday Travel
The holidays will be here before we know it. You know what that means – travel, family and holiday parties. With everything you have going on, you don’t want to be the family with “that” kid, do you? You know the kid I’m talking about - temper tantrums, crying at the drop of a hat, fussy, whining, etc. They’re the ones you avoid at the reunion and pray that you’re not sitting next to on the airplane.
Travel, changes in sleeping arrangements and late-night gatherings can really throw a child’s daily routine out of whack. If you have an infant or toddler, lack of sleep can turn them into a cranky, hyperactive, misbehaving mess. Not exactly what you’re hoping for at the Thanksgiving dinner table. So, if you want Aunt Susie and Cousin Jim to meet your typically pleasant, well-behaved child, you have to make sure they get their rest. Over the years I have found that my clients make the same basic mistake when it comes to sleep – namely, not prioritizing it.
Here Are 6 Tips To Keep Your Child
Well-Rested(and Keep You Sane)
During The Holidays
1. Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Starting now, get your kids on a consistent sleep schedule. Yes, you really need to do this! The more conditioned they get to their schedule, the easier it will be for them to stay on that schedule when you’re traveling. It typically only takes 2 weeks to get a schedule established.
2. Get On the Same Page With Your Spouse
Make sure that you and your spouse communicate. Be aligned with how you will be putting your child to bed each night and how you will handle any night wakings. Consistency is key with kids and sleep so it can be disastrous when caregivers use different strategies. I can’t tell you how many clients have called me a marriage saver!
3. Plan For Sleep
Would you leave the house right before lunch without a plan for how to feed your kids? Treat sleep the same way. If you know your toddler needs a nap, plan for it. Schedule activities around naptime or get a babysitter.
4. Anticipate Time Changes
Time zone changes can be a schedule killer if you’re not smart about it. If you’re going somewhere with only an hour difference, try to keep your child on their home time zone as much as possible. If you’re traveling further, start adjusting your child’s schedule in small increments a few days before you leave.
5. Protect the Sleep Environment
Warning: Don’t start any bad habits over the holidays! If your child sleeps independently, have them do the same while traveling. If you allow them a week of snuggling in bed with you, it will make getting them back in their own bed a headache. Keep sleep the same-bring their favorite lovey and sound machine, too.
6. Get Back To Normal Quickly
Once you get home and normal life resumes, get your child back on track as quickly as possible. If they are used to their consistent sleep schedule, re-establishing their good sleep habits shouldn’t take more than a night or two. (See, I told you tip #1 was important!)
Do you really want to spend your Thanksgiving break calming a hysterical child, soothing an overtired baby or punishing a misbehaving toddler? Don’t be the family with “that” kid. Remember, everyone is in a better mood when they get the sleep they need.
So, prioritize your child’s sleep. Aunt Susie will thank you :)
WATCH ME EXPLAIN THE TIPS IN MORE DETAIL IN MY IG HIGHLIGHTS