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  • Jessica Berk

How To Survive a Late Night Event with Your Toddler

Have you ever tried putting your kid to bed late in hopes that they sleep later the next morning?

Didn’t work out too well, did it?

It may have even backfired on you and your kid ended up waking even earlier than they usually do.

That’s because kids can be really sensitive to their sleep needs.

And they’re also creatures of habit.

They get really used to their bedtime.

Their internal clock aligns to their bedtime and they usually have the same wake time, too.

So, they get really used to getting a certain amount of sleep.

And the younger the kid, the more true this is.

But, of course, there will be times that you won’t be able to make it home in time for bedtime. You go out for dinner, you go to a friend’s house and end up staying late, sibling has a late baseball game… life!

And, this time of year especially can be filled with events that make your evenings run later than normal. Whether it’s Holiday Parties or family visiting from out of town, there can be a lot of nights that stretch later than you’d like during the holidays.

But this is also the WORST time of year to have a cranky kid! No one wants to be the one at the holiday party with the kid who is fussy, needy, clingy and whiny because they’re overtired.

I don’t want that to be you either!

5 steps to prevent your kid from turning into a cranky Grinch at the holiday party.


  1. Early Bedtime - If you know your kiddo will be staying up late, plan ahead. Move bedtime a little earlier a few days before the late night so they can start to bank that good sleep. The better rested kids are in general, the more flexible they can be with their sleep timing.

  2. Prepare Your Child - Let your child know that a special event is coming up and they will be staying up later than normal. Tell them it will be fun as long as they have good behavior. Outline your expectations for the night and emphasize that when you get home, it’s straight to bed. And it’s okay to tease a little reward in exchange for their good behavior.

  3. Encourage a Nap - If your child still naps, let them sleep a little longer on party day. If your child doesn’t nap but you think they have sensitive sleep needs, encourage some quiet time on party day in hopes that they nap. Or even take them on a car ride if they’re inclined to fall asleep in the car. Banking some daytime sleep will help with the late night. Post-Party

  4. Wake Up Time - There’s a chance that your child will sleep later than normal the next morning. If so, let them sleep! But, be prepared that your child may wake up earlier than normal. Going to bed too late is the main cause of super early wake ups. So, be warned! If that happens, encourage a nap on this day as well. But make sure they’re awake by 3:00 because we want them to get a good night’s sleep tonight.

  5. Early Bedtime - Get your child back on their normal sleep schedule. If they woke early, didn’t nap or generally seem fussy in the evening, get them to bed even earlier. Don’t be afraid to put a tired 2, 3, 4 or 5 year old to bed as early as 6:15!

Happy Holidays!

Well-rested kids who consistently get enough sleep can actually be pretty flexible with their bedtime. If you dream of having a well-rested kid, join my next Free Toddler Sleep Masterclass. >>CLICK HERE<<



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