Christmas is just around the corner and as a parent, you may already be thinking of your plans on how you’ll be getting your little ones off to sleep on Christmas Eve. The promise of gifts on Christmas Day should be enough to send your child to sleep with minimal fuss, however, combined with all the excitement and plenty of treats, a meltdown-free night may not be the case for every household this Christmas Eve.
The most exciting time of the year can come with its own stresses, whether it’s last-minute shopping or working out whether you have enough place settings, the last thing you need is your little angel’s bedtime routine going wrong, which is why we’ve got some need-to-know tips all wrapped up and ready to share just in time for the big night!
Spend the day being as active as possible
Just as exercise tires us adults out, your child is no different, so spending some time outside in the fresh air on Christmas Eve could be exactly what your little one needs to aid a good night’s sleep – not only that but it can help your routine run much smoother, opting for a walk to see the Christmas lights or a run around in the park can benefit the whole family this time of year, particularly when things can get stressful indoors.
Start a countdown
When it’s nearing time to wind the excitement down for the evening and bedtime is on its way, give your child little reminders that time to sleep is approaching. For example, remembering to tell them that after the Christmas film finishes, there’ll be bath time and a story, will in theory prepare them for the inevitable, so it won’t come as too much of a shock when they are expected to go to bed.
Keep to your usual routine
Unfortunately, your child will likely test the boundaries when it comes to their bedtime and even more so on Christmas Eve, but now is the time to stick to your instincts more than ever. Changing your child’s bedtime just because it’s Christmas can disrupt their sleep patterns for the few days after, so avoid pushing your usual bedtime back and save yourself sleepless nights later.
Bring forward pyjama time
If you’re used to keeping a regular sleep routine, your child should already associate bedtime with cosy pyjamas, which means you can be prepared ahead of time. Invest in a set of special Christmas PJs and present them to your child a little before you’d usually kick off your routine, as the prospect of something new to sleep in should encourage the feeling of winding down and heading to bed.
Embrace story time
Christmas Eve is a great time for the whole family to settle down to a festive film or two, however, your younger child’s sleep routine may well be affected by all the fun. Technology has a great way of overstimulating our brains, which can mean that your child gets a tad overexerted, just when you hoped to calm them down. Scheduling in family movie time a few hours before your little one’s bedtime is key to avoiding a late night this Christmas Eve. Opting for a bedtime story instead and switching off TVs and apps as you get towards wind-down time is a great way to signal that it’s time to go to sleep.
We hope this has given you some inspiration when implementing your sleep routine this Christmas. You may already be using a few of these tips and if so, how are they working for you? Let us know!