7 ways to manage your baby's bedtime routine over Christmas
Struggling to know how to get your little ones to sleep over the festive period? Try our top tips for a stress-free Christmas.
It’s true that routines, whatever they may be, tend to make children happier and calmer. And when it comes to newborns and toddlers, once a routine is broken it can be tricky to fix. Lovely and magical a time though it is, Christmas is darn disruptive. But with a little forethought you can keep up the routines you’ve worked so hard to establish with our handy tips.
Keep sugar to a minimum
While this seems a bit obvious, it's trickier than it sounds. Over the festive period many of us over indulge and buy far too much chocolate and treats for everyone to get through by the first week of January. Of course, no-one loves sugary treats more than your children, and we all know how it can affect bedtime routines if it has been gorged on too close to lights out.
Stick to their normal routine
Try to stick to your rituals as much as you can. Missed naps make for difficult bedtimes, and while one late/missed nighttime routine might be manageable for a toddler and simply result in mild grumps the next day, three could muck things up for the whole of the following week. Or fortnight. Or until February. This won’t make for a happy mummy or baby in the new year. So, although family members relish the company of your tots, stick to your guns about bedtime.
Set present opening times
Your little one's excitement will often force them up in the early hours of the morning, assuming that because they are awake it's time to open presents. To make sure they don’t leave their rooms until it's at least light outside, continuously remind them of a specific time that you're opening presents. This is particularly helpful if your children are a little older and can tell the time, as you can leave them with a clock to check instead of disturbing you every hour.
Have a pre-bedtime bath
One proven method to help anyone get to sleep is to have a nice relaxing bath. This works not dissimilarly to exercise in the sense that the natural cooling down of the body following the bath helps us relax, and is therefore a great thing for just before your child's bedtime.
Try warm milk
While it might not be the favoured bedtime drink of everyone, milk has science on its side to help you and your children off to the land of nod. Milk contains a sleep-inducing enzyme called tryptophan. If you really hate the idea of milk, a little late snack of cheese (particularly hard and mature) and crackers can help as well.
Keep new toys downstairs
Don’t install new toys in your toddler’s bedroom right away. Keep them in the living room or somewhere else downstairs, out of sight and mind when it’s time to go to sleep.
Play white noise
Play a rain sound effect in your child's room to drown out the noise of family gatherings or Christmas parties. On YouTube you can find a ten-hour long recording of rain, although you might only need ten minutes of this lovely, gentle sound to soothe your little one into the land of nod.
From feeding times to you time, pick up the December issue of Gurgle - on sale 25th October 2017 - for more advice on managing your little ones routine over the holiday season.