4 tips for stress-free sleeping at Christmas – for your toddler (and you!)
1. Keep to their bedtime routine as much as possible
It’s tempting to abandon your toddler’s night-time routine and let them stay up late – after all, it’s Christmas, right? Can’t parents have ‘time off’ from doing the bedtime routine? But little ones get over-tired very easily at this time of year, so whenever you can, maintain your routine as much as possible to improve everyone’s chance of a good night’s sleep – and then you’re less likely to have the added stress of dealing with a grumpy toddler the next day.
2. Travel at night
If you are taking a lengthy car journey to stay with relatives, coping with a bored toddler can be daunting. One option is to get your little one bathed and in pyjamas before setting off, so that they fall asleep in the car. When you arrive at your destination you can then pop them into bed without too much disturbance. If you have a travel Grobag, this can be even easier, as you can simply lift them out of their car seat and transfer to their bed without the need for blankets or sheets.
3. Replicate aspects of their bedroom or nursery
One way to make it easier for your child to settle to sleep in unfamiliar surroundings is to replicate the environment they have at home, by bringing favourite items such as teddies or night-lights. Obviously you don’t want to go overboard with this by hauling half of the nursery contents with you, but if your toddler still needs their daytime nap, it is worth having a portable blackout blind with you to darken a room during the day.
One crucial point to remember is that when you return home, make sure any favourite teddies or comforters go home with you (but if you do forget, don’t worry – you won’t be the first parent who’s done this!)
4. Read a favourite story or listen to familiar music
If your toddler does get over-excited and can’t settle at bedtime, don’t feel obliged to read them a Christmas-themed book, or to play special Christmas music. This can be especially hard if your child has received such a present from a family member. Sometimes the old familiar stories and songs are the best way to reassure and settle them when they have had a day of excitement and new experiences.
Overall, try and enjoy the Christmas period – even if you’re shattered, and remember that when your toddler eventually becomes a teenager you’ll have the opposite problem of getting them to wake up!