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Our guide to balancing sleep with the festive period

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It’s not long now until Christmas! After such a challenging year in so many ways, here at Little Dreams we are really looking forward to spending some quality time with our families over the festive period.

It is inevitable that, with the Christmas restrictions this year, we may not be travelling around as much as we may have done previously or going to all the Christmassy events that are usually booked up. However, there is still so much excitement to look forward to. For children this will probably still lead to some later nights and of course the extra sugar that Father Christmas brings!

So that everyone can enjoy Christmas without battling overtired little ones, here are our top tips for how to balance the festivities with sleep:

  1. Try not to have too many things going on at once during the festive period. Factor in some ‘down time’ in amongst the presents, the lights, films, sweets and seeing relatives so that your little one can ‘recharge’ in amongst all the excitement.
  • If your little one is still napping, try to stick to their usual awake windows. Obviously the odd day of naps on the go, or slightly shorter naps is to be expected with so much excitement around, but sustained periods of this is likely to result in a lot of protest when it comes to bedtime. If naps do go a little bit haywire one day, pop your little one into bed early to compensate and stop that adrenaline from building too much.
  • If you are planning to spend Christmas within an extended bubble, which involves staying away or at relatives’ houses over Christmas, try to remain consistent with your sleep routine. It’s very normal for babies and toddlers to test the boundaries around sleep when they are somewhere new. Just because the rule is the rule at home, that does not necessarily mean the rule is the same at grandma’s house, especially over Christmas when everybody is a little more relaxed. The best way to handle this is to not do too much different than you would if it happened at home. You can go in every five minutes or so to offer a bit of reassurance, but other than that, don’t bend your rules. If you stick to your routine and maintain consistency, within the first night or two, your little one will be used to the new environment and will be sleeping well again. 
  • Whatever you do, don’t forget your little one’s favourite sleeping toy and/or blanket if you are going away. They are probably going to need the comfort and familiarity, especially with all the new toys around! In addition, try to ensure the environment they sleep in in similar to home. A Gro-blind can be a good way of making it as dark as possible even in somebody else’s house and can help block out any unwanted stimuli. A Snoozeshade can be really useful for naps too (and if you have worked with us or signed up to the newsletter you will already have a discount code)!
  • On Christmas eve, excitement will be high! To prepare for this make sure you incorporate lots of outside time during the day to burn off all that energy, not too close to bedtime though as this may cause too much adrenaline to build! Similarly, curb the sugar the closer it gets to bedtime and ensure they have some quiet time before bed – perhaps a Christmassy game or a story before preparing Father Christmas’s snack!

We hope you all have a fabulous festive period. If you want to kick 2021 off by tackling your little one’s sleep, we are now booking appointments for the new year so please do get in touch! We wish you a very merry (and sleep filled) Christmas!

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