top of page

Car naps, late nights, Christmas, Oh MY!

Christmas is less than a week away and I remember having a baby around this time of the year, thinking about nap time, bedtime and figuring out how late we can stay at a particular event. 

This is a time of year when we want to socialize, and stay late but it's hard to do that when we have a grumpy baby that needs to go to bed. 

So, here's a few things for you to keep in mind this Christmas season! 

1) Car naps are going to happen! 

We use car naps to our advantage! 

Whether you leave for your event early so baby can nap before hand, or drive around a bit longer afterwards, use the car to your advantage. 

If you're on your way home and your baby fell asleep in the car at 6 pm and now you're worried about's what you can do: 

A) Do a longer bedtime routine including a bath to help tire them out before bedtime

B) If they seem tired around their normal bedtime, go ahead and put them down for sleep! 

It's most likely a one-off type of night, so try not to stress too much! 

But what about the super short car nap right before nap time??

Here's a quick formula that I use as most babies don't transfer from the car to the crib. 

If baby slept less than 15 minutes in the car, then wait 30-45 minutes before trying for a nap. 

If baby slept more than 15/20 minutes in the car, they'll most likely need close to their full awake time, or if you have a kiddo who's on one nap, you may have to wait 1-2 hours before trying naptime again. 

2) Staying out late for an event? Add in another nap! 

If you're planning on staying late to an event, or dinner isn't wrapping up as fast as you hoped, here's a couple of things you can do. 

A) Allow baby to have another cat nap, even if it doesn't make sense due to their typical schedule. It's better than a super grumpy baby! 

B) Plan to put baby to bed where you are (if applicable). If you're visiting family, or friends and they have a spare room that you can set up a pack n play, then plan for it! 

*If you're planning on leaving an hour after bedtime, then I don't know if I would put baby to bed just to leave an hour later. But if you're planning on staying later, say 2-4 more hours, then you can do this! 

3) Parents should put baby to bed

If you're hosting or visiting family, even if grandma has put baby to bed at her home before, you'll probably have more success if you put your baby to bed. 

4) Remember FOMO? Let's avoid that. 

If your baby is having a great time with all the guests, and then they get whisked away and put to bed, they may protest a bit more than usual. 

I suggest separating the from the group 10-20 minutes PRIOR to starting their bedtime routine, so they have time to unwind, feel a bit bored and tired. 

You'll have a much easier bedtime:) 

5) Practice Pack N Play sleep 

If your baby has never slept in a pack n play, then giving them a chance to practice before your time away is ideal. 

I don't know about you, but I don't sleep well in a bed that's not my own, especially the first night. And most pack n plays are not nearly as comfortable as a crib mattress. 

Start by putting your baby down for a nap in the pack n play once a day, most likely the first nap as it tends to be the easiest! 

6) Consider sleep environment

Bring your baby's items from home: crib sheet for pack n play, sleep sack, sound machine, fan, books, etc. 

Familiarity is helpful when it comes to bedtimes and routines! 

If you're room sharing, bringing along a Slumberpod or something similar helps tremendously. 

A Slumberpod is a privacy tent that fits over a pack n play or a mini crib and provides a dark environment, blocks out sounds with a fan, and has ventilation panels for comfort. 

It's a great tool to use so you don't have to be so super quiet in the dark when room sharing! 

I have two pods for rent (in the Calgary area) or you can purchase one!

Use code: melodypattonsleepconsulting for a discount at check out.

Check out my highlight on Instagram about the pod if you want more details. 

*note: it's too late now for holiday delivery, but for the new year or spring travel, it's enough time. 

Baby not sleeping well no matter what?

Let's talk!

Most of my clients see significant improvement within the first week of working together!

Here for you,

Melody Patton

50 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page