Sleeping for the holidays!
Managing your baby's sleep while visiting family and taking part in all the festivities can be, well, challenging.
So how do you manage the holidays without sleep deprivation being the 'one thing' you got this year?
1) Honour the nap!
There's a lot of advice floating around regarding baby naps, such as:
"Let your baby stay awake all day, and they will sleep at night"
"My kids only ever slept 30 minutes and they were fine"
"Clearly they're not tired right now"
"It's okay if they skip this nap"
If you've ever tried skipping a nap or keeping your baby awake for very long periods, you know this backfires...they get super cranky in the evening and they don't sleep well at night!
So... honour your baby's naps!
They do need daytime sleep, despite what activities you've planned!
Here's what they may look like:
a carrier nap
a stroller nap
a car nap
a nap in the pack 'n' play
a contact nap
You can also plan out your day around naps. For example, if you know that you'll be driving for part of the morning, plan to leave when you know your kiddo needs a nap and let them sleep in the car.
If the drive is short, leave a bit early to allow them to have a full sleep cycle of a nap (30-45 minutes).
2) Plan for bedtime!
Maybe you're having Christmas dinner at your in-laws and you know that there's no chance that you'll be eating before 6 pm and won't be heading home until much later that evening.
Bring a pack 'n' play and plan to put your baby to bed while away from home.
In my experience and from what clients have told me, the transition home tends to go better than they expected.
So give your baby some extra time to unwind before bed, and do their bedtime routine!
They will be able to sleep at a reasonable time, and you can enjoy your evening!
Once it's time to head home, scoop them up and head home. They will 99.9% wake up when you do this, but that's okay because nighttime sleep pressure will help them go back to sleep once they are home.
They may need some extra cuddles once at home, or they may be begging for their bed!
If you are heading out of town and sleeping somewhere other than home, remember that it's normal to not sleep as well somewhere else as compared to home.
Even as adults, it's common to not sleep well the first night away from home, or maybe the whole time away.
By honouring your baby's naps, and getting them to bed on time, it gives them the best chance at being well-rested, but really, we are trying to avoid a totally overtired baby, because they tend to not sleep well at night.
So remember that, when you're room sharing with your baby at your in-laws and your baby is having more wake-ups than usual.
Do your best to keep good habits and once you're home, you can get right back into home routine.
I hope that you can enjoy this holiday season with friends and family, and maybe get your MIL to get up with the baby in the morning so you can catch a few more ZzZz's!
If your baby isn't sleeping well right now, but you have plans for the holidays, we can always plan to work together in the new year.
P.S. January tends to be BUSY for me and I'm going to prevent burnout this year by spacing out clients (last year was a bit much, haha).
So if you know that you'd like to work together in the new year, DON'T WAIT TO TELL ME and let's get you a spot for January!
Here for you,