6 Sleep Tips for Maintaining Child and Toddler Sleep Training Over the Holidays
With the holiday season quickly approaching, parents are wondering how they can maintain their child’s healthy sleep routine and schedule while travelling over the holidays. No one wants to undo your precious toddler sleep training! Here are 6 sleep tips for keeping your child well-rested during the upcoming holiday season.
Establish healthy sleep habits beforehand
A child who is well-rested will adapt to changes in their schedule and routine better than an overtired child, so ensure their ‘sleep tank’ is full before you leave. This also helps minimize the meltdowns. Establish a consistent soothing bedtime routine so that you can use the same routine when traveling. This will help your child relax and sleep well even in a strange environment.
If you plan on staying in a hotel, try to book a suite instead of a single room so that your children can’t see you. If that isn’t an option, consider hanging a sheet as a room divider or using a walk-in closet as a temporary nursery. If they can’t see you, they are less likely to look for middle-of-the-night playtime or attention. If you plan on having your child sleep in a playpen over the holidays, have them practice sleeping in it at home first.
Try to bring some of your child’s sleep environment with you over the holidays.
Bring their sleep environment
Try to bring some of your child’s sleep environment with you over the holidays. This could mean their crib sheets, blankets, sleep sack, white noise machine and especially their lovey. Their comfort items will help them feel relaxed and calm in a strange environment and help them sleep better.
Preserve sleep routines and schedules
Your children’s sleep will stay on track if you stick to your usual routine and schedule as much as possible. Allow your children to nap when they usually nap and continue going through the steps of your usual bedtime routine. If they happen to miss a nap, offer them an earlier bedtime to keep them well rested.
If you are travelling to a different time zone for more than a few days, get your child’s schedule on the new time as quickly as possible.
Help them adjust to a different time zone
If you are travelling to a different time zone for more than a few days, get your child’s schedule on the new time as quickly as possible. Have your child go to bed at their usual bedtime and be sure to wake up your child in the morning when they would normally wake up. It also helps to expose your children to plenty of natural light to reset their internal clock.
Be prepared with a plan to get your child straight back on their normal schedule and routine, and try not to make too many exceptions that first night home
Be prepared with a plan for your return home
With so much going on during the holidays, your child may not get as much sleep as usual and their sleep routines and schedules may be a little “off” once you return home. Be prepared with a plan to get your child straight back on their normal schedule and routine, and try not to make too many exceptions that first night home. The sooner you get them back on their regular routine and well-rested, the sooner they will adjust.
Read more on sleep training techniques and creating the best bedroom for sleep.
Jenn Kelner is a mother of three children, including twins, and a Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant at BabyZzz. Just as every family is unique, Jenn supports many different sleep methods and works directly with families to design a solution that will help them become well-rested, happy families.