A tired child will be a grumpy child. The first step to having a happy child during the holidays is to keep your child well-rested.
First Tip: Make sleep a priority.
Provide a time and a place for naps. Keep your child as close to their regular nap schedule as possible to avoid an overtired child falling asleep out of exhaustion. If your child will be napping in an unfamiliar location, bring some familiar items from home. You can use a sleep sack from home or even a crib sheet that has the smells of home on it. If your child is old enough for a stuffed animal or favorite blanket, include it in their nap. Familiar white noise is good clue to your child that it is nap time.
Second Tip: Choose your holiday activities carefully.
You do not have to attend every holiday party or activity. Do not overwhelm your child with too many events close together. Try to space the activities so your child will have some quiet time or get the sleep they need before attending the next function. It could be much more enjoyable when your child is rested and happy.
Third Tip: Routine brings security.
Try to maintain your child’s regular routine as much as possible. Keep feedings and sleep close to their normal times. Use the same bedtime routine even if you are in a different location. If you normally read a book or sing a song, continue to do that prior to sleep. Children like to know what is going to happen next. Keeping some of their routine familiar will help your child adjust to the changes.
Fourth Tip: End your day with snuggle time.
If your child has had a lot of stimulation in their day because of the holidays, make sure you end that day with some quiet, calm time together. If various people have been holding your baby, let your baby relax in the comfort of your arms and voice. If your toddler has had the stimulation of new toys, noises, and activity; provide a calming down time or maybe short discussion of the day before going to bed.
Fifth Tip: Relax and enjoy your child.
This is a new experience for your child. Enjoy watching the sparkle in your little one’s eyes or the smile on their face. The holidays only come once a year.
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