How to Get Your Kids to Sleep During the Holidays
For many children, winter holidays are their favorite time of year. But all the excitement that comes with special traditions, festive decorations, extra candy and time off school can make it tough for parents to get them to sleep.
A few things can help, such as sticking to the kids’ regular routine as much as possible. If a child’s regular naps are interrupted by holiday travel or activities, parents should make sure their child spends some time relaxing during the day, recommends Maria Miller, the founder of Stella di Rose Domestics, a boutique nanny agency in New York City.
“Thirty minutes to an hour of relaxation alone during the day to read a book or listen to music is greatly beneficial to the overall mood of the child and also helps them sleep more soundly when bedtime rolls around,” she says.
If the family spends the holidays away from home, parents should make sure that the young traveler feels secure at the new location. Bringing their own bed linens or toys is a good way to help accomplish that.
“Parents want to spoil their children during the holidays, and that’s completely fine,” she says. Still, she thinks parents should stick to an allowance for holiday treats because, as she points out, “after all, they are treats.”
Getting enough exercise and fresh air during the day is key for good sleep, no matter how cold it is.
“A child that has the opportunity to seize the day and get the most out of it will be completely tired by the time bedtime rolls around,” says Miller. “I suggest planning a family football game, or going on a nature walk.”
Make bedtime a time to relax. A warm bath, cozy pajamas and a warm glass of milk can help put even the most excited kids into a sleepy mood, Miller says.
Bedtime during the holidays is also a great opportunity to talk to your kid, sing holiday songs or share your own childhood memories — and encourage your kid to express their feelings about the holidays, Miller says.
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