Making Sleep a Priority

This week in my Festive Sleep series I thought I would talk about the importance of making sleep a priority for your little one (and yourself, of course) in the run-up to Christmas and over the holiday season.

An Exciting Time of Year!

It’s such a busy time of the year with so many exciting things to do and lots of parties and events happening. I’m not going to be too much of a Scrooge and say that you shouldn’t be doing any of these things! But it is a good idea to keep an eye on how tired everyone is getting and make or change plans accordingly.  It’s perfectly fine for some routines to go a bit astray at this time of year and to have the odd late night but it’s good to also be mindful of your little one’s sleep needs and try to accommodate these as much as possible.  

Some babies and children can cope well with a change in routine and staying up later and naturally catch up on their sleep themselves by sleeping later on the next day or by having a longer nap. This is all down to temperament though and other children won’t be able to adjust so well to changes in routine and getting less sleep.

The Second Wind!

Many toddlers can seem to get a “second wind” and seem really alert and hyperactive, especially if you’ve kept them up later than usual which is actually a sign that they’re now overtired and their body will have released the stress hormone cortisol into their system. This makes it more difficult for them to fall asleep, they will have more restless sleep and are more likely to wake more frequently and wake for the day earlier than usual.  This effect of this can last up to 24 hours so can mean sleep becomes really disrupted.

Temperament Makes a Difference! 

So, be aware of your little one’s temperament and their ability to deal with change and plan your days around them.  If they struggle with sleep, it’s good to try and keep them in their sleep pattern for much of the time if possible and avoid too many late nights or missed naps. 

Often at this time of year, there’s so much going on in the run-up to Christmas that on the actual day, everyone is completely exhausted and frazzled from all that has been going on in the weeks before.  If you feel that there’s a possibility of this being true in your household, go easy on yourself – it’s fine to cancel a couple of events and just have an easier day or earlier night to let everyone recharge.

There’s a lot of pressure in December to do every activity and take the children to 101 events but give yourself permission to miss the odd one and just let you and the rest of your family have some quiet family time to recharge.

Make Sleep a Priority

By making sleep a priority in the lead up to Christmas, I hope your whole family will be well rested and able to enjoy the festivities all the more.  December can be such a hectic month so it’s especially important to keep an eye on your little one’s sleep needs and ensure that they are getting enough rest.

Caro Graham is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Caro can support families locally or around the world. Book a FREE 15-minute call. Just click HERE to book!