Dec 11 2013

Holiday Survival Guide (Part 2): Keeping Kids on a Good Sleep Routine During the Holidays

By Melissa Mitchell of


The holidays are here and if you’re like me, this month is full of activities both with your family and at school. We have so much going on from traditions like Breakfast with Santa and driving around looking at Christmas lights to classroom parties and visiting friends and family that don’t live nearby. With such an exciting time of year, it’s easy for kids routines to get messed up – which means their sleep is getting interrupted too!

Everyone knows that lack of sleep for a little one equals a cranky little one and possibly cranky parents too! To keep the holiday season jolly and bright, here are some tips on keeping a good sleep routine for your child this month.

1Be firm with a set bedtime

There have already been a few special occasions in the past few weeks where my three kids were kept up way past their bedtime since we were having so much fun or celebrating a special event. Your child may beg to stay up late again once you’re back home but make sure to stay firm with a consistent bedtime or as close to their regular bedtime as possible. You may have to start their “wind-down” time a little earlier so they get used to getting settled into bed. Once this busy time of year is over with, you’ll be thankful!

2. Quiet Time and Naps

I have a 5 year old who gave up naps years ago. But with all of the busyness of the season, he is usually exhausted after school and on the weekends. I usually enforce “Quiet Time” in his room where he can lay on his bed and look through his books. I usually let him listen to Christmas music and he usually ends up falling asleep anyway during this time!

With my 9 month old twins, I’m very strict on making sure they have nap time or quiet time in their cribs, especially if I know we will be out later that evening or in new surroundings.

3. Traveling During the Holidays

If you’re out of town visiting family, try to keep the same bedtime routine as if you were at home. If you have to keep the same bedtime for the sanity of everyone, do it! Make sure to bring familiar PJs, a pillow and a stuffed animal so your child feels comfortable during bedtime.

4. Focus on your Child at Bedtime

Days can be long and most parents are exhausted after a busy day during the holidays but when it comes time for your child’s bedtime, make sure to completely focus on them! Especially if you are out of town, they can suffer from being overstimulated. Take time to tuck them into bed, talk about their day and what they enjoyed most, read a holiday book or just talk about what they are excited about this holiday season. Once they have your complete focus, they should be nodding off and dreaming of sugarplums in no time!

What are some of your tips for keeping your child on a sleep schedule during the holidays?

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