One of the most common concerns for parents over the holiday season is the looming possibility of sleep regression. With strategic planning and honest communication, these concerns can be addressed. Listed below are tips to ensure peaceful slumbers for the wondrous, connection-filled season ahead:
Be honest. Sometimes the healthiest arrangement for families is to prioritize the hard work put into sleep training and feeding routines. It is important that you honour what is best for your immediate family. Leaving a bit early and/or saying ‘no’ to a holiday engagement are both reasonable options if it ensures sounder sleeps.
Create sleep conducive environments. Sleep is essential for promoting cellular repair and improving the overall brain function of all ages.* To accommodate peaceful transitions in unfamiliar environments, bring along familiar elements like bedding, plushies, pajamas and white noise machines to mirror their optimal sleep surroundings.
Accommodate pre-established routines. The amount of sleep recommended for children varies with age. Toddlers typically sleep 11- to 14-hours in a 24-hour period; preschoolers 10- to 13-hours; elementary-aged 9- to 12-hours; and teenagers 8- to 10-hours.** If you are leaving a holiday gathering around bedtime, pack along pajamas and blankets to mirror their bedtime routine as closely as possible. There may be an element of relaxation over the holiday season and that is perfectly okay! Do your best to accommodate their pre-established schedules. Feeding and eating regularly helps maintain their energy and blood glucose levels; decreasing the likelihood of overstimulation and exhaustion. Be sure to pack snacks in the case an event serves food later than anticipated too!
What matters most is that you honour your family’s needs and create precious memories this holiday season.