4 Tips for July 4th
If you're like our family, we love 4th of July and firework festivities will not be missed! I always encourage parents to get out and enjoy special celebrations, even if sleep gets slightly off for a day or two. It's worth it to experience the joy of these special moments through the eyes of your little one.
If you're planning to be out late on the 4th of July this year, here are 4 tips on how to handle your child's sleep:
1. Keep a normal nap schedule during the day.
If you are planning on staying out late, getting in that day sleep will be important! Stick to your normal naptime schedule and maybe even let your child sleep 20-30 minutes longer than usual for one or all naps.
For newborns: Continue as usual with their 60-minute wake windows
Napping children: Prioritize all or, at minimum, one nap for the day. If you have afternoon plans, make sure to get in the morning nap and vice versa for morning plans. If you don’t have plans until the evening, prioritize all day sleep.
Older children: prioritize 30-60 minutes of mid-day quiet time
2. Enjoy a low-key day if you're going out at night.
Try not to plan too many over-stimulating day activates and for older kids no longer napping, offer a 30-60 minute quiet time. Save the super exciting stuff for the evening, so they'll have more energy to enjoy it!
3. Car sleep is okay!
On your way too and from activities, if your child takes a quick car snooze, it’s okay! Car naps are not ideal (see this blog for more on this), but we can make an exception on special days. If they fall asleep on the way home at night, simply do a quick version of bedtime routine - Skip the bath, do a quick wipe down if needed, put on PJ's and get them to bed ASAP.
Bonus Tip: For older children, it can be helpful to talk with them ahead of time about shortening their bedtime routine so they know what to expect. Keep it simple with something like, “Tonight we will be up late to watch fireworks/play with our friends. When we get home your body will be very tired, so we are doing to a short bedtime routine and get into bed.”
4. Prioritize Sleep on July 5th
After a late night and day of wonky sleep, it will be important to prioritize sleep the next day. Go straight back into your normal schedule and routines. If you had a late night, you can allow your child to sleep an extra 30 minutes in the morning if needed (but no longer than 30 minutes to protect the nap schedule). Most importantly, you will need to do an early bedtime of at least 30-60 minute earlier. Night sleep is their most restorative sleep, so adding an early bedtime will help their bodies recover more quickly.
After an exciting day & night, sleep might be off for a couple of days, but don't stress. Get right back into your normal routines and sleep will be back on track in no time. You've got this!