Over the holidays, we are all on the go for what seems like the whole month of December. As we enter into the New Year, taking time to rest and recover the craziness is a must. Here are 3 tips on how to get back on track after the craziness of the holidays!
1. Go straight back into your normal schedule and routines
Children thrive on predictability and routines, so after a few days of go-go-go, we want to return to what they know. While they may still protest, their schedule is familiar to them and when you are consistent with their familiar routines, they will quickly fall back into their usual habits.
During the holidays, you may have taken extra measures to help your child sleep (which is completely okay!), so now you may need to remind your child of their sleep expectations. Remember, if your child is already an independent sleeper, you are simply reminding of the expectations and boundaries that come with independent sleep, so you may have to briefly re-implement the training you used initially. After a few days of consistency, they will be back to normal!
If your child does not have independent sleep skills and you are looking for support to help get your family sleeping well, I would love to connect with you!
2. Use a temporary early bedtime
It is no secret that I love an early bedtime for tired children. As a parent, this is your secret weapon when sleep is missed! After all the holiday festivities, we want to prioritize an early bedtime to help your child catch up on missed sleep. Keep in mind, this is only temporary as your child adjusts back into normal routines.
How early is an early bedtime? Aim for bedtime to be at least 30-60 minutes earlier than their usual time. If your child has really been struggling to get through the day, they will get the most benefit from a bedtime 60-minutes early for at least 1-2 days. As they catch up on sleep and their mood improves you can lessen it to 30-minutes earlier for another 1-2 days until they are back to normal!
3. Maintain realistic expectations
Recovery from the constant go-go-go of the holidays will not happen overnight. Your child will inevitably be a little extra cranky, probably a little more clingy and there will likely be a few tantrums throughout the next couple of days. While frustrating for parents, this is all normal because they are tired. In the days following, continue offering naps at their normal time and use an early bedtime. If your child is no longer napping, offer a rest-time of at least 20 minutes to help their bodies recuperate. Some children will recover after a few days, while other may take up to a week. Keep things as low key as possible the following week and give your children and yourself some grace as you all adjust. Sleep will get back to normal soon for everyone!
If you are looking to start the new year fresh and well-rested, let’s connect! At Guiding Star Sleep, my goal is to connect with families by listening to their struggles, equipping them with the most current evidence-based solutions, and encouraging them to persevere through the hard times because just on the other side is beautiful, restful, restorative sleep for everyone.