I know how busy things can get over a holiday weekend and the last thing we want is for our kid’s sleep patterns to change. Sleep is crucial in our house ( ABC’s of Sleep with Cara of ” Taking Cara Babies ). So I asked Cara Dumaplin founder of Taking Cara Babies to give us her holiday SLEEP tips to keep the baby’s sleep on track.
Recreate your baby’s bedroom wherever you spend your night
The holidays are a special time to make lasting memories with your family. Adding a sweet baby to the mix multiplies the JOY, but it can also multiply the stress. Here are a few simple tips to help you enjoy your baby-filled holiday while still protecting your sleep and sanity:
Whether you’re going out of town or staying for a late night at grandma’s house, try to replicate your baby’s normal bedtime surroundings as closely as possible. Don’t forget your sound machine, lovey, several pacifiers, sleep sack/swaddle, and even his own crib sheet for the Pack ‘n Play. If your baby is used to sleeping in a DockATot or Rock ‘n Play, make sure to take it with you!
Keep the same bedtime routine even outside of your own house
A familiar bedtime routine tells your baby’s brain that sleep is coming, just like normal. If you typically give a mini massage, dress in jammies, feed her, and then read a book before placing her in the crib, continue to do that while you’re out of the house. If you need to shorten the routine, make sure to keep a few familiar elements. This predictable series of events remind her that it’s bedtime, even if her surroundings are slightly different. Consistency is so important!
Holiday Party Hack: If you’re not sleeping over, do your bedtime routine before placing your little one into the car seat. This can make the transfer to the crib much easier.
Try to protect one solid nap per day
During the holidays, it’s so tempting to fill the schedule with as many visits and activities as possible. You don’t want to miss out. However, an overtired baby can turn all of your coordinated fun and memories into a mess. For babies with more than one nap a day, attempt to get a solid morning nap in a Pack ’n Play or crib (instead of on-the-go). Send someone out for coffee or cinnamon rolls or snuggle by the fire while protecting that important rest for your baby. Starting the day rested can allow future naps to happen in the car seat, in grandma’s arms, or in the stroller while you sneak in that last bit of holiday shopping.
Remember: All that activity can be so exhausting for you and your little one! Watch sleepy cues for naps, and check out our blog post on Nap Schedules 5-25 months. If naps are short or happen on the go, bedtime may need to be earlier than usual.
If you have been consistent at home with your baby’s sleep, now is the time to let go a bit. Relax and have fun; enjoy your family time. This is such a special time with your family and friends. Your baby can get back on track when you return home. If baby sleep is a mess before you add in the holidays, we can help with that too!