Does the festive season have you worrying about how to Keep Your Baby and Toddlers Sleep on Track? Don't undo all the hard work you have put in!
My name is Chantal Cohen, I am a mum of three girls and a certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultant, helping to bring back sleep andpeace to exhausted and struggling parents everywhere. I love what I do; giving mums, dads, carers and children the gift of sleep is such a rewarding vocation! You can contact me and find out more about the
sleep services I offer at
During the busy Christmas period, little ones sleep often goes by the wayside as we have late nights out, sleepovers and plenty of days with short naps out of the house and in different sleep environments.
Parents often ask me how to prevent sleep from going off the rails while still enjoying the festive season. Here are four easy ways to help you during this busy time of disrupted sleep:
Try to stick to regular naps and wake windows. It can be hard when you are out and about or not at home, but skipping naps can mean overtired, hyperactive and miserable bubs. It can be hard to prevent cat napping and to settle your child and so this is a time when I see a lot of sleep associations and poor sleep habits forming. Remember that often taking your child away to winddown for 5-10 mins before sleep time is important to allow them to relax and unwind and ready their body and mind for sleep away from lots of people and stimulating places.
Make sleep times as familiar as possible to prevent sleep regressions. I always recommend my clients to take along their child’s comforter that they usually sleep with, sleep bag, music or white noise they use, a breathable cover to go over the pram to replicate their sleep environment at home and to encourage longer naps. If possible, take along your porta cot if you are staying for a late evening so they are more comfortable. Sticking to your normal bedtime routine can also help promote sleep during this busy time.
Whilst away, try to keep your little ones sleeping in their own space; if they are used to sleeping in their own bed or cot at home, then whilst you are staying at your family or friends place it might be a good idea to try to continue with this. Babies and toddlers don’t respond well to mixed messages as it confuses them, so allowing them to sleep in your bed while away won’t translate into them going straight back into their own bed once you return home. Babies and children quickly get used to sleeping in parents’ beds and will expect the same once you return home!
Consistency is key. While we are enjoying ourselves and staying up late and missing naps, then it is common for toddlers particularly to pick up on a more relaxed approach to sleep and push boundaries. Try to ensure that you keep boundaries and structure in place as much as is possible so your little one stays fairly on track and there is not too much to correct once things settle down. Reminding your toddler of your expectations now that you are home again and getting straight back into your normal routine and bedtimes is important in re-establishing their sleep time norm.
My biggest piece of advice is that whatever you choose to do; be consistent and don't send mixed messages to your baby or child. Hoping that these tips help you get some more sleep in your life!
All the best and be kind to yourselves.