With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season fast approaching, it is a good idea to start thinking about how you are going to handle travel, disrupted schedules, excitement (and sugar madness!), gatherings and explosions of chaos!
Like anything, it is good to prepare in order to set yourself up for success. Simple things can go a long way- especially when it comes to infant, toddlers and young children!
If you are heading to a place where you know there will be tons of sugary food and junk food, then it is a good idea to give your child/children a heads up that they are allowed one small plate with up to 5 items on it. Only 2 can be cookies.
If you are traveling with a baby and you know your baby doesn’t take well to being passed around and gets super fussy and upset, then put him or her into a Bjorn carrier or sling of some sort and that will avoid the pass around and your baby will stay happy! Also, it allows your baby to take a snooze as well. It is never a good idea to have an overtired baby at a party. Stress for mom, baby and the guests!
Stick to a routine
Even though it can be hard while visiting and juggling, try and plan car rides to be during a nap time. Sometimes this can be unavoidable and you may have to deal with a sleep disruption but do your best to honor your child’s sleep. If you have a great sleeper on a good routine, chances are they will sleep better out and also jump back into a good sleep pattern the next day should their schedule go sideways one day. If your child has just started sleeping through the night and you have JUST established healthy sleep patterns, then my recommendation is definitely stick to the routine and get those naps in and a proper bedtime. Don’t go backwards and re-introduce any props that you just worked so hard on getting rid of! (i.e. rocking, soother, holding, nursing to sleep).
Establish Sleep Rules With Toddler and Older Children
If you have to share a bed while away at Grandma Betty’s, then you need to make sure your child understands that being in bed with mom and dad is a treat because they are at grandmas but as soon as they get home they get their cozy own bed back and mom and dad will check on them through the night.
Pack Your Sleep “Kit”
Always bring your little ones snuggly buddy, favourite books, a crib sheet, play pen, sleep sac and a white noise machine (if you are going to a loud place)….Make everything as much like home as possible. This will help your child adjust.
Time Zone Travel
Jump into the new time zone and treat it like an ordinary day at home. And when you get back home, you do the same thing. It may take a few days for things to adjust but it will get back on track within a few days in your new place of travel and when you get back home.
When you get back home or when your holiday visits and parties are over, I suggest keeping it low key around the house for a coupe days to wind down and get back into at home routines.
I hope these suggestions help you and your family have a well- rested and most enjoyable holiday season!