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All I want for Christmas is sleep!

Updated: Feb 3, 2023

Christmas is almost here!! It's a very exciting time with Children at this time of year, but we also know there isn't much of a rest period.

These are safe and healthy ways to approach sleep during the Christmas break.

  • The build-up for children is long, and there is so much going on before the big guy has even arrived with his sleigh load! Consider the timings of your events.

Can it work around naps and getting them to bed in good time?

This I know isn't always possible, so spacing out your day trips is recommended. Then, if they don't sleep so well during a visit/event they can do so the next day.

It can be overwhelming and exhausting for little ones, this is when you are likely to see behaviours tipping over to irritability easily. Listen and watch their sleep cues. Pause and connect with them, they likely need a cuddle, to be heard and some quiet time.

  • Dress them appropriately for the weather. If it's super cold (like it is right now in the UK) use layers to keep them warm.

It's better to keep rooms cool for sleep, 16-20 degrees is ideal, rather than adding extra blankets, which become a risk of suffocation and overheating for babies and young children. Layer them with more clothing under a winter tog sleep sack.

Don't put hats on babies for sleep, even in the car, this is another risk of overheating.

Snowsuits & thick coats should not be used in car seats. When using these it means they are not as secure under their seatbelt, and again it's a risk of overheating.

Your baby or little ones shouldn't be next to a radiator or have a portable heater pointing directly at them.

You're the best judge for your child, check the back of the neck and chest to make sure they are warm enough and not too hot (clammy/hot to touch), so you can add and remove layers, especially if they cannot communicate yet.

  • You might be visiting lots of family and friends during the holidays. Ask about the sleep situation;

Is there a spare room?

Can you travel over sleep timings?

Take a travel cot with a firm, flat waterproof mattress and fitted sheets, a travel blind, a sleep sack, a video monitor and your child's sleep comforts (a book/ white noise/ comforter/ teddy, etc).

Don't layer blankets on top of the mattress as it can overheat your baby.

Your family and friends may even have items for you to use.

It's so much better to be prepared than not to be, and everyone feels more relaxed.

  • Christmas weekend is not going to be picture-perfect. Let's face it, little ones are so unpredictable, it can be so overwhelming, a sensory and sweet treat overload for them. There will be meltdowns and emotions at some point/s!

You might want to spend more time winding them down for bed on Christmas Eve/day, and/or give them a slightly earlier bedtime.

Watch that they don't have too much sugar before bed (looking at you Nanny).

Create some quiet time for them, even more so if they no longer nap or decide to refuse it!

Maybe they had a late night and/or an early start with all the excitement of Santa.

Snuggle up and watch a Christmas film together or read some books.

Go out for a walk with the buggy, or on bikes/scooters, this is also great for those that do nap, getting some fresh air and light to reset bodies for sleeping again.

Let them enjoy playing with some of their toys with you one to one.

All children want over Christmas is you and your time. Presents only fill a small portion of that happiness, connection with loved ones means SO much more and should be encouraged (plus we all just want sleep!)

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