With the holidays fast approaching, many parents who worked really hard getting their babies and toddlers sleeping well on a schedule are worried that they might regress a little (or a lot) over the holidays.
You are not crazy, this is a realistic fear.
Between the travel, excitement, constant attention and then travel all over again, the holidays are the single easiest way to throw all of your hard work out with the wrapping paper and turkey bones.
But I’m going to tell you, it doesn’t have to be that way! With some strategic planning and an iron will, you can keep that carefully orchestrated routine running just the way you did at home.
There are two major obstacles to your little one’s sleep over the holidays. One is travel and the other is family and friends, so I want to tackle both of those topics individually.
First off, travel.
Love it or hate it, daylight saving time is ending. This time of year, we will “Fall Back” an hour. As a parent, we know that our children thrive off structure and predictability. That’s why going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning works so well with them. So, what is the best way to handle this extra hour, without the wheels on the bus flying off?
It all depends on the time frame you have to prepare and what works best for your family.
Most parent’s talk about how they want to raise their child before they’re even born. They talk about college, schools, swearing, allowances, heck, even dating. But how loud or quiet you should be when the baby is sleeping, never came up. For me, I assumed that babies should sleep in complete silence, my husband on the other hand, couldn’t wait to start up the vacuum when my daughter would fall asleep. When your baby isn’t sleeping well, this feels like a life or death question.
So, who is right?
Transitioning from the crib to a bed is a huge milestone for our children. I say it is right up there with the first time they sleep through the night, first steps and their first word. You will no longer be lowering them into the crib, but rather letting them climb into bed all by themselves. Leaving you the modest opportunity of tucking them in, if they let you. Cue the water works as the Pull-Ups jingle, “I’m a big kid now” plays over and over in your head.
If you are debating on whether to make the transition or not with your little one, it’s okay to wait. It is perfectly fine to keep them in the crib if they’re happy and not trying to dive out of the crib head first at every opportunity. When it’s the right time, it usually becomes pretty clear that your child is ready for a toddler bed. Some cues are that they have potty trained and need/want to use the bathroom at night on their own or are a master crib hurdler with the skills of a highly-trained acrobat.
Here are my top 4 tips for making the change:
As a mom, telling my daughter “Good Night” and sharing an eskimo kiss at bedtime just fills my heart with love. Then we blow kisses to each other as I close the door. Yes, she is still awake. By the time I grab her monitor, she is laying down and hugging her baby doll while rolling around her crib, searching for that perfect position. If you are the parent of a child that refuses to fall asleep without a bottle, rocking, driving, singing the Star Spangled banner on your head, etc., you may think this is an unrealistic concept.
As a Pediatric Sleep Consultant, the # 1 bedtime complaint I get from parents of children, 4 months to 2 years, is that their little one will not fall asleep and/or stay asleep without their assistance.
Life is hard when you're not sleeping. As a Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant, I teach families how to live a well-rested life.