There is a Czech Christmas carol by Martin Shaw that goes ‘Mary’s little baby, sleep, sweetly sleep, sleep in comfort, slumber deep’, and as I heard it, I thought, we should all be so lucky!
The festive period can be one of such chaos, and can be overwhelming for little ones and grown ups alike, meaning it’s important to ensure EVERYONE in the house is sleeping as soundly as possible.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of our top tips for sleeping and keeping calm at Christmastime for you and your little ones:
The age-old question of whether to stick to those bedtimes, or whether to let them stare at those lovely Christmas lights just that little big longer, eyes all aglow. Whether you are a strict bedtime and nap time household or not, routines all seem to fly off faster than Santa at dawn. The general advice online seems to be stick whatever your ‘normal’ might be, but be flexible enough that a change or disruption doesn’t throw everything out of sync. Some recommendations include always having your little one’s blanket or favourite nap time cuddly with you so that you are always prepared for them to take a quick nap or sleep in a new location. Also, if your baby usually sleeps in pitch black, but you know Nanny and Grandad’s house is right by the main road and street lights, as tempting as it is to pack light, ensure you bring a black out blanket or curtain to maintain the normalcy for your little one.
Be sure of yourself
Everybody loves a snuggle with a baby at Christmastime, or playing another round of kid’s vs grownups articulate, no? just us? Well, no matter the distraction, it can be easy to feel the pressure of keeping your little one up a little longer. It’s also perfectly normal to want to keep them up later so you or they don’t miss out on any lovely Christmas memories. But feel strong in the fact that you are their parent, and it’s ultimately your call on when they go to bed. If you know they need a stricter routine to keep the household merry and bright for as long as possible, then tell Nanna she’ll just have to have some more cuddles when they wake up later! ( let them deal with the middle of the night wake ups - sound good!)
Make space for quiet time
For a lot of us, children and adults alike, meeting lots of people, rooms being full of chaos, or even the pressure of sitting down for a full meal can be very over stimulating. So, it can be useful to select a time in the day to just sit somewhere quiet for a shorter period of time. Perhaps you could watch a Christmas short with your little one in a darker/ quieter room. If this isn’t possible, a walk can always be a good time to take a moment in the present (no Christmas pun intended!)
A lot of Christmas stress can come from finances and gift giving, making sure Santa brings just the right number of presents. But remember, your little ones will remember much longer the games you play and the atmosphere created. Nikita and I often reminisce over our childhood Christmases and one of the main activities of the day we remember most vividly, is playing a game where our uncle would fill a bowl of flour with a sweet in the middle, and we would have to slice off the side of the flour until we reached the sweet – BUT if you made the pile of flour fall to reveal the sweet, you had to get it out with your mouth! Maybe that’s where our love of messy play comes from! Whether you can afford only a roll of tin foil, or are putting a bike under the tree this Christmas, your child’s day will be made magical by being with you, not the things stuff!
No matter what your Christmas plans are, Nikita and I wish you all the best for the day, and the coming new year. Merry Christmas and the best of wishes, Mykaela xx