Sleepy Lambs Sleep Tips & More!
“And ALL through the house. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings all hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas, soon would be there. The children all nestled, all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar plums dance in their heads…”
Words from the iconic book “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” My mum tells my three little ones that I had the entire book memorised by the age of three. I still know the whole book by heart.
Christmas is a magical time, and most of us have this idyllic image in our heads about our little ones and the magic of Christmas and the holiday season. The reality, however, can be much different, judging from my own experience and the messages I’ve been receiving from parents on a daily basis. First off, it’s good to know that you’re not alone! Parents all over the world experience the same challenges and frustration. If you need a few tips, check out my blog post for Seven Tips on Surviving Sleep Over the Holiday Season.
Most little ones sleep better once their routine is back and the excitement of Christmas is over. The regression can demonstrate how important a consistent routine is for most little ones. Later bedtimes, extra sugar, lots of excitement, missed naps, travel, visitors and overstimulation can change a great sleeper into bedtime struggles, frequent wake-ups, missed naps and lots of tears. Of course, it can become cyclical as an overtired little one makes it harder to sleep well.
Need Support? I’ve Got You Covered!
Do you plan to focus on sleep in the new year? If so, I’ll be there to help in a variety of different and NEW ways! In the new year, we’re launching a new sleep program called The Best of Both Worlds. It will be a combination of personalised 1:1 support and group support to help you help your little one sleep much better with the same results as a full support package, but more accessible on the post-Christmas budget.
The renowned Sleepy Lambs Sleep Academy will re-launch with an all-new look. The online sleep program provided hundreds of families with the sleep support they needed in a step-by-step video self-paced program with a strong focus on emotional wellness. The ALL NEW Sleep Academy will be easier to navigate and provide you with all the tools you need to help your little one sleep better, even if you have ZERO interest in sleep training. And finally, this website will be updated with a new look too! Of course
So, if you’re struggling with sleep and ready to make some changes in 2018, we’re with you every step of the way with a plan to support your needs and budget. Stay tuned to our Facebook page and SleepyLambs.com for more details.
We Wish You a Very Merry Christmas!
I sincerely hope your Christmas is merry and bright, full of love and laughter. From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!
Mary Foster is a sleep specialist, an entrepreneur and mum of three little ones (at one time three under three). Mary’s a proud Canadian, living in Hampshire, England. She’s the founder of Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consulting and is passionate about supporting parents and helping newborns, babies, toddlers and young children learn to sleep better with a strong focus on emotional health and wellness. Click here to message her.
The holiday season has begun, and it can be so magical as a parent of babies and young children! Seeing friends, visiting relatives, travel, parties, goodies, excitement, gifts and anticipation! As enchanting as it all can be, the holidays can also take a toll on sleep, creating many overtired babies and children. Here are a few tips to enjoy the holiday season with your little ones.
Why the holiday struggle?
Babies and children thrive on routines and schedules. They love knowing what comes next and are frequently much calmer with the predictability.
Have you ever noticed that toddlers and young children love reading the same book over and over again or watch their favourite movie, TV show or listen to the same song 738 times in a row but love it more each time? Routine and repetition provide comfort, allowing babies and children to know what’s coming next. The routine lets them feel calm and empowered.
The holiday season often throws comforting routines out the window. The result can be overtired babies and children, extra tantrums, and less sleep for everyone. Add in a cold or illness, and it can be tough.
So, what can you do? Well, if your little one is struggling, look at their schedule for the last few days or even weeks. It will probably tell you the answer.
Focus on wake windows
It’s easy to get distracted and suddenly realise that your little one has been awake for too long. When little ones are overtired their bodies produce cortisol and adrenaline – stress hormones. These stress hormones cause your little one to fight going to sleep, sleep more restlessly and wake up sooner. By getting your little one to sleep when she needs it, you can help prevent her from becoming overtired.
Have you noticed that even with a late night, your little one still wakes up at their regular time? It’s so frustrating! Wouldn’t it be nice if a later bedtime meant a lie-in? For the most part, however, this isn’t the case.
If you can, keep bedtime as consistent as possible and stick to your routine – even if you’re away from home.
Make it loud!
Expecting guests or travelling? Adding some white (or pink) noise to be played for the duration of night sleep and naps can make a massive difference to sleep for babies and young children. White or pink noise provides a consistent sleep environment and drowns out other sounds that may wake your little one. Whether it’s the “prancing and pawing of each little hoof” from Santa’s reindeer, Aunt Ella’s loud laugh, or that creaky floorboard that you know to avoid but your guests don’t, you won’t have to “shush” guests in fear of waking the baby and the consistent noise. Just be sure to play it for the duration of night sleep or naps!
Limit sugar, especially before bed
It’s hard with so many delicious treats around (guilty here!) but many children are sensitive to sugar, and it can have a significant effect on behaviour and sleep. If you think this is the case for your little one, limit sugar in the last few hours before bed, including unsweetened fruit juices.
Respond with empathy
If your little one has been struggling, it’s easy to get frustrated. When you’re out or hosting guests, it can be frustrating. The behaviour is likely a direct result of the change in routine, and that’s not his fault. He just may be struggling to cope with it. Some babies and children are more sensitive to these changes than others.
Responding with empathy is always a winner. By acknowledging his feelings you may find your toddler, or young child responds with a release of emotions. That’s okay. Sometimes a good cry, while being supported, means they get an emotional release and feel much better after.
Focus on the relationship
It’s easy to get busy shopping, wrapping, baking and entertaining and not have as much time to focus on your little one as much as usual. Spend some “special time” together, even for 5 minutes 1-2 times a day where you are entirely focused on your child and doing something they want you to do. It doesn’t need to take long, but it can make a HUGE difference in behaviours.
It WILL pass
The holiday season doesn’t last forever. Find whatever days and evenings you can that keep your routine in order and get back into your routine as quickly as possible after the holidays. Consistency is the key to getting back on track.
Best wishes for a very healthy and happy holiday season!
Mary Foster is a sleep specialist, an entrepreneur and mum of three little ones. She’s a proud Canadian, living in Hampshire, England. She’s the founder of Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consulting. She’s passionate about supporting parents and helping newborns, babies, toddlers and young children learn to sleep better with a strong focus on emotional health and wellness.