As much as we all love the holidays, they can definitely throw a wrench in our normal routines – especially when it comes to our baby’s sleep. Between all the excitement and possibly being out of our usual environment, it’s not uncommon for babies to have disrupted sleep during the holiday season.
But now that the holidays are over, it’s time to get back on track with your baby’s sleep so you can all be well rested and ready to take on the New Year.
Here are a few tips to help you get back to a more regular sleep schedule:
1. Start with morning wake up
If your baby or toddler has been sleeping in in the morning, start waking them up at the same time (eg. 7am) to help get their body into a good rhythm and to help with the next tip (earlier bedtime). If it’s early morning waking that you are struggling with, check out my Early Waking Masterclass to help get your little one sleeping a little later.
2. Gradually shift your baby’s bedtime
If you’ve noticed that your baby’s bedtime has been pushed later due to holiday events, start by gradually shifting their bedtime back to its normal time. If you are waking your baby in the morning to start their day at a regular time then bedtime will naturally be an appropriate time. A bedtime between 6-8pm is optimal for babies from 3 months all the way to toddlerhood and early childhood. This can help prevent your baby from becoming overtired and make it easier for them to fall asleep.
3. Stick to a consistent, relaxing bedtime routine
A consistent bedtime routine can be very helpful in helping your baby relax and fall asleep. Try to stick to the same routine each night, including a bath, reading a book, and singing a lullaby for example. This will signal to your child’s brain that it needs to start producing sleep hormones because sleep is coming. Avoid screens at least 2 hours before bedtime to allow your child’s brain to unwind and produce melatonin. The blue light from screens (tv, tablet, phone etc.) suppresses the production of melatonin and is very stimulating for your child often resulting in difficulty settling if too close to bedtime.
4. If your child is still napping, aim for naps at regular times
Aiming for naps at regular times (in other words, following a schedule) can be really helpful in getting your little one to take good naps and sleep well overnight. This is because it sets their circadian rhythm to expect sleep at these times and helps with consolidating night sleep. If you are struggling with setting up an age appropriate schedule for your little one (3-12 Months old), look no further, I have the perfect guide for you which has schedules and troubleshooting for each month.
5. Be patient
It may take a few days or even a week for your baby to get back into a regular sleep pattern. Be patient and consistent with your efforts to get your baby back on track with their sleep. And if you need further support with this, let’s chat!
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