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sleep routines christmas

3 tips to keep your child’s sleep on track this festive season!

Brooke Michell is a Psychologist with a Masters in Clinical Psychology, and mother of 4 children. She is also a lover of sleep! Brooke works with Professor Sarah Blunden at Sensible Sleep, which incorporates the Paediatric Sleep & Psychology Clinic, and is dedicated to improving the wellbeing of children and families. The experienced Psychologists at Sensible Sleep promote the use of gentle, responsive and evidence-based approaches to improving sleep, based on their understanding of child development and family systems.

It can be hard to maintain a routine when your calendar is full of social events, family occasions and end of year celebrations, and sleep is one thing that often suffers. It is also an extremely exciting time of year for children and this excitement can make it hard to achieve ‘calm’ bedtimes!

So to help you through, Brook Michell from Sensible Sleep has put together a short list of sleep tips so the whole family can enjoy their summer break.

Keeping kids sleep on track at Christmas

1. Wherever possible try to stick to a predictable rhythm of morning wake up times & bed times. We suggest trying to stay within a half-hour window. As delightful as a sleep-in might be, a consistent routine is better for our bodies.

2. Don’t panic if this isn’t possible. One late night won’t throw the body clock into total chaos and time with family and friends is special. Be warned that a later bedtime won’t mean a child will sleep longer in the morning to ‘catch up’, often the opposite happens & they wake earlier because they are overtired.

3. Although the holiday season may have less routine than the usual weekly schedule, children generally love knowing what is going to happen, so try to maintain some of your normal routines & bedtime associations to make bedtime a calm experience for everyone. It is also useful to prepare children for a change in activity or schedule by talking to them about it beforehand, for example, ‘It is nearly time to leave the party & go home. You can play for 5 more minutes, then we have to leave’. And don’t forget to incorporate some downtime into your festive season. Some relaxing & unscheduled days may be necessary for the whole family to rejuvenate!

Above all, know that even if your routine goes out the window & bedtimes creep later & later, rest assured that this is all changeable. Sleep is a behaviour, & like any behaviour it can be modified & changed.

Happy holiday’s from Brooke & the team at Sensible Sleep!

 

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