Avoiding a Long Weekend Sleep CatastropheApril 2, 2015
As with so many long weekends that are scheduled around holidays, parents often ask “How can I keep to a routine during Easter?”
Easter weekend can be busy with family gatherings, large meals, Easter Bunnies and egg hunts. All that put together and it usually means that your child’s sleep needs are lost in the shuffle. So as the long weekend approaches, here is my short list of tips to survive.
Control the Chocolate
An overabundance of chocolate eggs and bunnies right before bed will most certainly make it a difficult bedtime. Try to set a limit on the chocolate throughout the day. Try as best you can to offer some well-balanced nutrition and in addition to minimizing chocolate before bedtime also minimize it before a nap. Over sugared children will have a hard time calming down and falling asleep.
Don’t Stress Over the Routine
Going into this weekend we know that naps are going to missed or had on the go, and bedtimes are going to be later than normal. As I often say, its ok – life happens! I strongly suggest that you try to stick to your child’s routine as best as possible. The ideal routine is often not possible during a long weekend like this one but trying your best to follow your normal routine will keep things more manageable.
Knowing that your child will be staying up late and will be exposed to extra stimulation make sure your child is at least offered naps. Naps will be imperative for the young baby who still naps on a daily basis, but also important to those older toddlers don’t always nap. With a busy schedule, they may be interested in some quiet time, so give them the opportunity! Talk to your family and find a quiet, dark place that your child can nap during your visit.
I encourage all parents of children who no longer nap to schedule quiet time on a daily basis. Children need time away from our over stimulating world to unwind. A busy long weekend, provides even more of a reason to offer the time to your child. Pack some age appropriate quiet activities so that you and your child can escape to a quiet corner and play. It will be a great time for both you and your child to refresh.
If you haven’t already planned it, consider an early bedtime before the weekend kicks off. Having a well-rested child going into any busy weekend is always a good idea. A well-rested child will better adapt to schedule changes and will require less time to recover from the lack of sleep.
Whether going to grandma’s house, a restaurant or distant destination, there is no such thing as travelling light with kids. So don’t try to! Naps and bedtimes are always smoother with some familiar items to help comfort your child. Pack their favourite lovie or bear, bedtime story or white noise machine. Unwashed crib sheets and sleep sacks will bring along a scent of home. And a bonus, your consistent bedtime routine takes up no space at all!
Remember the most important tip to remember is that once the weekend festivities are over try to get back on track as soon as possible. Consistency is key. I would like to wish everyone a happy Easter from my family to yours.