IT IS the best time of the year – especially for children.
They have finished school and are looking forward to the big day.
For most families, it’s a time of fun and laughter, with children staying up a little later than usual to enjoy the festive fun.
As special as the anticipation of Christmas and Christmas Eve is, when little ones look forward to the arrival of Santa Claus, most parents find it difficult to get their adrenaline pumping kids to nod land before bed.
Speaking to The Sun, a parenting expert revealed how you can ensure a quiet, stress-free bedtime this holiday season.
Munchkin’s Sophie Pickles said her six foolproof methods would give moms and dads plenty of time to put their feet up with a glass of sherry and finalize the wrap.
1. Stick to your usual routine
Sophie said it’s tempting that Christmas Eve is the only time you allow your kids to stay up late and enjoy “the night before”.
In fact, sticking to your usual routine is more important than ever when wishing you a quiet(ish) night and a peaceful Christmas day, she said.
Sophie advised: “Stick to your usual bedtime routine, whether it’s a story or a warm bubble bath, before turning on your night light.
“Same goes for the nap times on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day – stick to their usual times for much happier kids and adults.
“Keeping infants or toddlers awake can lead to over-drowsiness, which leads to a more tense bedtime for everyone involved.”
2. Don’t threaten a no-show
Threatening that the big man isn’t coming might seem like a good idea at this point, but it can often lead to chaos and unnecessary fuss, the parenting expert said.
Sophie said that ultimately, if your child doesn’t do what you ask, it’s not something you can or would really want to pull through.
“If your little one is finding the day challenging, remember that this is a time of great upheaval for them and amidst all this hyperactive excitement they may be repressed and a little uncomfortable.
“Try to stay calm and confident, and instead acknowledge your child’s feelings.”
She added that you could use the following phrases to help.
- “It’s so exciting that Santa Claus is coming tomorrow”.
- “I understand. It’s okay to be excited, but it’s not okay (throwing toys, pushing your brother, etc.).”
- “Instead, let’s go outside to walk around for a while.”
3. Keep stockings out of the bedroom
We all know how important an undisturbed night’s sleep is, especially with the early awakening on Christmas Day.
Keeping stockings out of the bedroom will ensure children have a peaceful night’s sleep and aren’t disturbed by rustling when they try to sneak in quietly, Sophie said.
“Also, the thought of a stranger walking into their bedroom in the middle of the night might actually be a little scary for younger kids.
“You can explain to your child that the stockings will be filled at the bottom and all gifts will be left in the living room or maybe on the landing.
“Knowing that Santa will not be around them will make them feel safe and secure – all conducive to a good night’s sleep,” she added.
4. Customize your Christmas box
Many parents are now gifting their children Christmas Eve boxes to start the celebrations off with a bang.
To ensure a calm and relaxed Christmas Eve afternoon, carefully examine the contents of these boxes and make sure they are tailored to create a peaceful but exciting atmosphere, Sophie advised.
“If you want to add chocolate and sweet treats, consider opening the Christmas Eve box together in the morning rather than storing it just before bed.
“To create the ultimate calming box, think cozy pajamas, festive slippers, and a festive story to snuggle up and share under the lights of the Christmas tree,” she added.
5. Get some fresh air
Sophie said that wrapping up warm and taking the kids outside for a winter walk and some fresh air should be high on every parent’s list on Christmas Eve.
“Exploring nature offers endless opportunities for creative learning, and it can really work wonders when it comes to bedtime when it comes to helping youngsters burn off some physical energy throughout the day,” she added added.
6. Have a plan
It pays to think about your family activities and when to do them, said the Guru.
“Save any high-octane escapades for earlier in the day and settle into a tranquil atmosphere when the afternoon hits.
“Christmas movies are also often on the schedule, so plan those for the afternoon and save the evening for more relaxing activities like reading Christmas books, building jigsaw puzzles or carefully coloring in,” added Sophie.
https://www.the-sun.com/health/6980155/parenting-expert-tips-kids-sleep-christmas/ I’m a parenting expert – here’s the 6 tips you need to get your kids to sleep this Christmas