It is the time of year when many of make the most of the long weekend, visit family and have more chocolate than usual in the house! If you’re planning to be away from home more than usual, or staying somewhere new overnight, then it can cause some of us to worry about sleep going off track.
If your baby or child has a fairly fixed schedule you can try to stick to this as their usual routine as possible. Do take their personality into account – some babies are able to stretch a little longer between naps without it affecting them too much. Others will get overtired very quickly if you deviate too much from their usual schedule.
Here are my top tips for sleep over Easter:
Stick to your normal routine as closely as possible, but don’t panic if you have to deviate!
If you have a particularly busy day which throws your usual routine out, try to plan in a more restful one the next day to play catch up.
Don’t be afraid to stand your ground with well-meaning relatives – if you say baby needs their nap, they need their nap!
Whilst its lovely to spend more time with relatives and friends, it can mean you get more ‘helpful advice’ than normal. Be confident in your parenting decisions and what works for your child.
All naps count…. napping in buggy/car/sling is absolutely fine. This can make life easier if you are away from home.
It can be helpful to plan journeys around your little ones usual nap times.
If your little one is sleeping away from home, take some slept-in bedding and a familiar toy/comforter. Babies love familiar smells.
A familiar bedtime story can also help, especially for toddlers and older children. It can be hard for all of us to sleep in an unfamiliar environment so give your little one lots of support.
It is very normal for smaller babies to want to feed more for comfort and reassurance in unfamiliar surroundings, or if they feel overstimulated – don’t be embarrassed or self-conscious about this.
Babies and children can easily become overstimulated by their environment which can turn into overtiredness or tantrums. Try to stick to your little one’s regular bedtime or nap times to avoid this.
However, with all the extra stimulation and excitement, you might find an earlier bedtime is needed some days, go with it!
It can be tempting to all stay up later than usual but try and stick to an age appropriate bedtime and include some wind down time before hand in a low-lit room.
If you want to stay late at a relative’s house, you can try putting baby to bed at their normal time there and then transferring to a car for the journey home.
Be mindful of chocolate and sugary treats, especially towards to the end of the day. Sugar is a stimulant and affects sleep.
Get out as much as you can during the day for some fresh air, natural light and exercise. It is beneficial for all of us to be exposed to natural light and to move our bodies.
If you start to feel anxious or overwhelmed, then take the opportunity for a relative to watch baby while you take a little time for yourself to have a lay down/cuppa or a walk around the block.
Whatever happens with sleep this Easter you will always be able to get back on track. I hope that you can all relax and enjoy the long weekend with your little ones!
Available from newborn to 4 years old, our courses are designed to help you learn how you can support your child to sleep better.
We share all the information you need to help you really understand your little one’s sleep and how to help them achieve more predictable naps and restful nights – all from your own computer, phone or tablet whenever it suits you.
Early Days & Foundations of Sleep: 0-5 Months
This course will teach you how you can work towards great sleep habits, without ‘sleep training.’ It provides gentle solutions for settling and works towards the end goal of a settled night’s sleep, whilst understanding and responding to your baby’s needs.
Sleep Success: 6-9 Months
This course covers a range of topics including the science of sleep, sleep associations, creating a great sleep environment, a suggested daily routine and a choice of settling methods including how to make gradual changes. The course will lead you through step by step how to create your own sleep plan to support your baby to sleep in their own sleep space.
Sleep Success: 10-18 Months
This course covers a range of topics including the science of sleep, sleep associations, creating a great sleep environment, a suggested daily routine, the transition from two naps to one and a choice of settling methods including how to make gradual changes. The course will lead you through step by step how to create your own sleep plan to support your baby to sleep in their own sleep space.
Sleep Success: 1.5 – 4 years
This course which covers a range of topics including the science of sleep, sleep associations, creating a great sleep environment, potential sleep disturbances in this age group, a suggested daily routine, the transition from cot to bed, dropping the daytime nap, early waking and a choice of settling methods including how to make gradual changes. The course will lead you through step by step how to create your own sleep plan.