Sing it with me: It’s the Holiday Season…. (It’s the Holiday Season)
As parents, we know that The Holidays can be (read: definitely are) a busy and hectic time. We are trying to squeeze in fun activities between family visits and various gatherings. While all of these things are important it is so crucial for the sleep health of your infants and toddlers to keep them on a naptime rhythm. A regular nap time schedule is essential during this Holiday season.
We’re parents.. we know good sleep is vital. It’s vital for our kids and vital for us as adults. The truth is, if sleep is overlooked for our infants and toddlers during nap time then chances are, nighttime sleep is going to be a struggle. Because we know day sleep and night sleep are intimately connected!
Keep reading to find out why a regular nap time schedule is essential during this Holiday season.
1. Naps help infants and toddlers recharge their batteries and get ready for the next activity
Infants and toddlers are growing at a rapid rate which means they need more pockets of rest than an adult does. When we continue a nap time rhythm with our children we are ensuring they get the opportunity to actually enjoy the rest of their activities throughout the day.
While it can be tempting to think our littles can/should just go with the flow, (some kids are better at this than others so it’s important to know and support your child’s individual hardwired-ness) we’ve learned that during this stage, rest comes at their pace and we go with THEIR flow. Being the best advocates for the wellbeing of our children means we can communicate with our family and friends the windows of time we are available while we block off times of rest for our children.
In our extended family there are over 20 of us when we all get together. Our kids are now grown but there’s lots of littles in our extended family, which is why we continue to schedule family gatherings around all the little kids naps. (Hence the reason all gatherings start AFTER 3pm.) It’s not fair to the kids (or the parents) of those kids to schedule Thanksgiving dinner at 1:00 when their kids need to be napping. So don’t be afraid to ask for what you need within your family or inner circle. Anybody with kids (older or younger) should definitely understand! (the people without kids , well….probably not so much) 😑
2. Napping during the day can help prevent crankiness and meltdowns in children
Have you ever been in a store or at a theme park and, at a certain time of day, you hear the sound of the little people? There are tears, tantrums, and tired kids everywhere. The simple truth is, if the child had been given the opportunity to recharge they likely would be having a fun and pleasant experience and so would mom and dad. Setting your kids up for success isn’t difficult but does require some pre planning and modifications. You have to build rest into your holiday, event or vacation. Otherwise it likely won’t happen.
When we took our kids to Disneyland our kids were 5, 8 and 10. We specifically stayed at a hotel within the park so we could easily come back to the room in the afternoon to let my 5 year old nap and the older kids at least rest and decompress. I think my 8 year old may have napped too! And I know me and my husband napped! This allowed our family to recharge and then stay out later for the disney festivities that happened after my kids normal bedtime. The whole trip was more fun because we as parents built those sleep boundaries into our vacation.
It’s tempting to forget that while certain age ranges do experience BIG emotions, sometimes those big emotions come from a lack of ability to self-regulate and respond in a more reasonable manner simply because your kiddo needs sleep.. The problem with forgetting that this isn’t necessarily behavioral, is that many parents will discipline a child for a situation that was created because parents didn’t safeguard rest. It’s your job to be the parent and do what’s best for your child. Don’t let your child’s pushback ( or other people’s expectations, allow you to cave over something as important as sleep.
We all want to enjoy the Holiday festivities. Our children will have much more fun if they’ve been allowed a nap time routine. If you have a baby then a good goal is to ensure that your baby gets one solid crib nap a day, preferably the morning nap. This will make the entire day go better.
3. Napping is a good way to get some quiet time during a busy day
While the main reason for a nap routine is for the care of our babies and toddlers, there is also a major benefit for mom and dad. Have you ever had those moments where you feel just a bit ‘prickly’? You are short-tempered and not enjoying the moment you are in. In my years of experience, when a kiddo gets to a place of being overstimulated and overtired, mom & dad find themselves experiencing the same feelings.
This nap time rhythm gives you an opportunity to reset and have a bit of time to regroup and prepare for the rest of the day ahead. You’ll find yourself more positive and able to be present with JOY.
This Holiday Season give your kiddo, yourself, and the ones you love, the gift of a well-rested holiday. If you find yourself struggling to get your child to nap, or if they are fighting sleep, send me a message so we can schedule a FREE call to help troubleshoot what may be happening.
It’s my pleasure to help you create a plan that helps your child get the rest they need while also getting every opportunity to experience the joy of the season. Book a call with me today!