The holidays are fast approaching and although it’s supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year”, changes in routine can mean one, not-so-wonderful-thing….sleep regression.
Getting your little one into a great sleeping routine might have taken you weeks, and the thought of all of your hard work being undone in as little as a couple of days is probably sending shivers down your spine….am I right?
So, what can you do to ensure this doesn’t happen?
Well, let’s look at the two main culprits that are most likely cause sleep regression over the holidays:
- Family and friends
Now, travelling can be a little (or a lot) tricky to work around but…
First of all, if you’re thinking about starting sleep training before you embark on a long trip, I’d recommend you hold off.
However, if you’ve already started, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world, you just need to try and keep things as normal as possible to avoid too much disruption.
For example, if you’re driving to your destination, try and schedule your driving time over your baby’s naps. Car naps aren’t ideal, but compared to no naps at all….take them!
Now, if you’re flying…well, that’s a whole different matter. Babies and planes just don’t tend to mix very well, simple as.
To be honest, if you can’t avoid flying with your little one, just do what you can to keep them from screaming down the entire plane for the whole journey. Snacks, toys…do what you gotta do, to keep some sort of sanity for yourself and everyone else on board.
Sorry, there really isn’t a magic spell for babies and planes…
Ok, so what about family and friends?
Christmas is a time to see all of your family and friends that you probably haven’t seen in months, which is lovely. But, when family and friends haven’t seen your baby in months (or they haven’t even MET them yet), they tend to get very excited and make a huge fuss over your little one, which results in baby being ridiculously overstimulated, overtired and BAM!…the routine has been ruined.
As difficult as this may be, you must be willing to put your foot down with your loved ones about your baby. If your baby is sleeping when you arrive, they must know not to wake them. If your baby is due her nap, they must know not to try and play with her and get her over-excited.
To make this less awkward, I highly recommend that you tell any friends and family of your baby’s routine in advance, so they know the drill.
OK, so that’s all sorted but what do you do if you’re staying over at someone else’s house?
Baby is going to be sleeping in a strange room they aren’t familiar with. Normal bath time routine will have gone out the window. The house may be noisier than they’re used to with all of the company over to celebrate the annual reunion.
Now co-sleeping may seem like the obvious choice to keep baby calm, but they can latch onto this super quick, so try to avoid this, if you can.
Again, dummies may seem like a quick fix but chances are, you’ll be waking up every hour or two, rocking baby back to sleep or putting her dummy back in while she screams the house down….NOT ideal.
A travel cot would be perfect and if you are sharing a room with baby, try and partition it with a big blanket (placed well away from their sleeping area) so baby has their own “bedroom”.
At the end of the day, holidays are most likely going to mean some sort of change in routine but if you can keep as normal as humanly possible….you ROCK, and don’t forget that.
Just remember that you’re doing the very best you can.
Enjoy the holidays!
**Now, I probably don’t need to remind you that COVID is currently affecting the entire world right now and many places still have travel and social restrictions in place, including full-on lockdowns in some cities.
So this article will only apply to you if you’re actually allowed to travel and/ or go to see your loved ones over the holidays.
Please make sure to follow your government’s guidelines and rules.