Beginning with the end of daylight saving time and continuing through the holiday season, families who have sleep issues may see them get worse. The changing clocks, late-night gift wrapping, online shopping and countless holiday parties that keep both parents and kids up past their bedtimes are more than enough to throw any family routine into a tailspin.
With the holidays come colds, travel, loud parties and sugary and rich foods, all of which can push a child into a spiral of sleepless nights, says Dr. Harvey Karp, a pediatrician and BabyCenter.com sleep expert. That’s why experienced parents use specific sleep cues to establish a regular nighttime routine both at home and when traveling.
Here are some tips from Karp:
Dim the house lights to candlelight intensity for the last hour before bedtime.
Kids sleep better with rumbly white noise played as loud as a shower. It’s like a teddy bear of sound that often works in just days, and helps for both naps and nights.
Use the fun tip of patience stretching during the day to help your child learn to be less impulsive at bedtime.
Make a beddy-bye book about the five or six steps of your child’s routine from dinner to sleep. Read it every day to boost cooperation at night.
Do some bedtime sweet talk every night, reviewing all the successes of the day that’s ending and the great things that may happen the next day.