Healthy Sleep Tips for Infants and Toddlers

Sleep Training for infants

How Do I Get Through The Holidays Without Messing Up My Baby’s Sleep Schedule?

How to maintain a healthy sleep schedule during the holidays.

T’is the season ! Holiday season is here and along with it comes family visits, parties and schedules thrown out the window! You have worked so hard to establish good and healthy sleep habits for your child. You have committed to a great schedule and have sacrificed many coffee dates so that your baby can get a great nap. All the work has paid off and everyone is sleeping so nicely…and then comes holiday time.

Good news! There is no need to panic, and yes you can go to the family party and still maintain a well rested child. Here are some tips on how to do just that:

  1.  Maintain your bedtime routine: Your child thrives on and counts on routine and structure. During the holidays things may get juggled around a bit, so do your best to keep to your bedtime routine and rituals. If you are going to be at someone else’s house for a late night party with baby in tow, then bring those familiar items from home, sleep sac, baby’s lovie, bedtime story book, some garbage bags and tape for the windows (if black out blinds are not available) and create that sleep conducive environment where you are and do your usual bedtime routine.
  2. Fill the sleep tank: A well rested child can tolerate disruptions. A later bedtime, a missed nap will all be handled much better if your child is well rested before the festivities begin!
  3. Balance: It’s a given that  your children will have disrupted naps and some later nights. Try to maintain a balance and spread out your planned activities. If you know you will be out late on a certain night, try to make sure that you are home the next day to ensure your child takes a nap (if they are still napping) and for non napping children you would put them to bed earlier to help catch up on any missed sleep. Should your plans have you miss a nap one day, make sure to compensate with a nice early bedtime so that your child doesn’t start to become overtired.
  4. Nutrition:Keeping your child’s diet balanced and filled with healthy and nutritious foods is always a priority. It is, however, certainly more challenging to do this during the holidays. Keep healthy snack options handy when running around this season, and watch that sugar intake, as it can interfere with a good night’s sleep.
  5. Have fun and enjoyDon’t stress about getting off schedule. It is going to happen, and if you maintain balance and keep your child’s sleep a priority, then everyone will have a much better time. Just get right back on track as soon as the festivities are over!

Enjoy your children, families and friends this holiday season and sleep tight, everyone!

Did you know? I am the resident sleep expert for Piccolo Universe. Piccolo Universe founded by Ricky Martin is a place for parents and caregivers to discover, share, learn, and connect. As a regular sleep expert contributor, I shares my sleep training tips for Piccolo Universe readers and this article was originally published here.


  • Melissa

    December 13, 2015, 8:29 pm

    What do you recommend for a four-month-old if we are not spending the night at a family members house? Do we let her fall asleep and then wake her up to go home? Or leave before bedtime and miss Christmas dinner this year?

    • Tracy

      December 16, 2015, 8:59 pm

      It really depends on where you are with her sleep? did you start sleep training already or not? How late would you be there? If you planned on being there well past her bedtime then I would put her to bed there then transfer. No need to miss it :)

  • Antoinette

    December 6, 2017, 12:03 pm

    Hey Tracy! This article was really helpful & so was the above comment. My only question is if baby falls asleep at someone else house or in car…. once we get home should I still do the bedtime routine (breastfeeding)before placing her in the crib?thx

    • Tracy

      December 27, 2017, 10:25 am

      Depends on the hour and how long baby has been asleep in the car and if still sleeping when you transfer. Of course you can do a quick change and a feed if its due :)

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