Getting Sleep Back on Track

getting sleep back on track

The holiday season is over. The presents have been opened, the treats have been eaten and you’ve made your new year resolutions. Holidays can be fun and exciting but they can also cause your family’s usual routines to be forgotten and your little one’s sleep to be rather erratic. If this has happened to you and you are wondering about how to get sleep back on track and implement some healthy sleep habits for 2022, here are four helpful tips:

1. Focus on your bedtime routine

This might sound really boring but it really is the best place to start. I can’t stress enough how important a peaceful and predictable bedtime routine is for children of all ages. Introducing (or reintroducing) a consistent bedtime routine is vital after a period of disruption. It makes children feel safe and secure and helps them know what to expect. For toddlers and pre-schoolers using a bedtime routine chart can be a helpful reminder of what is going to happen and what the expectations are. Get some good bedtime stories and enjoy snuggling up together.

2. Choose an earlier bedtime

Over the holidays it’s easy for your little one to miss naps, have shorter naps or go to bed late. This can cause your little one to start getting overtired. Overtiredness can lead to bedtime battles, frequent night waking and early rising. An overtired child often has more disrupted nights than a well-rested child. I suggest putting your child to bed 15-30 minutes earlier for a week or two to allow them to catch up on some missed sleep. This could make a big difference to getting their sleep back on track.

3. Return to the usual rules

I’m sure we all bend the rules over the holiday season but it’s important to reinstate your usual rules and expectations now it’s over. If your child was going to bed at 7pm before the break, that is the time they need to go to bed now. If they were expected to fall asleep independently at bedtime before, that it what the expectation needs to be now. If your child was previously in a good routine, it will be possible to get back on track without having to start from scratch again. The sooner you start the easier it will be. The key to this is consistency. Be predictable. Be boring.

4. Re-establish your usual timings

Get back to getting up at the same time each day and to regular mealtimes. This is an important part of getting your body clock back into the swing of things. Start prioritising your little one’s naps and take a few days to focus on getting naps back to where they should be. Be consistent with this and you will reap the rewards.

It’s important to remember that great sleep doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes time to build in healthy sleep habits and predictable routines. If your little one was sleeping well before, they will soon be back to their usual routine. However, if you are looking to improve your little one’s sleep in a gentle and responsive way please feel free to get in touch.