Friday, December 11, 2009

Kids, Holidays and Sleeping

How to keep your kids bedtime schedule during the crazy holidays (and beyond)

I have three teens, and 4 other kids under the age of 9.

When the Holiday season comes around, it gets harder and harder to have them focus on sleep. There is chocolate, Hot cocoa, Christmas tree lights, toy commercials, school parties and relatives who love to spoil, this combination of things can be too much for the sleep cycle of an 8 year old.

So… what tips have I learned?

1.) Read a story, every night. Read many if you can. There is something about books and curling up with Mommy or Daddy that calms a child down. Books about bedtime, snuggling and kisses goodnight are a great way to go.

2.) I put one toddler to bed, then Issa curls up with me on my bed and watches Sprout for 30 minutes before I carry her downstairs on my back, get her milk, let her look at some pictures of Dave and I, then off to bed. It’s a nightly ritual that she looks forward to.

3.) Follow Santa on Norad Santa Track. I turn it on throughout the month of December to prepare the kids for Santa. Then on Christmas Eve we log in and look at it. The closer Santa gets the closer the kids get to going to bed. Setting out a plate of food for Santa and the reindeer, brushing teeth, PJs… then as it gets closer to Colorado we read T’was the Night Before Christmas… and off to bed they all go, anticipating the fat man. It’s a great way to get them in bed so wrapping presents and eggnog drinking can start for me!

4.) Issa is the only one that gives me issues with getting up after I put her to bed. I plan on instituting a bathroom run BEFORE we go downstairs for milk, she always seems to have to go potty 5 minutes after she’s in bed. Don’t be scared to switch up the schedule to make things easier for the little one.

5.) My teens get up at 6am every morning, with two working parents and school drop offs, we have to leave early to get everyone off in time. That is the best lesson for my teens, most nights one of them is in bed by 8:30 and the others are milling about in a sleepy daze knowing the next morning will be hard if they don’t sleep. I do not allow mornings to be a nightmare because sleep was limited the night before. My teens are in bed by 10pm at the latest.

Set up boundaries and give them freedom. Every Friday and Saturday night the older kids can stay up until midnight or so, it lets them have the freedom they want and they rarely ever make it that long!

Want to give the kids something quiet to do during naptime, (which is another quiet time for the family)? Go visit Drama U and have them write a story for the chance to win a years worth of sleepwear.


Miranda said...

Good tips! Thanks Mama!

Anonymous said...

nice ..................................................

KiwiLog said...

Hi! We loved your post over at KiwiLog and decided to feature it as part of our weekly parent blog round-up. Thanks!