With Easter long weekend starting tomorrow most of us are gearing up for a busy few days. Whether it’s traveling to visit family or just simply having lots on the go locally, it’s a good idea to stop and prepare for your little ones schedules to make sure that they are still able to get the rest that they need to enjoy all the festivities. Here are my recommendations on how to handle busy holiday weekends.
In the couple of days leading up to what is sure to be a busy weekend, it’s a good idea not to plan too much for your little ones. Make sure they aren’t missing their naps and are getting to bed on time for the few nights beforehand. Entertaining family and friends at your house can be exciting yet exhausting for little ones, as is traveling to other people’s home for a visit. This will ensure that your child is well rested and prepared for all the extra stimulation. This also goes for the couple of days following Thanksgiving weekend: again, don’t plan too much so if your child did miss out on some sleep, they are given the opportunity to make it up.
Stick to Your Routine:
Do your best to keep your child’s schedule on track by planning visits around it. Allow them to nap at the same times whenever possible as well as not letting their bedtime get so late that they have a hard time settling down and falling asleep. Once your child reaches an overtired state, it can be very difficult for them to fall asleep and can take all the fun out of your post turkey dinner fun. If travel is necessary, plan to hit the road during naptime and bring a shade for their window and even a sound machine to block out traffic noise. This will help them get the most sleep possible on the way to your destination.
Keep Their Sleep Environment Familiar:
If you are going to be putting your child down for a nap or bedtime at someone else’s home, it’s a good idea to try to make it as familiar as possible for them. Bring your pack and play, a crib sheet from home, their “lovey” or special blanket and sound machine if they use one. Even having a “go to” dark sheet to bring along with you while traveling is a great idea to ensure your child’s sleep space is just as dark as at home. It will help them with falling asleep and staying asleep for longer periods.
We all recognize that during these busy weekends, even despite our best efforts, sleep can slip down the totem pole of priorities. If you aren’t able to stick to routines and you find your little one is fighting the norm come Monday night and Tuesday morning, stick to your guns and know that it will most likely only take a couple of days to get things back on track. Most importantly though: have a safe and happy holiday weekend with your loved ones!