One of the many benefits of going through SleepWell Sleep Planning is that SleepWell Babies tend to be flexible and adapt easily to change.  This makes holidays and travel far more enjoyable for everyone.  But even the best laid plans can go astray- kids may need to skip naps due to a travel day, or you may find your accommodation is not ideal and little ones are more wakeful than usual.

The good news is that once children have learned the skill of sleep they can always get back on track once you arrive home.  Here are three simple steps to SleepWell after a holiday.

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  1. Recognize the signs of a holiday hangover. Late nights and missed naps can lead to a sleep debt. When kids are overtired their bodies secrete the stress hormone cortisol. This excess cortisol makes it difficult for kids to settle and stay asleep. Signs that your little one has a holiday hangover include difficulty settling for naps and bedtime, night waking and early morning rising.
  2. Re-establish your familiar sleep routine. Once you’re settled in at home, get back on track by cueing your little one that it’s time to sleep with a consistent sleep routine. A warm bath, putting on pyjamas, cuddling, reading a book and singing a goodnight song give your child a cue that sleep is just around the corner. If you’ve worked with us in the past, go back to the method you used initially in your sleep plan. Your little one will get back on track in a hurry because this routine is old and familiar.
  3. Pay back sleep debt with and early bedtime. Bedtime should never be set in stone- it will always float depending on the quality of daytime sleep, activity level or illness. When you arrive home with an overtired child after a holiday, an early bedtime is the best way to pay back sleep debt that has accumulated during your time away. A temporary bedtime of 5:30pm is very useful for an overtired baby, and a 6-7pm bedtime helps erase sleep debt in toddlers and preschoolers. Put your child to bed early for at least 5 nights before you can expect to see improvement.

Follow our three simple steps to get your SleepWell Baby back on track after a holiday.  And if your holiday was no holiday at all, and now that you’re home sleep is more difficult than ever, look us up.  There is no time like the present to make healthy sleep a priority for your family.



Alysa Dobson is a Certified Child Sleep Consultant with SleepWell Baby.  She works with families to help them get the sleep they need.  Alysa offers support to parents with children ages 4 months- 8 years old through both in home and remote consultations.  She can be contacted at alysa@sleepwellbaby.ca.
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