How To Have Silent Nights During The Holidays - Stamford Moms

by Hillary Catherine, Hillary Catherine Sleep Consulting

With the many wonderful things the holidays bring (family, friends, food and general feelings of coziness), aid to your child’s sleep is not one of them. And as wonderful as the holidays are, it is also no secret that stress comes along with them. Luckily, Stamford Moms reached out to me with the idea to take a load of the stress off and give you some of my best tips to help maintain your child’s sleep (and your sanity) over the holidays.

There are two components to focus on related to your child’s sleep over the holidays, so I will break it down into sections for you. The first section is travel and the second is family and friends.


Whether you are driving or flying this holiday season the first thing to know is that setting expectations is key here. It won’t be perfect, but we can make it okay. My dad has always said that getting there was part of the adventure, and I think we can extend that philosophy even to our littlest babies. Driving might be long and boring. Flying might be overwhelming and stimulating. Baby, welcome to the world! These are two different kinds of beautiful. Let’s do our best to make them comfortable, set them up for success, and beyond that try to enjoy the ride.   

  1. Schedule your driving time during your baby’s naps. While car naps don’t lend to the best quality sleep, they are ok sometimes. If your little one snoozes in the car it will help pass the time for everyone, and then they can spend more of their awake time being active.
  2. Plan on stopping. If it is a long drive look for some parks, attractions, or other outdoor activities that are on your route where you can stop when your baby gets up. It’s a great chance to get out into the sunshine and fresh air, which will make that next nap or bedtime that much easier.
  3. If you are flying then you are in survival mode – throw all of your rules out the window! This one is easy (as in easier said than done). Just do whatever it takes to get through the flight to maintain minimum amounts of fussiness. Snacks, games, screens, pacifiers, rocking, etc. Many little ones (under 6 months) will fall asleep as soon as the flight takes off, but as they get bigger it gets more challenging. If they don’t want to sleep on the plane, they’re just not going to, so don’t try to force it. If you do it will just result in frustration for everyone. You are in survival mode! Just make it through the flight and get sleep back on track when you reach your destination.


Family & Friends

Your family is so excited to hold, play with, and admire your beautiful little one. This is wonderful! Watching someone you love and care about bond with your child truly is beautiful. They might be so excited, though, that you find it difficult to stick to the schedule and sleep routines that you know work best for your child. Especially if they push back when you say it is time to put the baby to sleep. Just remember, you know your child best and it is ok to stick to what works for you and your baby. Below are a few tips to help.

  1. Share your plan. Let your family members know what time your baby is going to take a nap and around what time you expect your baby to wake up. Ask them to hang around or come back later so they can see the baby while they’re awake.
  2. Stick to your schedule. This can be hard to do, but the alternative is an almost immediate regression. A baby who misses their nap will likely have a hard time falling and staying asleep. This means you’re probably looking at multiple night wakings and/or an early wake up time.
  3. Give your baby their own sleep space. Often traveling means sharing a room with your baby, and if they roll over half asleep at 3:00 a.m. and notice you next to them they will likely decide it is party time. Find a way to create a separate space for them. Sheets, tape, push pins, and clothes lines all work great and are easy to put in a suitcase. A large closet or even a bathroom can also be good alternatives!

However you get there, whatever you are celebrating, and whoever you are with, I send you many well wishes and silent nights in your holiday season.

If you think you need more help and want to discuss what a private consultation with Hillary Catherine looks like, please feel free to send an email.

Disclaimer: Hillary Catherine is not a medical professional and the information provided here should not be considered medical advice. Always consult a doctor before beginning any sleep training with your child.



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