It’s the dread every year for parents – how exactly do you the kids to go to bed at a reasonable hour on Christmas Eve. Yes, it’s a super exciting time and you want them to enjoy it, but you also want your kids to get the best night’s sleep as possible. Otherwise when it comes to the big day they’re going to be exhausted before the turkey is even carved. So how do you make sure the kids to sleep when all they want to do is track Santa across the globe?
1: Get Them Active on Christmas Eve
It might be tempting to stick the kids in front of the Christmas films on the TV while you do some last minute wrapping, but you’ll regret it come bedtime. Instead try to schedule something fun and active to do on the day that will tire them out. Some local sports groups might be running Christmas camps for sports such as football and tennis. Or, if there’s no local activities, something as simple as a few hours in the park can work wonders. Even better, if it’s a frosty morning it will look very festive. Just remember to wrap up warm!
2: Relax Them with a Hot Bath Before Bed
There’s nothing wrong with being excited – it’s Christmas after-all – but too much will make it impossible to drift off. A warm bath is a perfect way to make kids sleepy, especially if you add a couple of drops of lavender oil. If your child isn’t keen on the idea of a bath, then remind them Santa likes to deliver toys to clean boys and girls. Getting some special Christmas pyjamas for the night can also speed along the process.
3: Make Their Bed as Comfortable as Possible
It’s all very well getting them all sleepy, but if you send them to an uncomfortable or a non-supportive bed then it will be hard to get them a good night’s sleep. Children need new mattresses sooner than adults in order for them to get the sleep they need to grow and develop. Having a comfortable bed with a snuggly duvet, it’s is a sure-fire way to get your kids to sleep. You can also help get them off to sleep with a warm drink and for little ones, a Christmas-themed story to help them drift off.
4: Bring Bedtime Forward
It might seem impossible to get your children to bed on time, never mind early on Christmas Eve. However, if you can implement an earlier bedtime - by telling them they need to be asleep in plenty of time for Santa - then this will help get them into bed. The reasoning behind this early bedtime is that it’s likely that your child will lie awake longer on Christmas Eve, say for an hour, but if you bring bedtime forward half an hour then this will only be 30 minutes less sleep than a normal night.
5: Set a Present Opening Time
It might seem harsh to impose a time, but if you don’t want to be dragged out of bed at 4am then it’s extremely necessary. Agree a present opening time well in advance – even compromise with your children and let them agree to it too. Think somewhere around 6.30am and 8am and stick to your agreed time. Come Christmas morning your children will be more willing to stay in bed a little longer and you’ll get some extra (much-needed) rest.
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