5. Practice “warm-up” visiting. #
I get it: everyone wants to hold your baby or interact with your toddler. However, crowds can be a bit overwhelming, and even someone you’ve known your whole life may be a stranger to your little one. Don’t forget to give your child time to “warm up” to the situation. Before handing your little one off to a family member or friend, allow them to ease into the action by observing and meeting people with you by their side.
6. Walk confidently in what you know about your baby or toddler.#
I know there can be so many opinions about parenting, baby and toddler sleep, feeding, and so much more. Yes, always, but especially during the holidays. This can cause you stress, which will cause your baby or toddler stress.
Parents, I want you to remember YOU are the expert on your little one. Nobody knows them better than you. Unsolicited advice may come your way, but don’t let that make you question the decisions you’ve made for your family. Your confidence will communicate safety and security to your little one, which leads to fewer meltdowns.
Do you have any tips for hosting overnight guests during the holiday season?#
Yes! Be sure to read all of the tips above, but I do have a few extra tips just for hosting family or friends overnight around the holidays:
1. Communicate ahead of time with your visitors.#
Before your guests arrive, let them know what they can expect from your baby or toddler while they visit. Keep in mind that if your guests are not used to a young child in the home, they may not know (or remember) how an overtired baby or toddler impacts the entire household. (Cue the meltdowns!)
Consider these questions and talk about them with your guests.
Are you hoping to be at home for any of your baby or toddler’s naps? What time works best for your baby or toddler to take naps or have quiet time?
What bedtime works best for your little one? Are you planning to be home for bedtime most nights?
2. Keep your baby or toddler in their normal sleep environment for sleeping if possible.#
Don’t we all sleep best in our own beds? Babies and toddlers are no exception! If it’s possible for your little one(s) to stay in their normal sleeping environment, do that. Whenever we can stay consistent, that’s what we want to do.
I understand that not all homes have a guest bedroom. Often your child’s room IS the spot where we allow guests to sleep. If this is your situation, that’s okay. But, do consider allowing naps to take place in your baby’s room even if your baby has to give up their spot during the night. Most visitors aren’t hanging out in the bedroom during the day, and this could make your days much smoother. (Please include this in the conversation you have with your guests prior to their visit.)
3. If you have to decide whether to displace a baby or an older child, move your baby.#
Having more than one child often forces us to decide who can more easily adjust to giving up their own space. In my opinion, babies can adapt more easily than toddlers. Young children can be more easily thrown off by staying in a new room, especially in your own home. We don’t want your toddler to decide he wants to permanently camp out on your floor! This could make for weeks of difficult nights.
4. If your baby is displaced, recreate their normal sleep space as closely as possible.#
If you DO need to move your baby, consider setting up their temporary sleep space in an office or even a bathroom. Anywhere that is safe and has adequate circulation will work. Remember to double-check your recreated environment for safe sleep. If the only place is your room, try to provide a barrier, or at least a considerable distance, between your bed and the baby. The Slumberpod is a fantastic barrier and keeps it dark.
Remember to set up your baby’s temporary space with familiar sleep cues like complete darkness and a sound machine. (If you need a little help with creating a temporary dark place, check out these fabulous travel blackout shades.)
What are your best holiday travel tips? #
I have 2 blogs you can check out for my best holiday travel tips:
One more thing and this is SO important: Wherever your baby or toddler is sleeping during the holidays, the one thing that isn’t flexible is safe sleep.
How do I get my baby or toddler’s sleep back on track after the holidays? #
The best way to get your baby or toddler’s sleep back on track is to return to your sleep plan. Don’t allow any new habits to extend beyond the holiday break!
If sleep is always a struggle and you need a plan to follow, my classes can help.
The 5-24 Month Collection gives you a step-by-step plan with a balanced approach to teaching your 5-24 month old to sleep in the crib while still providing emotionally-connected reassurance. If you have a 2, 3, or 4 year old, my Toddler Sleep Training class will give you the tools you need to meet your toddler where they are developmentally and help create a great sleeper. Both are plans for restful nights AND peace of mind knowing your baby or toddler can prepare for and recover from an exciting holiday season.