Holiday break is upon us, readers! That is, it’s upon those of us who actually get some vacation time this holiday season. (And I sincerely hope that most of you do!)
If the holidays mean some extra time off for you — AND if you happen to have a sleepless baby or toddler at home — your break may present a great time to work on sleep.
That’s exactly why we’ve created this checklist for you. Here are 5 suggestions as to what you can be working on, sleep-wise, over your holiday vacation.
Your 5-Point Sleep Training Checklist
- Work on improving your bedtime routine (if it needs work). To be effective, bedtime routines should be fairly short (~10-15 minutes, longer for spirited children), and should consist of a few quiet, relaxing activities that signal to your baby or toddler that sleep is right around the corner. Your bedtime routine should also happen at about the same time each night.
- Work on reducing (or eliminating) night wakings. The age for babies to sleep 8-10 straight hours per night varies greatly. However, expect many babies to be sleeping through the night without feedings by about 9 or 10 months, and most babies by 12 months. By 6 months, your baby should be once or twice per night, and by 8 months, your baby should be feeding just once per night, on average.
- Work on getting into a consistent nap and feeding schedule during the day. Consistency is key in creating healthy sleep habits, so work towards a schedule in which meals and naps are happening at roughly the same time each day. You’ll need at least a few days at home to practice this – and holiday break presents a nice opportunity to do just that! 🙂
- Work on shifting your child’s schedule (if it’s out of sync). If your baby or toddler is waking too early, or going to bed too late, or is perhaps napping too much and not sleeping well at night — these are all problems that can be fixed. Sometimes, all it takes is a gentle shift to the schedule (shortening naps, moving bedtime up by 30 minutes, etc.) to correct an out-of-whack schedule.
- Work on making sure your baby or toddler is getting enough sleep (if you suspect he isn’t getting enough). Not sure if your baby or toddler is getting enough sleep? You can keep a sleep log for a few weeks, to determine what your little one’s average sleep total is. Then, compare that to the recommended averages. 4 month old babies need anywhere between 12 and 16 hours of sleep per day. From 6 – 12 months, those sleep averages drop to between 12 and 15 hours per day. By the time your little one is a toddler, she’ll need anywhere from 11 – 15 hours of sleep per day.
Will you be working on sleep over the holidays? Tell us your plan!
Are sleepless nights and interrupted naps the unwelcome guests in your home this holiday season? Let us help you make it a merrier Christmas and a happier New Year!
- Need more sleep training resources? We have a ton! Browse our list of e-books and e-book packages, designed to help your baby, toddler, or newborn develop better sleeping habits. We even have a book that’s designed just for parents who want to work on naps! These are perfect solutions for parents who want to sleep train on their own, but need more information.
- Want Unlimited Access to ALL Our Products? Join our Members Area packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and teleseminars. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! And as a member, you have access to a once-a-week chat with one of our expert sleep consultants – ideal for those times when you need some expert advice!.
- Need Personalized Help? For those looking for a more customized solution for your unique situation with support along the way, please consider one-on-one baby and toddler sleep consultations, where you will receive a Personalized Sleep Plan™ you can feel good about! Sometimes it’s not that you can’t make a plan. Sometimes you’re just too tired to.