Happy New Year! I hope you aren't reading this with a hangover, or what I like to call parent hangover: the deep regret of staying up when you knew you couldn't possibly sleep in. I was in bed by 10pm because I just crash by that time... and I may be a stickler for my kiddo's bedtime. We celebrated with him before dinner, and then got him to bed at his regular bedtime. But perhaps you're more adventurous and flexible, or maybe you just really wanted to celebrate New Year's Eve with your kiddos- either way, I hope you had fun ringing in the new year! Your kiddos (and you) may not be feeling great this morning, however, so I wanted to share a few tips to make today feel less like a hangover and more like a nice lazy first day of the year.
Take it slow
If your child had less sleep than most nights, they'll have less energy. That makes sense to us as adults, but not necessarily to them. Encourage them to do more sitting down activities like reading, playing board games, taking them out on a stroller walk if they're small enough, maybe even watch a movie as a family if that's an activity that calms them down.
If you're sleep deprived you have less control over your emotions, it's just science! So be aware of that as a parent as little things bug you more than usual. But also remember that their little brains are affected by changes in sleep as well. So if they're more whiny, angry, or just plain different, try to have a little more patience with them and remember they don't have as much control over it as usual.
Routines Routines Routines
My favorite word in the Baby Sleep world: Consistency. As much as possible stick to routines and schedules that your child(ren) can expect. This will help decrease strong emotions, defiance, and just plain bad attitudes when everyone is a little tired.
Shift in Naptime
If your child is still napping, the naps will most likely be affected. My advice is to follow baby's sleep cues more intensely than normal and allow for flexibility. They may need more short ones throughout the day, and they may fight them because of overtiredness, or take an extra long one. This will most likely carry on to tomorrow as well, so again, just be patient and realize it's just a consequence of a change in schedule, not the end of the world.
Most likely your child will be extra tired in the evening. It's ok to put them down even an hour early- their bodies may be craving it. Even if they slept a good 9-12 hours, a later bedtime means less rest. Our bodies like to sleep when the sun is down, and they like to fall asleep at the same time every night. That's how we can shut down best to have the most restorative sleep.
I hope these short tips help you out, and that you have the most wonderful year!