Surviving the festive season


By Raylene de Villiers

I think most of us are looking forward to having a bit of a break this festive season. Whether you are staying home and having guests over or going away on holiday, there are a few things that you can do to ensure your baby remains in a good sleep routine.

  • If you have guests over try and limit the stimulation a few extra minutes before a nap time than you would do normally. Do a good nap wind down of 10 minutes in your baby’s room with white noise on and maybe reading a book or singing a nursery rhyme. The same goes for bath time. Rather allow your baby to have bath time alone than with other baby’s, toddlers, nieces, nephews or cousins, as often this may cause extra stimulation rather than be relaxing. 
  • If you are going away – try your best to keep to the same routine as you do at home. It might not necessarily be the same time that you do the bedtime routine but try keep the sequence of events the same as you do at home. Pack your baby’s (unwashed) cot linen, blankie or taglet from home and remember to take your white noise if you are using it as all these items create some familiarity.
  • First prize is to have a room or even a space (like a walk in dressing cupboard or study is perfect) for your baby to sleep in. Remember to pack brown paper or black bags as an easy and cheap method to make a room darker. If a separate room is not available then I do suggest moving your baby’s travelling cot as far away from your bed as possible alternatively put your baby at the foot of the bed and use pillows at your feet to create a bit of a barrier so they can’t really see you.
  • Put your baby down into their cot and leave the room – see how they cope. If your baby is struggling then help a little extra.
  • Some babies are just more sensitive to new environments and no matter what you do they don’t sleep as well as they do at home. Just know that once you are back home again that the sleep should improve and if not then restart some gentle sleep training and it shouldn’t take long before your baby is sleeping well again.
  • Google places to hire cots at your destination or request a cot when you do your holiday booking. Your baby sleeping in your bed will normally cause a major regression and is not recommended.
  • If you are flying to your holiday destination then try book a seat that has a bassinet for naps or take a carrier with so you can walk your baby to sleep whilst on the flight. Most babies are unsettled on a flight so try not to worry if your baby does not want to sleep but rather look at all the exciting things happening around them. Once you are at your destination try put your baby down to take a nap