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Troubleshooting Sleep Over the Holidays

Whether you’ve been working on your child’s sleep or it is an ongoing and exhausting concern – venturing out of routine over the holidays can escalate sleep issues or overturn all the hard work you’ve put it.

Here are my tips around three main challenges over the holiday season that can impact sleep.


I first want to mention that if you are planning on sleep training and making those big sleep changes, do them after your travels. Working hard to get sleep in check requires consistent for a few weeks and for the most part over time. If you are traveling in the next few weeks, plan to jump right in when you get home so you can stick with your sleep plan and see the most success.

If you are driving,

Schedule driving time over your child’s naps. Car naps aren’t the greatest, but compared to no nap, they are necessary. Get on the road before the nap, and make your stops when baby wakes – at which point it’s great to get some extra sunlight and fresh air to keep that inner clock on point.

If flying,

This is the only time I will say “Do whatever you gotta do to get through.” Flying is no fun for anyone, so it’s better not to expect much.  It’s one day, so it won’t make a huge impact if you get back on schedule once you arrive in your destination. Try to avoid a red eye in case baby doesn’t sleep well and you haven’t sacrificed that restorative night sleep. Fly through the day, get the napping in there if you can, and then put baby down for bedtime when you arrive.

Routines and Sleep out of town

With events over the holidays, you may be sleeping out. If it’s a day or two, it won’t impact too much but you do want to put baby in the best position to sleep well so you and the whole family can enjoy – and baby doesn’t get too overtired throughout the visit.

·        Bring all your sleep essentials, like a portable sound machine, sleep sack, crib sheet with the smell of home, lovie if your child is older…

·        Maintain your routines. You will want to keep these sleep routines going even while away. This will help baby’s body cue into sleep no matter where you are.

·        Maintain the naps. Remember, sleep begets sleep, so if you are keeping on top of the regularly scheduled naps baby will be rested in time for bed. If naps need to be on-the-go, ensure they are at the appropriate nap time so baby isn’t too overtired or undertired to skip their nap.

·        If you are sharing a room with your little one, try to turn that one room into two so baby can’t see you every time they wake. Use a safe partition.

·        I recommend travel blackout blinds. A favourite of mine is the Sleepout portable curtain. Use my code GINASLEEP10 for 10% off.


Reactions from Family and Friends

It’s the holidays and you may be seeing family and friends that you don’t see often and likely they’ll  want to play with baby as soon as you arrive. While so sweet, if it’s nap time, this can be stressful. You can remind them that if baby misses her nap she may be cranky and have a hard time enjoying that special time.

It can be hard to explain sleep schedules to some family and friends, but do your best to share that it’s best for you and your family and when baby wakes she’ll have all the energy to play. Perhaps share your reasoning in an email ahead of the holidays so you don’t have to do it on the spot.

Do what works for you and know that whatever that is, it the right thing!

If you are back from travel and need some support or would like more information on how I can help your child sleep better, book a free call here.

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