Navigating the festive season as a mother with babies and toddlers can be both joyful and challenging. Here are five self-care tips specifically tailored for mums with little ones during the run-up to Christmas, provided by me a baby and toddler sleep consultant:
Tip 1 – Consistent Sleep Routine
Amidst the holiday festivities, try to maintain a consistent sleep routine for your baby and toddler. If you can stick to regular nap times and bedtime routines as much as possible but only loosely. If routines don’t go to plan it’s ok. Christmas is stressful enough for us mum’s as it is so trying to ‘fit’ your baby into a routine can be more stressful. Though consistency helps children feel secure and ensures they get the sleep they need. You can always get them on track after Christmas.
This way, by the time the clocks do change, your little one will already have adjusted to the new bedtime.
You’ll also need to adjust nap and feed times to fit in with this new schedule.
Tip 2 – Prioritize Your Own Sleep
If your little one is particularly active and has bundles of energy, you may want to make sure they have plenty of fresh air, or increase their exercise slightly to burn off that energy. Just make sure it isn’t within 1 hour of bedtime as they need to be winding down and relaxing during this time to encourage sleep.
Tip 3 – Plan for Quiet Time
Foods that are high in tryptophan produce chemicals in the brain that encourage calmness and sleepiness, so a bedtime snack such as banana, warm milk or oats can actually help your baby to sleep.
Tip 4 – Delegate and Simplify
Keep your little one’s room darker than usual so they don’t notice the change in light outside. If you don’t already have one, a blackout blind could be a great investment! Your baby’s room should be a comfortable temperature of around 16 – 20c and noise should be kept to a minimum. If your little one is afraid of the dark, use a nightlight to make them feel more comfortable.
Tip 5 – Carve Out “Me Time”
Schedule regular breaks for yourself to recharge. This could be as simple as taking a hot bath, reading a book, or enjoying a cup of tea. Prioritize moments of self-care to maintain your mental and emotional well-being.