Don’t let the holidays ruin your baby’s sleep
I knew when you brought a new born home sleep would be limited. But, nothing could have prepared me for 9 months of not sleeping through the night while also working full time after returning from maternity leave at 6 weeks. There is a reason sleep deprivation is used as a torture technique, am I right?! In all seriousness, my health and wellbeing were suffering. I had trouble following conversations. I couldn’t think of the word for everyday objects like apples. The scariest moment was when I feel asleep at a red light on the way to work. I knew something had to change. So, what else is a mom to do but search google. I still believe it was divine intervention that led me to find Jilly Blankenship, founder of Baby Sleep Made Simple. Her free resources were a life saver, and when we needed more help we paid for her naps program. It was well worth the money because at the time only my husband could put our daughter down for a nap and he was headed back to work too. We had just got our daughter sleeping through the night and napping well when the holidays rolled around. I was filled with dread heading across country to stay with my in-laws that all our baby sleep efforts would go out the window and we would come home starting at square one. But thanks to Jilly’s sleep survival guide my daughter did so well the week we were away from home. So, don’t let the holidays ruin your baby’s sleep and read on to discover some of Jilly’s great tips!
Find the whole guide here at Baby Sleep Made Simple. Or if you don’t know where to begin get Jilly’s Exhausted Mom’s Survival Kit.
Highlights from Jilly’s Holiday Survival Guide
Tip 1: First and Foremost…Enjoy Yourself!
You don’t need to miss out on every opportunity for fun because your baby “should be sleeping.”
I think this was the most important tip for me to hear during the holiday season. Know that you can bend the rules without breaking all your baby’s good sleep habits.
Tip 2: If a Holiday Invite Is When Baby Should Be Napping You Have Three Options
Leave early and allow baby to nap in the car.
Arrive early and get baby down for a nap in the stoller.
Wear your baby while you hang out with friends.
My daughter was a horrible sleeper on the go. It would usually take about 30 minutes to get her to sleep, and the car or stroller couldn’t stop moving. Our options were limited. If an activity was nearby we made the decision to be late or leave early to accommodate nap time. But, if an activity was an hour or more drive away we planned to have nap time either going there or coming home. Or one time I was fortunate to have a room to put her down in when I got where I was going. I turned on her noise machine and she slept in her pack-and-play.
Tip 3: Managing Baby’s Bedtime During the Holidays Options
Offer to host (it that doesn’t terrify you)
Plan to spend the night (if possible)
Making sleeping away easier for baby with these essentials: baby’s own sleep space, dark room, white noise, familiar sleep sack and pajamas.
Splurge on a babysitter
We have grandparents who can baby sit for free, so I usually opt to head out after bed time or be the host. If you don’t have family nearby swap with a mom friend that isn’t attending the party. Then you can return the favor for her holiday event!
How to deal with visitors ie. Grandparents
How to help baby sleep well while traveling
How to cope with baby jet lag
Sleep training during the holidays
We always travel for Christmas, but I was dreading that first year when I finally had my daughter sleeping well. I followed Jilly’s tip to not let the holidays ruin my baby’s sleep. First, we were able to borrow a pack-and-play from nearby relatives. I called ahead of time to figure out the best room for my daughter to sleep in, and thankfully there was an office with black out curtains that got turned into her nursery for the week. Then I packed her sleep sack, lovey, and sound monitor in my carry on. I wasn’t going to take any chances of arriving to my destination without this critical sleep tools. I was still feeding my daughter once a night when needed, so a monitor to hear her cry was crucial especially because the room she was sleeping in was on a different floor from where I would be sleeping. Don’t worry her room was right next to Grandma and Grandpa’s room for any emergencies in the night, and they were happy to help with middle of the night wakings if need be. The last things I packed in our checked luggage; a Wyze Bluetooth camera and a portable sound machine. I may in the future write an entire article on how great the Wyze cameras are, but just for the sake of this article know that they are awesome. We brought this little one with us and we could easily watch our daughter to see if she needed us while listening to her on her sound monitor. The Wyze does have 2 way sound, but then I would have to leave the app open on my phone all night so I found having a sound monitor is easier. The sound machine we put in the checked bag because if lost, we could always use a phone with an app. The office was the perfect place because it had blackout curtains already. If you plan to travel and the room doesn’t already have this don’t worry, just get some foil and blue tape. Foil is a great room darkening material! Then the room had a book shelf. We were able to put the camera in a spot to be able to see the room easily, and we had shelves to put the monitor and sound machine.
Wyze Cam Indoor
Need more help with getting your baby to sleep well? Check out my other posts on the three key things you need to do to get your baby sleeping. And check out 21 Days to Peace and Quiet Program with Baby Sleep Made Simple.
THIS MOMMY TRIED IT AND YOU CAN TOO!