9 Tips for Helping Your Kids Get to Sleep on Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve is one of the most exciting nights of the year you and your children. A lot of wishing, letter writing, and hard work has gone into making the holiday a memorable one. But you might find that getting the kiddos into bed so you can help Santa take care of business to be a bit challenging, to say the least. So what’s a parent to do?
Check out these 9 tips for helping your little ones get to sleep so you can be the best Santa’s helper that you can be!
1. Stick to Your Routine
As hard as it might seem, the best way to ensure a smooth bedtime transition on Christmas Eve is to make your day is as normal as possible. Try to avoid any last minute holiday excitement or celebrations, and focus on some household fun instead. Baking cookies and watching holiday-themed movies together as a family are both great ways to keep things calm, while also keeping the magic of the season alive and well.
2. Make Sure They Get Physical
You can encourage a regular bedtime even with all of the excitement of the big day by making sure that your children are getting some exercise. Building a snowman, ice skating, or making snow angels will not only help you to create holiday memories, the physical activity will make drifting off to sleep easier.
3. Just Say No to the Electronics
We all know how much kids love their gadgets these days, but it you want to make sure that they’re visiting dream land instead of tossing and turning, your best bet is to make sure they call it quits on the computer, tablet, or gaming system at least three hours before bedtime. Studies have shown that the blue light from electronic devices discourages sleep and keeps people up later than normal.
4. Draw Them a Bubble Bath
Sleep experts have discovered that body temperature has a lot to do with the ability to fall asleep, and stay that way. They recommend a warm bath right before bed, as it helps to regulate core body temps, and makes falling asleep faster and easier.
5. Share Some Holiday Warmth
When you and the kiddos are getting Santa’s milk and cookies ready for his visit, go ahead and make them a cup of warm milk, herbal tea, or some sugar-free hot chocolate. Not only will they enjoy in taking part in a holiday tradition, the warm beverage will make them feel nice and sleepy.
6. Read Them a Bedtime Story
For many families, sharing a holiday story before bed is already a part of their traditional Christmas celebrations. Not only is it a great way to bond with your children, it also helps to make them feel sleepy. Just make sure to pick a story that doesn’t focus too much on the excitement of presents in the morning!
7. Keep Bedtime the Same
Although it might be tempting to allow the kiddos to stay up a little bit later due to the specialness of the day and the thought process that a later bedtime means they’ll fall asleep faster, doing so can actually cause them to stay wide awake with anticipation. Stick to your regular light’s out time and pre-bed routine to encourage a better night’s sleep.
8. Discourage Peeking
We’ve all been guilty of taking a peek at the presents under the tree when we were kids. Don’t be surprised when your little ones have the same idea. Your best bet is to head them off at the pass by letting them know that Santa likes to do his work in secret, and that he will only come when he knows that all of the boys and girls are in bed, and fast asleep.
9. Teach Them the Power of Positive Thinking
If your children have expressed concern with being able to fall asleep due to the excitement of Santa’s visit, you can help them learn some positive sleep habits by teaching them how to count sheep, focused breathing for relaxation, or even some simple meditation. Give them a short mantra to repeat, like “Morning will be here soon,” and watch as their eyelids droop and they drift off faster than either of you thought was possible.