Holidays with our children are a wonderful thing, I love the freedom and the flexibility that comes with them.
Often this sees our little ones staying up later than normal as well as sleeping in later. This may well be fantastic while you are away, but more often than not, a small shift in our children’s daily routines can create problems on returning home.
However short the holiday was, they will expect the same relaxed approach on returning home. If they find that they can no longer share your bed or stay up late, they might have something to say about it. Children can resist returning to their pre-holiday routines, which can end up with tantrums at bedtime, night wakings, early risings and more.
The problem is our children crave routine. So what can you do to make your homecoming as easy as possible?
5 KEY TIPS ON HOW TO REDUCE SLEEP PROBLEMS WITH CHILDREN AFTER HOLIDAYS
Be clear about the rules
Once home, let your children know that being on holiday is a special treat and now that they are home they will need to return to the normal rules that you had before you went away.
Don’t plan too much for the first week
If possible try and keep the days after you return home as clear as possible. Aim to keep things simple and stay close to home. This way you can ensure that your evening routine is calm and unrushed and you can get your kids to bed on time. If your kids have been used to going to bed later on holiday it can help to bring their bedtime forward by 15 minutes over a few days so their body clock can gently adjust.
Focus on your bedtime routine
There is a chance that while you were on holiday your routine was different to normal. When you get home make your you stick to the bedtime routine you had in place before you left. Try to stick to it as closely as possible for a least a week or two after the holiday. With your younger children it is also important to make sure that their nap schedules are back on track.
Don’t forget to use positive language about being home; for example you might like to tell them how wonderful it is to be back with all their animals. It might also help to give your child a reward when they get it right, if they are old enough.
Be extra attentive
While you have been away it is very likely that your children have had lots of attention from you. When you return home this might not always be possible due to the demands of work and the daily routine. This means that your little ones might require extra attention during the night or at bedtime. To prevent bad night time habits try and spend some focused time with your children during the day, or equally put together a plan to do something special at the weekends.
Don’t worry too much about setbacks
It is very important to manage your own expectations. As your child adjusts to life at home again they may well wake up early during the night or very early in the morning. Be patient with yourself and with your children – it is very likely that if you are still suffering post-holiday blues, so are they! As long as you follow your daily routine and allow your children’s body clocks to gently adjust and expectations to fall back in to place within one to two weeks things should hopefully have returned to normal.
For further suggestions about how to avoid sleep problems with children get in touch and I’d love to see how I can help.