If “visions of sugar plums” are not enough to get your children into bed on the most exciting night of the year, we have 7 Christmas Eve bedtime tips to help.
We adults love to build Christmas up to a huge crescendo for children right before the 25th, don’t we? Visits to shopping centre Santa’s Wonderlands, a spell on Santa’s knee, Christmas parties, Christmas pageants at kindy or school, lots of talk of “being good for Santa”. So is it any wonder then that littlies are so wound up on the 24th that they can’t sleep?
- Have a beautiful time with family Christmas rituals – Get the kids involved in quiet but fun activities such as leaving milk and biscuits out for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. Sing a couple of Christmas carols or watch a family favourite movie. Say a little prayer at bedtime expressing thanks for a lovely day and wishing for beautiful family time tomorrow.
- Choose clever snacks – Sugar will only help little brains stay awake for longer. If your child is hungry or thirsty before bed, a couple of crackers with some cheese and a glass of milk or water should suffice.
- On-time bedtime – At any time of year, this is true but on Christmas Eve, climbing into bed at a reasonable hour is key to having a good day the next day. Try not to get caught in the trap of “go to bed early” because it could backfire. Going to bed before the usual time can leave anyone lying awake for ages.
- Bathtime – A quiet, relaxing bath with fragrant essential oils or your child’s favourite bubble bath helps them relax and feel sleepy.
- Bedtime wind-down – Rather than threatening “if you don’t go to bed, Santa won’t come”, surely the promises that he will come if they get a good night’s sleep are sweeter? Maybe read a Christmas bedtime story together, or simply discuss what they’re excited about for the next day. It could be seeing cousins and grandparents, opening presents or going to church. It could be going for a swim in Aunty Megan’s pool or getting to eat lots of yummy treats.
- Essential oils – Our all-natural essential oils are not just a lovely way to wind down. They’re also helpful to help little minds switch off and go to sleep.
- Background noise – Play some gentle Christmas carols softly in the background as your little one nods off.
“'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.”
Merry Christmas to you and yours.