It’s a magical time for both kids and parents, but there’s one big obstacle to overcome before the big day arrives:
Getting your child to go to bed.
You can’t blame them for being excited about Santa’s arrival, so it’s understandable that sleep may be at the back of their minds. However, you’ll want your children to be well rested for the day itself, and you’ll probably want a little time to yourself to unwind before you head up to bed yourself.
With that in mind, here are our top tips for getting your child to go to bed on Christmas Eve.
1) Tire them out by keeping them active during the day
One of the easiest ways to ensure your child sleeps soundly on Christmas Eve is to keep them active during the day. If the weather is kind, take them to a park where they can run around and let off some steam. If you’re busy running last minute errands, you could always ask another family member to take them out somewhere fun, like the local swimming centre.
If it’s miserable outside, there are plenty of fun indoor activities you could try, such as baking or crafting. You could even have the children help you wrap gifts and take them on your rounds.
Finally, how about having them help tidy their bedroom? This will keep things in order ahead of the influx of new toys and games they’re bound to receive. Clear some space in your children’s wardrobes and storage units to ensure new toys will have a dedicated home.
This is also an opportunity for children to donate any old, unwanted items to charity which shows the importance of giving as well as receiving.
2) Calm them down by relaxing and unwinding together
As day turns to night and Christmas Day edges closer, the excitement starts to build even further. But this is the time for winding down. After the action packed day, settle the children by setting out a mince pie for Santa (and a carrot for Rudolph!) early in the evening.
Afterwards, it’s a great opportunity to enjoy some family time together. Play a board game together, or snuggle up on the sofa and watch a Christmas film to bring a relaxed element to the evening.
3) Make them sleepy with a drink of warm milk
As you settle down before bedtime, a relaxing warm drink is a great option not just for you, but for children as well.
Rather than sugary, fizzy drinks that will give them an unwanted energy rush, choose something like warm milk. This will help to relax their bodies and aid their sleep. Milk contains an enzyme called tryptophan, which helps to encourage restful sleep – just what you want on Christmas Eve!
4) Stick to their routine to make bedtime as easy as possible
Same bed time, same order – keeps things familiar and it makes it easier to fall asleep.
With all the excitement and anticipation ahead of Santa’s visit, children are often (understandably) reluctant to go to bed. But it’s important not to let them stay up too late. After all, you don’t want them to be tired and irritable on Christmas Day itself.
An extra half an hour probably won’t do too much harm, but try to stick to their usual routine in order to make bedtime as seamless as possible. Do things in the same order as usual (bath or shower, brushing teeth, reading a story), and the sense of routine will help your child to understand that sleeping on Christmas Eve is just as important as usual.
Reading a book just before lights out is a great way to relax children even further, and ensure they drift off peacefully into a calm sleep.
5) Make sure they’re comfortable for a restful night’s sleep
The key to a good night’s sleep on Christmas Eve is just the same as on any other night; comfort.
Ensure your child’s bed is fit for a restful night, and that their mattress adequately supports their body. A midsleeper is a perfect option for young children; combining a comfortable sleeping area with functional toy storage, which is essential at Christmas time.
Making magical memories
By following these tips, you can help ensure your children sleep peacefully on Christmas Eve, and will rise on Christmas Day full of energy and excitement. You’ll also be able to enjoy some ‘me’ time after the children go to bed, and relax following the last minute rush.
With both you and the kids revitalised, you’re all set to enjoy a Christmas to remember, with magical memories that will last a lifetime.