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Little boy in Santa how to get your child to sleep on Christmas Eve

How to get your kids to sleep on Christmas Eve?

December 20, 2022

Parents all over the world will be really hoping that their children will sleep on Christmas Eve. It’s a commonly asked question – how to get your kids to sleep on Christmas Eve? After all, many of us will be busy wrapping presents that evening, and there is nothing worse than a peeping child who is yo-yoing up and downstairs!

Exercise in the morning

little boy walking in the forest

Getting kids moving in the morning, whether it’s a family walk or their favourite sport, will help them sleep better at night by burning off energy. If you get some sunshine, that’s a bonus because it helps set your body’s natural clock so you can sleep better. If you are stuck for ideas about where to go with your children, have a look at The Wildlife Trust for some great ideas where ever you live in the UK. 

Keep them from eating sweets after midday

healthy christmas snacks

Even though it might seem hard, it will be much harder to get the kids to sleep if they’ve eaten high-sugar foods close to bedtime. By making them make too much energy, they will be overstimulated and stay awake all night, which will make it hard for them to sleep. If you need to satisfy their sweet tooth after lunch, try sugar-free jelly or juice with no added sugar instead.

Keeping them up late will keep them from sleeping well

sleeping children on Christmas Eve

Even though it might seem like letting your child stay up later will help them sleep better at night, it will actually have the opposite effect. Young children who are already tired will find it much harder to fall asleep, and waking up early on Christmas Day will only make it harder for them to get enough rest.

Give them a snack that will make them sleepy before bed

Smoothie with bananas and strawberries and blueberries

Make sure your child doesn’t go to sleep hungry. If you have a lot of activities planned for the day, they may be too busy to realise how hungry they are. A snack before bed will keep them from waking up in the middle of the night, but it’s important to choose something that makes them sleepy instead of something that keeps them awake, like fatty or sugary foods. Bananas are healthy and can help you fall asleep because they calm the body and relax the muscles. If you eat a banana with a glass of milk, you will find it much easier to sleep because milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid that helps you sleep.

Don’t make too much noise in the evening

man partying and dancing

If your family’s way of celebrating the holidays involves a lot of activities, it will be best to save those for the afternoon and have a quiet evening. Having dinner earlier than usual will not only help the kids get ready for bed, but it’s also a good way to keep them busy without getting them too excited. Giving them a bath after dinner is another way to keep them busy and calm them down.

Don’t change their routine at night

mum reading bedtime story to children

Changing your children’s nighttime routine will make them feel like something is missing. You might think that giving up something like a bedtime story so they can stay up a little longer will help them calm down, but their routine becomes a sign that it’s time to go to sleep, so you shouldn’t make any big changes.

Don’t use technology right before bed

little girl on iPad in the evening

If you want to keep things calm by watching a Christmas movie as a family in the evening, it’s best to turn off the screens about two hours before your kids’ bedtime. Blue light, which comes from screens like phones, laptops, and TVs, can stop our bodies from making melatonin, the hormone that makes us sleepy. So, it’s best to finish up any tech-related tasks before going to bed.

Before going to bed, don’t forget to countdown

Boy sleeping with clock

Counting down from an hour, half an hour, and fifteen minutes before bedtime can help your kids get ready for sleep. Not only will they stop asking to stay up later, but it also makes it easier for them to get ready for bed.

There is no magic wand to make your little one sleep on Christmas Eve but we hope that this advice will help them drop off into the land of nod so that Santa can visit!

For more top tips on parenting, take a look here.

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