It’s Christmas Eve and the kids are up to “high doh” as excitement mounts, and who can blame them really! This is, after all, the most important night of the year, with the imminent arrival of Santa Claus. As a mother of a 10 and 14 year old, I’ve learned a few tricks along the way – here’s How to Get Your Kids to Sleep Early on Christmas Eve:
#1. Start Bedtime 1/2 an Hour Earlier a Few Days Before
Getting them used to a slightly earlier sleep routine in advance of the big night will help, so for the few days before Christmas, try and get them to bed a bit earlier. By the time Christmas Eve comes, you should be able to get them up to bed at that earlier time without too much complaining!
#2. Keep Them Active and Super Busy
If the weather is too rotten then head for the swimming pool or set up an indoor disco and get everyone jigging and dancing for at least an hour in the afternoon!
#3. Minimise Sugar During the Day
Too much sugar can make kids hyperactive especially towards the end of the day so keep treats for the morning, and minimise them in the afternoon.
#4. Turn Off Screens Early
Make sure to switch off all devices and tablets and iPods early, well before bedtime, to allow little brains to calm down and relax.
#5. Watch a Relaxing Festive Movie
Watching a festive movie together on Christmas eve is a lovely family tradition and can help tire out little eyes. Avoid any movies that are likely to hype them up though, and pick a nice relaxing movie instead, like The Snowman, for everyone to watch together.
#6. Start the Bedtime Routine Much Earlier
Get everyone brushing teeth etc. much earlier as the bedtime routine will take much longer than usual with all the excitement and horseplay. Plus you need time to hang up stockings, and get out the milk and cookies/mince pies for Santa and the reindeers.
#7. Warm Milky Drinks All Around
Drinking a glass of warm milk before bed will help you to sleep better – it’s not just an old wives’ tale.
Milk is rich in tryptophan, which helps in the production of the sleep inducing brain chemicals, serotonin and melatonin.
#8. Put Everyone in the Bath to Relax
Baths can be a great way to encourage relaxtion in kids, so pop them all in before bedtime.Then into jammies and downstairs for a final snack and to set out Santa and Rudolph’s treats before bedtime.
#9. Read a Christmas Bedtime Story
Pick a nice Christmas story to read to your child once they are tucked up. ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas or The Gift of the Magi are two favourites in our house.
#10. If Your Child Wakes in the Night
If your child wakes during the night, which is inevitable, keep the disruption short, walk them to the toilet and back to bed, tell them to remember that Santa can’t come if they are awake.
Over to you now. What’s your go to tip for getting the kids to sleep early on Christmas Eve? Share it with us in the comments below.