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Hints and tips to get your children to sleep over Christmas

“Oh, I wish it could be Christmas every daaaay!” So sing Slade, every year in all the shops from mid November until New Years Eve. Love it or hate it, Christmas is coming and there is nothing that can be done to stop it. And really, what kind of scrooge would want to? Especially if there are children around, it really is THE season for kids and their excitement during the build up to the big day really is contagious!

By Christmas Eve, most children’s excitement peaks and they can be emotional, having temper tantrums and arguments with their siblings one moment then laughing and screeching and dashing around the next.

It’s time to calm them down otherwise; Father Christmas may just pass them by!

It is all well and good to hope that threats of no presents will get these over-excited little cherubs to behave and go to sleep, but unfortunately, it won’t work.

When children are as excited as this, they are actually experiencing a form of stress. A good form of stress, even as adults we feel it, that butterfly in the tummy feeling before an important meeting, or a date with someone we are attracted to.

The same feeling we get the night before we go on holiday or before a party that we are really looking forward to. It is perfectly natural to feel ‘eustress’ when something exciting is just around the corner.

Being pro-active in reducing this feeling in your child will help everybody have at least a few hours sleep before the big day. During Christmas Eve day try and fit in a long walk or an hour playing in the park if the weather isn’t wet, plenty of fresh air will help tire them out for later.

A good hour before bedtime, turn the television off. Reduce all stimulation and devote that hour to helping the children wind down.

Start with a warm milky drink and, as it is Christmas, perhaps play some soothing Christmas carols on the radio or on a cd.

A warm bubbly bath should help their little bodies relax, especially if they have had plenty of exercise that day. Look out for bath products that can be used for children that contain lavender, a natural way to help promote sleepiness.

All cuddle together on the couch for a Christmas story. Nothing too exciting, in fact, giving them a story that makes them think about the true meaning of Christmas is a lovely way of encouraging them to think of things other than presents, the classic tale of The Little Match Girl, is a sweet story to remind them of how lucky they are!

Make sure that the children’s bedroom isn’t too warm, a cool room promotes quality sleep. Also, it is always important that they have a comfortable bed to sleep in. Some children wouldn’t even recognize a lumpy mattress or a spring that has sprung, so regular checks by parents will help eliminate this kind of discomfort, visit the site now if you are looking for a new bed or mattress for your child.

When they have been put to bed, try giving them a ‘starting off dream’. Encourage them in a calm soothing voice, to build a land in their heads, it could be Christmas land, or it could be somewhere nice for The Little Match Girl to go and live. Often, if children imagine a world inside their heads in any kind of detail, they soon nod off if they are physically tired.

Hopefully, following these steps, not just on Christmas eve, but at any time of year, will help relax these wonderful bundles of joy that we call children!


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