Tips to Keep the Kiddos Happy & Well-Rested This Holiday Season

The holiday season is right around the bend! This is a time that is meant to be magical and extra special, but it can also be stressful and totally unbearable if you’re lugging your cranky little ones to the mall for Christmas shopping or dealing with holiday sleep disasters because you’re traveling or your child isn’t napping. Daddy Nickell has some helpful tips to help parents cope with holiday shopping stresses and avoid baby & toddler sleep issues that can arise during the season.


Tips for Holiday Shopping With Your Tots

1. Keep Your Trip Short. You may love to shop and be ready for a power shopping trip to knock out several holiday gifts, but guaranteed your child isn’t up for that.  Plan several small shopping trips rather than long, drawn out ones.  You’ll be happier and so will your child.

2. Carve Out Time For Mini-Breaks. Your kids will be much more tolerable if you break up the shopping trip with 15 minute breaks for such things as lunch and a trip to the play area.  Also, bring along a special snack/drink and toys to entertain your child while you browse.

3. Choose The Time Wisely. Some kiddos handle a trip to the mall best first thing in the morning when they are well-rested and ready for the day, while others can snooze in the stroller and get their nap in while mom shops.

4. Skip The Big Sales. Crowds and chaos are par for the course with a big sale and although you may be shopping for a bargain this is usually too overwhelming for your toddler.  So skip the mega-sales for a solo shopping trip.

5. Bring The Good Stroller.  Bust out the big, sturdy full-sized stroller for a big shopping trip.  Not only is it more comfortable for your little one to snuggle up in but it also provides a place to stash your packages.


Tips to Avoid Holiday Sleep Issues

1. Make Sure Your Kids Get Enough Sleep.  The holidays can be very exhausting and over-stimulating for many kids.  Although it’s hard to keep to regular bedtimes and naptimes, try and make sure your little ones get enough sleep to help them cope with the holiday festivities.

2. If You Travel, Try and Stay In One Place. If you travel for the holidays, try and sleep in one place the entirety of the trip.  This provides your child with consistency away from home. Also, bring along a special lovey, blanket, pillow, night light and lullaby CD to recreate the “homey” atmosphere.

3. Create a Good Sleep Spot for Your Child.  You may want to consider bringing along a travel sleeper or travel bed for your child. Most hotels also provide them. The more comfortable the bed, the better your child will sleep.

4. Changing Time Zones. If you’re traveling over time zones, try and get on the new time zone as soon as possible. So if your child wakes at 7am CST, have them wake at 7am EST as well. This helps you get into schedule as soon as possible.

5. Get Back Into Schedule As Soon As You Get Home. While you’re away or even if you stay home for the holidays, let go a little and relax during your holiday break. There will be time following the holidays to get your tots back into schedule.


Daddy Nickell, father of 6, founder of and the Daddyscrubs parenting blog.

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