Ten expert tips for getting your child to sleep on Christmas Eve

By Nigel Booth
Thursday, 9th December 2021, 1:32 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th December 2021, 1:34 pm
Try to keep children calm on Christmas Eve (photo: Shutterstock)
Try to keep children calm on Christmas Eve (photo: Shutterstock)

Keep the kiddies calm

Top tips on how to keep children calm on Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is a time when all children get excited and have ‘visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads’ and thoughts of what the big day will bring.

But how do you calm a youngster who is high on chocolate, anticipation and excitement?

Well, luxury childrenswear brand La Coqueta Kids has collaborated with a child development expert, psychologist and family therapist to discuss actionable tips for parents on how they can get their children to go to sleep amid Christmas eve fun.

Child development expert, psychologist, and family therapist, Dr Kalanit Ben-Ari, has given ten expert tips on how to curb that Christmas Eve over-enthusiasm.

Dr Ben-Ari said: “I would recommend relaxing their bedtime routine and its usual timings as it is a family holiday, and in some families the adults have been very busy all year and Christmas is the time to reconnect.”

She added: “Regardless of what time they go to sleep, they will wake up early on Christmas morning.

“For children, Christmas Day is just like when as an adult, you have an important meeting or an early flight to catch, and wake up naturally a minute before your alarm clock.

“It is in our subconscious acting on our behalf and the excitement we feel in these moments is both natural and beautiful.

“There can be a great deal of stress in families leading up to Christmas – reflecting on how you want this holiday to be remembered will help you to find the right balance for your family. This is what Christmas is all about; family time and joyfulness.”

Founder and the creative director at La Coqueta Kids, Celia Muñoz, said: “Christmas Eve is one of the most exciting nights of the year for children, and amid all the anticipation and excitement, parents can tend to struggle to get their little ones off to sleep.”

She added: “We hope this expert advice makes bedtime a little easier this year!”

Dr Ben-Ari’s expert tips include:

1. Discuss expectations ahead of time. A day or two before Christmas Eve, have a short conversation with your child about your expectations for the day – and night – including what is going to happen, who is coming, what will you do, and the order of things, including their sleep.

2. Avoid sugar from midday onwards. Chocolate, sweets, and other high-sugar foods are all over-stimulating for the brain and nerve system.

3. Avoid screens for at least two hours before bed. This will help to prevent overstimulating their brain which can negatively affect both their ability to sleep and the quality of it.

4. Have dinner earlier, and bring bedtime routine forward. You may like to begin the bedtime routine a little bit earlier, so that if it takes your child longer to fall asleep than usual, it is still a reasonable time.

5. Spend time with them before they go to sleep. Whether this is by being with them during bath time or reading them a bedtime story.

6. Create a calming atmosphere as you approach bedtime. Dimming lights, having a shower or bath, and eating an early dinner all contribute to a good night’s sleep.

Top tip Create a calming atmosphere as you approach bedtime (photo: Shutterstock)

7. Encourage calm and relaxing activities before bed.

8. Give your child options. Giving your child options will fulfil their need for autonomy and control and will direct that need in a healthy way.

9. Offer quiet tasks to continue in bed.

10. Acknowledge their excitement and validate it.