Children and the Holidays

Although this is an exciting time for children as they await the coming festivities of the season, it can also be a difficult time. Long shopping trips, parties to attend, missed naps, forgotten bedtime stories, and less sleep for everyone in the household all add to problems your child might experience during the holidays.

Experts say one of the best things you can do for your child during the holiday season is to maintain a sense of normalcy by sticking as close as possible to daily routines.

Even if you have company or plan to take a trip, there are ways you can limit the disruption of your child's lifestyle.

  • Keep your child's age and temperament in mind when planning your holiday schedule. If you know your child is irritable past bedtime, either plan to hire a baby-sitter or stay at home.
  • Don't schedule too many special events in a row. Your child may become too exhausted and cranky.
  • The day before a big holiday event,  put your child to bed a littler earlier than normal and cut down on sweets.
  • Try to schedule some quiet time despite all the holiday activity. Try to make some quiet time for reading to your child or watching a video.
  • If possible, don't take your child shopping. Make arrangements with family, friends, or neighbors, and take turns baby-sitting.
  • After the holidays are over, gradually ease your child back into a normal routine.

Take care of yourself too. You won't have the patience required to cope with the demands of the holidays and the challenge of managing a young child if you allow yourself to become exhausted.

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