With all the excitement surrounding the holiday season, it is natural for children to want to stay up late. This makes it difficult to make them fall asleep on Christmas Eve.
But as a parent who has been working all day preparing for the celebrations, the need for them to get to sleep on Christmas Eve is more than necessary.
You probably need the shut-eye more than your children do.
Allowing them to stay up all night could also mean tantrums or your angelic tots turning into little ‘grinches’. On that note, you should find ways to get your kids to sleep early on that joyous eve.
How to Make Children Get to Sleep on Christmas Eve
1. Tire them out
If the weather permits, get your children to play outside or even exercise so they can expend all that excess energy and excitement. Go for a hike or walk.
Get them to build snow figures. To give them a bit of exercise, make them build figures with more elaborate designs, such as Star Wars-inspired snowmen.
Just remember to keep a balance between indoor and outdoor activities. That is, when the sun goes down, activities should aim to help your children quiet down, such as reading books.
2. Stick to their routine
The holidays may be an excuse to do something different, but you should stick to your children’s routine to help them fall asleep on Christmas Eve. You should stick to the regular bedtime rituals and the same time for going to bed.
Make it a point to use gentle reminders about going to bed at the same time, regardless if it's the most magical night of the year. It is also important that you don't get swayed by any excuse or pleas to stay up late.
3. Limit their sugar intake
Nothing like an excess dose of chocolates, sweets, and soda to keep your children hyperactive well into the night. So if you want them to get to sleep early on Christmas Eve, you should limit their sugar intake.
If you have other guests visiting or relatives staying in, you should inform them not to offer your children sweets at 7 p.m. or at a later time.
4. Give them a warm bath before bed
A warm bath before bed never fails to make anyone sleepy, including children. This is because it helps the body drop in temperature, leading up to a relaxed and drowsy state.
If you have a consistent bath-time routine, make sure to stick with it to help convince your children's brain that Christmas Eve is just like any normal day.
5. Read them bedtime stories
You want your children to quickly fall asleep on Christmas Eve and reading them bedtime stories is one way to do it. What is great about this activity is it gives an impression that “quickly” is not what you’re aiming for. Just choose the shortest book on your shelf for this particular night.
6. Give positive reinforcement
Tell your children what they will get in the morning if they go to sleep early on Christmas Eve, but only when they wake up at a certain time. Your kids are likely to be up at dawn come December 25, but with positive reinforcement, you will motivate them to stay in bed until it's time to open their presents.
Keep these tips in mind and your children will sleep early on Christmas Eve and wake up well-rested on Christmas Day.