Try as you might, Christmas Eve can be the hardest night of the year to get your little ones off to sleep.
After all, even us grownups can get a little more excited than we should! We’ve got our own methods, but here are our five top tips for getting your children to nod off on Christmas Eve.
Tell them they won’t get any presents
One of the most popular methods to ensuring that they get off to bed is undeniably sneaky, but it can often be very effective too!
While we all know that they’re going to be getting their presents in the morning (you didn’t spend all that money for nothing after all!), it doesn’t hurt to tell a little white lie and tell them that if they don’t go to sleep, then Santa might not come at all!
Even if it is a little cruel, it works like a charm.
Tire them out
Eventually, we all reach a point where we’re just so exhausted that we can’t help but crash out, and the same goes for children.
If anything, they’re even more likely to tire themselves out that adults are, with all of the excitement that Christmas Eve brings, so perhaps it might just be best to indulge them for a while, knowing that before long, it’s all going to get too much for them.
Make sure that they keep active during the day, and they’re sure to be ready for bed when the time comes.
Enforce a strict bedtime routine
This may already be commonplace in your household, but you might want to enforce a strict bedtime routine on Christmas Eve.
Of course, you should set aside time for the traditions and such as leaving out mince pies for Father Christmas and a carrot for Rudolph, and you might also want to let the kids stay up a little later than their usual bedtime.
However, you should also make sure that they take a nice relaxing bath, and don’t spend any time in front of a screen such as the TV or iPad for at least an hour before bed.
Perhaps read them a special Christmas story instead? For more information on enforcing a routine for your little ones, check out this post from Parents.
Give them plenty of notice
It’s important that you don’t just spring bedtime on your little ones, so be sure to give them plenty of notice.
For example, maybe you could set a timer which runs out when it’s time for their bath, and explain that you’ve got time for a story and then it’s bedtime.
Consistency is key, and once it’s bedtime, it’s bedtime! If your child does keep getting up out of bed, try not to give them too much attention.
Recognise the signs of tiredness
Especially on Christmas Eve, when they’re full of excitement, children are unlikely to admit that they’re tired.
Look out for signs that they’re tired before they tip over into that state of ‘overtiredness’ which can sometimes lead to hyperactivity.
If your child is claiming to not be tired at bedtime, make sure that they go to bed anyway, but maybe allow them to read quietly in their room with the lights turned down low.
Even better, you could buy them their own little play area where they can relax, and maybe even fall asleep in, such as these teepees from Just for Tiny People.