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Christmas is a fantastic time of year, where we cherish the holiday traditions and spend time with our loved ones.

However, with children, Christmas can quickly become a complex puzzle. This is especially true if your baby is used to a fixed routine, schedule, and/or sleeping arrangement that suddenly gets turned upside down.

In this blog post, in collaboration with Babyakademiet, we aim to provide you with some valuable tips and tricks how to navigate through Christmas and the holiday season, ensuring your baby is content while also feeling that you’ve been able to enjoy family time or your favorite traditions.

Practical tips and tricks: Creating a calm sleeping environment for babies during Christmas

1. Maintaining sleeping arrangements

If your baby usually sleeps in a pram or a baby hammock, we recommend bringing this with you. The familiar sleeping space can help your baby feel secure and settle down even in a new environment. Membantu's baby hammock can be used anywhere and can be easily transported in the enclosed tote bag. The hammock can provide familiarity and a comfortable place for your baby to sleep. If you plan to bring the hammock to family gatherings, we suggest getting the door clamp for hanging the hammock as it saves space and can be stored together with the hammock in the tote bag. This makes it possible and easy to set up the hammock in most places.

2. Consistent sleep routines

Does your baby have a fixed sleep routine? Try maintaining it as much as possible. If possible, you can ask the host to adjust activities to align with your baby’s nap times. For instance, if you know your baby sleeps best early in the evening, you could suggest moving an activity to an
earlier time. You might also opt for a shorter visit than usual. For example staying 2-3 hours instead of 5-6 hours might compromise some of your own traditions, but it might suit your baby better. This is especially advisable if you notice your baby is tired the day after gatherings or struggles with many different situations and routines.

If a family gathering involves overnight stays, we recommend making it feel as “homey” as possible.

3. Shielding from stimuli

Overstimulation such as loud music and many people can make it difficult for your baby to settle down. Try to find a quieter place for your baby away from loud music and festive activities. This is important to avoid an overtired baby who might has difficulty sleeping. Overstimulation can
disrupt not only your baby' sleep but also require more effort when putting him/her to bed.

You can try shortening the time exposed to high stimuli, for instance, by participating in part of the family gathering but not all of it, or by reducing the stimulus if possible.

Membantu's white noise speaker plays soothing sounds that might help your baby settle down. This is particularly beneficial if you're attempting to get your baby to sleep in a different room or area away from the main stimuli.

4. Avoid frequent changes in sleeping place

Long car rides and changing sleeping places can disrupt your baby’s sleep pattern. Try to avoid this as much as possible, as it might be challenging to get your baby back to sleep if his/her need to sleep has vanished after a short nap. Alternatively, you could reduce family visits out of the house to half to align with nap times. If your baby usually is awake for 2-3 hours, that might be the window for your visit. This way, you can maintain family traditions without necessarily skipping visits, and still making it possible for your baby to sleep in familiar surroundings at home.

5. It's okay to say 'no'

As a parent, it's important to remember that it's okay to say no to Christmas gatherings. If you or your baby is overtired or overstimulated, prioritizing your needs over social obligations might be the best choice. At the same time, it's worth mentioning that your baby won't be harmed by adjusting his/her sleep rhythms due to social events. However, it might require a bit more patience from you to help your baby fall asleep. It might also mean finding alternatives to the rhythms and routines you've already established. And if you join every social event during Christmas – remember that’s ok.

There are numerous ways to approach parenting, and if you follow your heart – we are sure you’ll make the best of it.

How to say no in a polite manner:

Be honest and direct: "We would love to come, but considering the little one's sleep routines, it seems best for us to stay home this time."

Offer alternatives: "Unfortunately, we can't make it that evening, but how about a cozy lunch
another day?" Follow this up with a specific proposal for a new date and time to avoid forgetting it.

Express gratitude: "Thank you for the invitation! It means a lot to us. This year, we won't be able to join, but we hope to be there next year."

By following these suggestions, you can help your baby maintain a good sleep routine even during the busy Christmas season. It makes Christmas more enjoyable for both you and your baby.