How Do I Get My Kids to Sleep on Christmas Eve? – 8 Top Tips

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How Do I Get My Kids to Sleep on Christmas Eve?

Children have the most vivid imaginations, and unfortunately for parents who want to unwind before the morning mayhem, this means getting them to sleep on Christmas Eve can be as stressful as the big day itself.

On Christmas Eve, all your children will be thinking about is Santa climbing down the chimney or unlocking the door with a magic key. The most tenacious children might even plan to sneak out of bed to try and catch him!

Add thoughts of incredible presents and lots of pudding, and you have a recipe for the most stimulated children in the world.

Thankfully, we’re here to help you.

Here’s how to get your kids to sleep on Christmas Eve:

How Do I Get My Kids to Sleep on Christmas Eve?
Pictured: Tired child waiting for Santa asleep.

Stick to your bedtime routine. 

Treating Christmas Eve like any other night is a great way to stifle excitement and get your kids to sleep. Christmas is a special time of the year, but sleep comes first! Sticking to your usual bedroom routine (or close to it) will make an enormous difference at bedtime. Try to resist the temptation to let your children stay up later.

Get outside

Go for a walk, go for a drive, look for things to do. Something as simple as a bug-hunting adventure will help burn off energy. But here’s the crucial part – do not let your kids sleep in the car or when they get home. They have to stay awake! Otherwise, you’ll probably have to push back their bedtime and stay up later than usual.

Give your kids a comfy bed.

Sometimes, children struggle to sleep because they are uncomfortable. The lead cause of this is a mattress that’s too firm. Children weigh very little, so a firm mattress gives them nothing soft to compress into. Children’s mattresses come in all shapes and sizes. Upgrading to a softer memory foam mattress could work wonders.

No sugar 3 hours before bed 

Pretty child-eating dish full of candy, Sugar is not only in candy but has become embedded in a lot of modern food and beverages. How Do I Get My Kids to Sleep on Christmas Eve?
Pictured: Pretty child-eating dish full of candy. Sugar is not only in candy but has become embedded in many modern foods and beverages.

Sugar, be it in the form of cookies, chocolates, sweets or delicious mince pies, is an absolute no-no three hours before bed. Giving your kids sugar earlier in the day won’t feel wired late at night. Sugars average between 30 and 60 minutes in the stomach, but they can last longer when consumed with complex carbs.

Fun wet weather activities

Painting is the most incredible energy sapper if the weather is miserable and you need something to do. Painting isn’t a particularly physical activity but requires thinking and concentration. Try making your child-friendly moon sand with flour and baby oil. Drawing, kinetic sand and Play-Doh are also good options.

Make Cloud Dough Using 3 Ingredients. How Do I Get My Kids to Sleep on Christmas Eve?
Picture Credit: Crafty Morning Make Cloud Dough Using 3 Ingredients

Don’t talk about Santa.

Trust us. Your kids will be thinking about Santa without you! TV commercials, app advertisements, advent calendars and Christmas decorations guarantee it. You remove the most effective stimulant on Christmas Eve by hushing talk of Santa. Try something unrelated, like the Hungry Caterpillar, if you tell stories at night.

Be clever with storytime.

Speaking of storytime, all kids love stories and don’t grow out of them until around 8. The best stories on Christmas Eve are Christmassy, but something long works best for getting kids to feel tired. Consider starting one longer book rather than a short story to inspire your children and make them think about what’s next.

Limit screen time an hour before bed

Two little girls laying down and watching something on a laptop, limit children screen time before bedtime.
Pictured: Two little girls lying down and watching something on a laptop

Tablets, smartphones and televisions should be off an hour before bed because the blue light from displays stimulates the eyes and brain. Instead, try other activities like stories and drawing. Christmas crafts are also a great idea. If you have toilet rolls, cotton wool, glue and ink pens, you can make snowmen!

Keep your cool!

When your kids don’t go to sleep, it messes with your evening, but don’t be too hard on them or yourself. Remember when you were a kid? Christmas is so exciting that it wills us to stay awake. Your kids aren’t being naughty; they can’t help it! So, this Christmas Eve, keep your cool and try to make things memorable for the right reasons.

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