Christmas season with all the rush, bunch of light, sounds and people buzzing around, can be a pretty overwhelming experience for toddlers. Specially since they don’t really understand what Christmas is all about.
We are sharing several ideas how to make Christmas season a little but less stressful for our toddlers.
Don’t try to do everything. Just pick a couple of traditions that are important to your family and focus on those!
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For us, keeping stress levels low was all about making sure that our son was still getting the rest that he needed. Although it’s tempting to push bedtimes and skip naps at the holidays, we realized that for our child, that just wouldn’t work. No one is really able to relax and have fun when the kids are overtired and cranky anyway!
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Keep to your child’s routine as much as you can. So nap times and food times should say roughly the same (even if it means eating lunch earlier then everyone else and then joining in for an extra lunch when everyone else eats.)
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Try to balance the sweets and desserts with healthy snacks at regular intervals for your toddler. Balanced meals with prevent hyperactivity and promote good sleep.
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We have a Christmas Elf come to stay with the purpose of helping us to get ready for Christmas. Most nights he does a little ‘elf’ magic, leaving a simple activity for the next day. It helps explain what all the fuss and rush is about a little at a time.
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Try as much as possible to stay on their routine. Let them eat well and rest well. Keep on a running commentry of what all will be happening or what they will be doing next. Don’t put them under stress by telling them ‘if they are good…’ They are good. Also don’t expect them to kiss or hug every relative or like everyone who they are meeting for the first time or after a long time. Let new guests or distant family show love from a distance. Let the child choose who they want to know well. If you are travelling or visiting, prepare the child in advance by telling them what and who to expect. Show them pictures or videos if possible. Most of all, I think parents themselves should be calm and relaxed. Your child can sense your stress and will behave accordingly. Let them sense the magic and festive atmosphere.
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We try to balance Christmas craziness with everyday activities. One of the things both of our daughters know from early age is that Santa brings only one present for Christmas so they have to think really hard what they will wish for under the tree. Postponing decorating Christmas tree until Christmas eve also helps keeping kids all over us for 25 days!
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