Heading into the holidays can mean a drastic change in schedule for many families. Whether you're traveling or just staying at home, your toddler is going to feel the excitement and anticipation of the season!
As parents know, toddlers thrive on routines and predictability. It’s an important part of keeping young children healthy.
Structure helps little ones learn self-control, and how to best manage their surroundings. This feeling of security fosters creativity and self-expression, so even during the holidays, try to keep your toddler’s usual routine on track. Here are a few tips to maintain a healthy holiday routine.
Don’t let your toddler sleep in too much or stay up too late over the holidays. Waking up around the same time every day and going to bed at the same time is a healthy habit for all family members.
Research has shown people who sleep in a clean and neat environment get a more restful sleep. Part of your toddler’s bedtime routine can include tidying up his room to create a sense of calm and organization.
Eat well, and eat at the usual times. The holidays often encourage us to overindulge, but eating too much or eating too often can change how the body operates. So stick to your toddler’s usual meal schedule as much as possible.
Also, beware the holiday sweets. It’s ok to have one or two treats, but try and avoid letting your toddler run away with the christmas cookie jar. Sugar is guaranteed to give your little one an energy high followed by a big crash (or even a tummy ache). This can impact sleep schedules and lead to tantrums. Stick with tummy friendly foods, and tummy friendly nutrition as much as you can. Our tummy friendly Power Blend fruit and veggie pouches are gentle on little tummies and have the sweet taste toddlers love.
Cold weather can make outdoor activities a bit challenging for your little ones, but it’s important your toddler keep his mind and body engaged while stuck inside, so plan activities ahead of time as much as you can.
Have a snowball fight, go sledding or build a snowman to keep your toddler physically active and out in the fresh air. To keep their brains engaged, try out math games, crafts, puzzles, science experiments and preschool board games. Power their activities with a fruit and veggie Power Blend pouch full of nutrients to keep them engaged in active play.
Planning out a specific time each day to engage in these types of activities is a great way to stay on routine. If you have family members in for the holidays, have them join in to make it feel new and exciting! Toddler’s love to show other people what they know!
This is a tough one, but try to keep television, movie watching, and device use to a minimum. If your toddler is allowed one hour of screen time a day, do your best to stick to the rule. This can be challenging if you’re traveling a long distance for the holidays. If that’s the case, prepare your toddler ahead of time for something “special”. Talk with them several days in advance about the fun journey they’re taking for the holidays. They can watch movies in the car or on the airplane, but once the ride is over, the “special” screen time ends.
If you’ve taken a long holiday vacation, try and slowly reintroduce preschool or caregiver schedules. It’s generally recommended you begin reinstating the normal routine two days prior to the end of a long break.
If sleep schedules changed for your family, slowly adjust them back into the times they usually go to bed during school. If your toddler goes to preschool two or three times a week, try and follow that schedule at home before sending them back. Play “school” at home for two hours of the day. Give your toddler the usual preschool time snack, and get them reacquainted with the routine.
If your child goes to a caregiver several hours a day, begin talking about your return to work at least two days ahead of time. This gives your toddler a chance to recall what the routine is like, what to expect and what is expected of him.
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