5 Tips for Surviving the Holidays with a ToddlerSaturday, December 12, 2015
The holiday season can be rough on the littlest of us, which means it is also rough for those of us that care for them. The saying "nobody's happy if mama isn't happy" is a bunch of malarkey when you have kids under 5? 6? I don't know at what age it changes, but those of us with little ones know that "nobody's happy if the baby isn't happy!" Their needs are basic: full tummy, clean diaper, enough sleep, time to run and play. However, those basic needs are exhausting when you add in all the holiday cheer!
1. Schedule. What schedule?
If you have a toddler that sticks to a pretty predictable schedule, just go ahead and throw that out the window until January 2nd. The holidays can be unpredictable. Toddlers spend more time in the car, around other kids, and of course being fed more sugar. Their little daily routines that they thrive on can become obsolete during the holidays. So, what can you do? Give them a little more time to settle down before nap and bedtime. Start your routine a little earlier, so that they are down for the count at the regular time. You wouldn't want to miss this week's episode of The Voice, so for goodness sake start bedtime by 6:30, just in case. They really don't need a bath tonight anyway...
2. Avoid Christmas shopping with your toddler at all cost.
Now, I know that's not realistic, so the real tip here is food... lots of food. Hand held snacks are our favorite, and if you happen to be in Sam's Club and need a large box of crackers...just open one to buy later. Once the employees witness the fact that running out snacks means they will have to be cleaning up the diaper display, they won't mind!
3. Feed them first at Holiday gatherings
As soon as it's ready, grab your toddler a plate so that he/she will be done and you can fix your plate and actually enjoy it without having to get up and down ten thousand times. OR you can snack off their plate since you cut the line first then just go straight to dessert! Be sure to pick up some extra wipes while you are at Sam's Club to have on hand for the cleanup after all that yummy food!
4. Always stash a pair of PJs in their bag
When you are out past bedtime, change his diaper and put those pjs on before you hop in the car to go home. The last thing you want when you get home is having to undress and change a sleeping baby. In my experience they'll fall asleep in the car and just call it a nap if they get woken up when you get home. Oh and take the long way home... check out some Christmas lights.
5. Just forget it and stay home!
This may be the best tip of all... Sorry friends and family but it's all just too much. You can find us in our diaper, eating all the Christmas cookies by the light of out yet-to-be-decorated tree.
I mean, this is a party in itself, right?
We have music, dancing, festive holiday movies and a trusty diaper.
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Please, tell me your tips for making it through the hustle and bustle of the holiday season!