It’s likely to be down to SEPARATION ANXIETY.
The festive period can be a tough time for our little ones. As much a we do everything we can to make sure they have a magical time, the lack of routine, extra stimulation and new places and faces can take its toll on our little ones.
How do I know this 👉🏻 SEPARATION ANXIETY!
Your little ones become extra clingy, wake during the night, want to sleep with you, are super emotional over every. little. thing.
So what can you do to help?
Let children warm up with new people and places. Don’t expect them to be instantly in full swing party mode. And don’t instantly hand them over to the nearest relative who pays them attention. They may mean the world to you but does your little one know them that way and feel the same?
Don’t sneak away. If you are going to leave them let them know and give them all the reassurance they need. Tell them you love them, they are safe and you’ll be back soon. For older children tell them how long you will be, so that they have realistic expectations. Remember sneaking away may be easier in the short run but can lead to extended heightened separation anxiety.
Try not to add to the emotion. If you start getting worried about their behaviour or how they are going to react you will be feeding their anxiety and reinforcing the idea that there is something for them to be anxious about.
Stick to their routine where possible. For example , bedtime may not be at the same time, or even the same place, but going through the same process will help increase familiarity and relax them. Eating at the same times can also help them feel safe and secure in their routine where possible too.
Don’t actively change anything. If things start to get tough at night keep doing what you have always known to work, for example feeding. Don’t try and add new sleep routines or cues as this adds to the change they are already anxious of and often results in extended periods of being awake. Giving them the reassurance they need, when they need it but see them sleeping in their regular routine a lot more quickly.
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Paediatric Sleep Coach
MSc & BSc Hons