EasterBunnyJust when you thought you finally had this sleep thing figured out, along comes the test of a holiday weekend. Easter is a very important occasion in the religious community, but it has also evolved into a candy-laden sugarfest for the parents of young children.

Wondering how to keep some guy in a bunny suit at your local egg hunt from wreaking havoc on your child’s sleep? We have a few things you can try.

Encourage Small Gifts Instead of Candy

Most close relatives will have your child’s best interests at heart, which means they won’t mind if you ask them to back away slowly from huge candy treats. Stuffed bunnies and books about Easter are a great alternative.

Hold the Schedule Sacred, Even Away from Home

If you are heading out of town to visit family next weekend, you will have dramatically less fun if you’re wrangling an over-tired toddler. Though it can be hard when travelling, do whatever you can to keep as close to your usual schedule while you’re away from home.

If your child is a good sleeper in the car, consider making the drive to your destination during their usual nap time so you can be sure to get in a good sleep before you arrive. To help your child settle down in the evening, stay close to the usual time and routine at bedtime too.

Take Breaks from the Festivities to Mellow Out

It’s easy for babies and young children to get overwhelmed by the noise and sights and sounds that go along with large family gatherings. Overstimulation is a big deal to a little person, so if you go straight from the calamity of the living room to the serenity of the bedroom, you may find that *someone* isn’t ready to take a nap at all.

Try to take breaks for a trip to a local park, or even some story time away from the crowd, whenever the opportunity presents itself. At a minimum, start winding down at least 30 minutes before naptime or bedtime.

Avoid Sugary Treats Close to Sleep Times

“They” say sugar isn’t the reason kids get hyper when they eat candy, it’s the excitement of the occasion. When your kid is bouncing off the walls, do semantics really matter? Trying to completely eliminate sugary treats around any holiday is an exercise in futility, so just do your best to keep the sugar – and the excitement – away from the usual sleep times.

Major holidays were sent to test the limits of even the best little sleepers out there. In spite of your best efforts, if your child’s sleep schedule goes to hell in a handbasket this Easter, don’t panic! Just get things right back on track as soon as life is back to what you laughingly call normal.

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