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How to Get Back on Track with Your Child's Sleep

Life happens.

If you know anything about the philosophy here at Lake Country Sleep, you know we're all about playing hard and sleeping hard. After all, our motto is "Play all day. Sleep all night."

So, whether you're just getting back from a week at Disney, spent the holidays with Grandma and Grandpa, or your little one is finally feeling better after being ill, you're probably wishing you could wave a magic wand and immediately get their sleep back on track.

We, at Lake Country Sleep, are also known to be magicians with sleep, but in this case, you're going to have to give it a bit of time and a bit of consistency. Want the full list of ingredients for this magic potion?? Keep reading.

Get Back to Regular Routines ASAP

Regardless of whether it's nap time or bedtime, get back into your regular routines right away.

Routines help signal to the brain that sleep happens next. In fact, I like to have a bit of a longer routine the first day or two when trying to get my boys back on track; for example, when we arrived home around noon from holiday festivities, we immediately discussed the expectations in the van on the way home, and as soon as we pulled into the garage, by 3- and 5-year old knew exactly what was happening when we walked into the house.

"Use the bathroom, get your pull-up on, and meet me on the couch to read some books."

They know what happens next.

4 books and 30 minutes later, they crawled into bed and passed out within 5 minutes. They even welcomed their naps!

Normally our nap routine is 10 minutes long, but when it's time to get back on track we take it slow and give their bodies extra time to make that connection.

Follow your child's lead on this. Younger babies might not need as much time as toddlers and preschoolers.

Get Back on Schedule and Offer Early Bedtimes

The first day or two after festivities, travel, or illness, I always recommend offering an early bedtime. This is the easiest way to make up for any sleep debt that has accrued over the past few days.

Once your child is all caught up on their sleep, you can return to their regular schedule.

Circadian rhythm is strong and the better you can keep a schedule the better your child will get and stay on track with their sleep.

Revisit Your Sleep Training Strategies

Maybe your expectations changed while you were traveling or when your child was ill. Mine often do in these situations, too.

The beautiful thing, though, is that having regular routines and following regular schedules most of the time makes it easier when things get off track to get back on track when the time comes.

So, if needed, revert back to your sleep training strategy for a few days.

Give it time and consistency and before you know it, your little one will be sleeping like a champ again!

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