Halloween is just around the corner. The costumes should be scary, but not bedtime. Here are some simple and practical solutions for your family.
3 Years and Younger:
If you have young children and are a stay at home parent, think about a breakfast Halloween party instead. Babies and toddlers are at their finest in the mornings and you will be able to capture some awesome photographs when they are alert and their happiest.
When my children were younger, I loved entertaining guests in the morning for the following reasons:
- I could clean the house the night before which is so much faster and easier with no little people wanting to help me
- I could prepare the meal the night before
- In the morning, people would arrive to the sounds of happy children laughing & playing and the aroma of fresh coffee, bacon and my make ahead breakfast in the oven.
On Halloween, take them around your local neighborhood early in the evening, as there is nothing cuter than seeing a one year old in their little puppy outfit. Be back home in time for their bedtime routine as they won’t remember this experience as an adult. When a baby or toddler gets overtired, they have a harder time falling asleep, staying asleep through the night and waking up at their regular time the next day. They wake up EARLIER and it is no fun dealing with an overtired baby or toddler the next day.
3 Years to 10 Years Old:
Make mealtime stress free by doing a crock-pot dinner that day. You could even get out the paper plates and glasses so there is minimal cleaning up to do. Prepare some fun Halloween Fruit and Vegetable trays so that you, your kids & guests can snack on something healthy.
Plan your outing based on when you want to get home by. If your children normally go to bed at 7:30 pm, then head out by 6:00 pm so that you have lots of time. Yes, it’s OK to keep them up a bit but you don’t want them going to bed more than an hour later than they normally do. Why? Sleep debt is hard for a child – you will see it in their mood, behavior, coping skills and learning abilities the next day. They simply don’t sleep in – their bodies still wake up at the same time the next day with less sleep. Chances are … if they do sleep in… you can’t let them as you have to get to work and they have to get to daycare or school.
When you get home, DON’T RUSH your children to bed. Even though your mind might be racing … oh no … Pam said not more than an hour … TAKE YOUR TIME! Children still need some transition time from the thrill of Halloween, collecting their goodies and getting ready for bed. Please still do your full loving bedtime routines. I find that when I become the “drill sergeant” … yes … it can happen to the best of us…. And try to rush my own “two test subjects”, now 4 and 6 years old, they PUSH back and start to resist bedtime.
Is it okay to eat candy before bed?
Sure, they can have a few treats before you start the bedtime routine. For those children with strong sleep skills, some sugar before bed will not impact their sleep. For those children with dye sensitivities, avoid the colored candy as it will impact their sleep.
Got too much candy and don’t know what to do with it all?
Try the SWITCH WITCH! The next day let your children keep a reasonable amount of candy, and then leave the rest out overnight for the Switch Witch. She will take the candy and leave a toy in it’s place.
Happy Halloween! Please share your photos, stories, feedback and suggestions!