Image of child sleeping with Christmas hat on

Christmas Eve is an incredibly exciting time, which can make it difficult for kids to settle down and go to sleep.

However, it’s also the time when parents are trying to finish off their present wrapping and waiting for kids to nod off so they can sneak in with their stocking. Make sure they get to bed on time with these top tips:

1. Limit their sugar intake before bed. As tempting as it is to smash open the selection boxes early, keep your eyes on the prize (bedtime) and save the treats for Christmas day.

2. You might love to snuggle up with the kids and watch a festive film on Christmas Eve, but make sure you turn the telly off at least an hour before bed. No computer games or Internet either! Blue light from TV and devices confuses the body’s natural sleep pattern and makes it harder to fall asleep.

3. Start bedtime a little earlier than usual. It’s always better to get little ones down before they become overtired, hyperactive and difficult to settle. If your kids can tell the time, you could even turn the clocks back half an hour…

4. Try to keep their bedtime the same as every other night. So, if your little one has a bath and a book before bed, do the same on Christmas Eve. Don’t be tempted to do something a little special, otherwise the change in routine might well mean they won’t feel ready for bed when the time comes. Consistency is key. Even on Christmas Eve.

5. Do something active earlier in the day so they are physically tired by the time bedtime comes around. If you can get them some fresh air at the same time, all the better. This could be a great time to try out an outdoor ice rink, or just burn off some energy in your local park.

6. Give them warnings about when bedtime is going to happen, e.g. with 30 min, 20 min and 10 min reminders. That way, they know what’s coming and shouldn’t resist quite so much (that’s the theory anyway)!

7. Try to persuade them that bedtime is an important part of the Christmas process. You might get them new pyjamas, ask them to help you set out a mince pie & carrot and let them have a last look at your Santa tracking app before sending them scurrying up the stairs to bed to make sure they’re asleep before the big man arrives.

8. If you let them have one of their presents on Christmas Eve, try including a letter from Santa, telling them to make sure they’re asleep in bed so he can come in with the rest of their gifts.

9. Lie your ass off. Little kids don’t know which day Christmas is, so you don’t have to tell them in advance!

10. If all else fails, you can always resort to good old-fashioned threats. Tell them that Father Christmas only comes when children are tucked up in their beds. That’s what our parents told us, and it always did the trick!

Good luck and have a great Christmas!

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