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Keep Sleep Sweet This Halloween

Halloween, with its enchanting costumes, sweet treats, and festive decorations, brings a magical atmosphere for children. Yet, the excitement of the season can sometimes cast a spell on a child’s regular sleep routine, leading to overtiredness and restlessness. Fear not! Here are some practical tips to ensure your family’s sleep stays on track during this spooktacular season.

Preparation is key

Start by preparing your little one ahead of Halloween. Discuss with them the sights, sounds, and smells they are likely to experience while trick-or-treating. Most children are usually asleep when it’s dark outside and may not have had much exposure to the nighttime environment, which can make Halloween a sensory overload. The more you prepare your child for what to expect, the less overwhelmed they will be.

Consider incorporating a fun Halloween-themed bedtime story into your nightly routine in the week leading up to the big night. This not only adds to the excitement but also subtly reinforces the idea of bedtime even during exciting times.

The trick-0r-treat action plan

To minimize disruption to your child’s sleep schedule, finish trick-or-treating at least an hour before you plan to start your bedtime routine.

💡 If your children differ in age, consider tag-teaming with another adult. This way, if the younger child becomes overwhelmed, one parent can take them home while the older children continue trick-or-treating. 💡

Keep Close Watch

Since Halloween involves people in costumes and a lot of activity, your child might feel wary or overstimulated. Keep a close watch on them and pay attention to their behavior. If your child seems overstimulated, it might be time to head home.

Enhance their comfort by allowing them to choose a familiar or favorite costume, reducing the chances of feeling overwhelmed. Carrying a small comfort item, like a favorite toy, can also provide a sense of security during the festivities.

What should we do after trick-or-treating?

Once home, transform the post-trick-or-treating experience into a calm and enjoyable activity. Encourage your child to sort out their Halloween loot, discussing the different colors and wrappers. This not only makes it an educational experience but also helps them wind down from the excitement.

How to navigate bedtimes at Halloween

Before bedtime, consider putting tape over the doorbell to minimize disruptions from late-night trick-or-treaters. Alternatively, you could leave a bowl of candy on the doorstep with a note requesting visitors to take one and refrain from ringing the doorbell.

You might want to allow your child to have a piece of their Halloween candy before bed. To offset the potential sugar spike, pair the candy with a glass of milk or another source of protein. And, of course, don’t forget to brush their teeth!

What about in the days after Halloween?

After such an eventful evening, some wake-ups during the night might be inevitable due to potential overtiredness and overstimulation.

Remember, disruptions to sleep routines during special occasions like Halloween are common and to be expected. The key is to go back to your regular sleep schedule the next day. If you need additional support, Batelle can help navigate these small bumps along the road.

Halloween can be a fun and enjoyable time for your entire family. By setting boundaries, preparing your children, and having a plan, you can ensure that the celebrations don’t drastically disrupt your family’s sleep. Happy Halloween!

This article was written by Batelle – team of sleep experts, lactation consultants, therapists, doulas, and early education specialists. Special thanks to Deanna.  

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