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How to survive a late night out with your baby or toddler


Are you heading out in the evenings over the holiday season and summer and unsure of how to tackle sleep? This blog post is for you! It can feel overwhelming knowing how to tackle sleep outside of your usual routine and sometimes no matter how much we plan, things don’t always work out! That’s ok… this season is for making memories and you can always get back on track the following day.


For some little ones with a more sensitive temperament you know playing around with nap timings just ain’t gonna work for them! In this case, I’d recommend keeping to your usual daily routines but taking a travel cot or the pram out with you. Replicate your usual bedtime routine patterns the best you can! When you leave to go home you can aim to transfer them back into the carseat and then into the cot. If they wake up, roll with it and keep everything low key, avoid overstimulation and try popping them down in their cot again. If you need them to have a later bedtime when out and about, try the following tips:


If your baby currently takes multiple naps a day, here are some options:

  • If you usually wake your baby up to start the day then you could wake them 30 minutes later than you usually would so their entire day is pushed out a little later

  • If you have a solid little napper, you could allow them to sleep later and longer for their last nap of the day so that you can head out and achieve a slightly later bedtime that night.

  • You could try to slip in an extra nap late afternoon or early evening. This will allow for a later bedtime.


If your baby is on a two-nap routine, here are some options;

  • Same as above - If you usually wake your baby up to start the day then you could wake them 30 minutes later than you usually would so their entire day is pushed out a little later

  • You could allow them to sleep later and longer for their last nap of the day so that you can head out and achieve a slightly later bedtime that night.

  • You can try to slip in a micro nap in the late afternoon. This will help them achieve a later bedtime that night as they’ll have an extra nap under their belt.


If your toddler is on one nap:

  • Push out their awake windows during the day and allow them to take a later nap that day. It may involve a bit more activity and jollying them along on your part! Even 30-60 minutes later nap time than you usually would, can help them cope with a later bedtime without being too overtired.


If your toddler or pre-schooler doesn’t nap anymore:

  • Encourage them to have an afternoon rest or quiet time period. We still do this as a family even though my kids are older! When they were toddlers, we’d lay down and have some snuggles and try to enforce a small nap. This can help top up their tank prior to busy evenings ahead. Now our kids are older, if we know it's going to be a really late night, we’ll pop on a movie and let them zone out later in the afternoon so they will recharge come evening time!

If you need some help with a daily routine, check out my Ultimate Guide of Sleep Routines, which covers Newborn to 3 years of age, and every stage in between!


Here are some more tips:

  • Be prepared! Go equipped with pjs, their familiar bedding and a place to sleep, be it the pram or portacot

  • Try to allow for more daytime sleep if you know it's going to be a busy long night

  • If they are going to be put down at bedtime in a new environment, do a mini version of your usual bedtime routine. This is also helpful if the transfer from the carseat to their cot back home didn’t go as planned! Try to do a 10-minute abbreviated bedtime routine and get them down asap.

  • Have a quieter day following a big day/night out. Allow them to have good naps in their usual sleep environment. Hit the ‘reset’ button after a big night out!


I adopt the 80/20 rule, especially at this time of the year! 80% of the time try to adhere to their usual sleep routine but 20% of the time life happens! Roll with the punches, get out, and create those precious memories with your kids and you can always get back on track the following day or week!


If you need help with your little one's sleep - reach out today and we can have your little one just loving sleep in no time.


For help with early wakeups check out the Ultimate Guide to Early Wakeups and kiss goodbye to those pesky early mornings!


Or book a Phone Consult (with a week of personal support), or an Express Phone Consult, to get back to just loving sleep again...





















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