Ask Dr. Dina: How can I keep my sleep-trained baby on track during the holidays?

Disrupted sleep schedules can make the holiday season even crazier. Dr. Dina Kulik offers health tips to help control the chaos.

Photo: iStockphoto Photo: iStockphoto

We just sleep trained our five-month-old. How can we keep things on track when we stay with family over the holidays?

I find it really helps to establish a routine at home so that you can be a bit flexible on special occasionsBedtime can often be shifted an hour or so without too much of a negative impact.

If you anticipate being out later, consider bringing along a travel crib so that you can put your baby down, and stay up yourself. Pick a quiet room away from the noise of the party. As much as possible, keep to the nap routine that you follow at home. If the nap is disturbed, you’ll have an overtired baby, which will make for a far more difficult bedtime.

Familiarity and consistency make for good sleep. Try to follow the same bedtime routine and emulate the home sleep environment—the same blankets, stuffies, favourite books and PJs. All this will provide comfort in a new location. You may need to add in some extra quiet time before bed to help your little one wind down after a stimulating day.

An extra story or song (or two) can do the trick.

Dina Kulik is a paediatrician and emergency room doctor in Toronto and mom to three boys, who are five, three and 17 months. Send her your kids’ health questions at


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