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Surviving the Spooky Sugar Rush: Bedtime Tips for Halloween

Child Dressed for HalloweenFor most kids, Halloween is one of their favorite days of the year. Handfuls of free candy, dressing up with their friends, telling scary stories…what could be more fun?

But for parents who have recently established a strict bedtime routine, a night of treats and excitement makes them dread the reactions of their little creatures when it’s time to say goodnight.

While it’s fine to let your kids go wild once in awhile, letting them ride that sugar wave until they crash won’t be fun for anyone in the end. It’s entirely possible to have a fun and exciting night without sacrificing the bedtime routine you’ve so carefully created. Here are some tips:

1. Plan Ahead
If your children usually go to bed at 7:30, you need to make sure you structure the evening around that goal. Have an early dinner, and make sure you feed them lots of healthy food before they go out. Have a specific time in mind to leave the house for trick-or-treating or a party, know how long you plan to stay and know your limit on how late you’re willing to extend bedtime. If you decide you could live with them going to bed at 8, that means you need to be back home with lots of time for the bedtime routine.

2. Reasonable Bedtime
It’s important that you don’t let bedtime go later than 30 minutes past their usual time, or their sleep debt will be too high the next day and it will take three to four days to catch up.

3. Set Candy Limits
Three treats on Halloween is usually enough for your child to feel like it’s a special night, but not so much that they’ll be wired on sugar. Letting your child gorge on candy the first night doesn’t do her any favors and will make bedtime much more difficult for everyone.

4. Stick to the bedtime routine
Don’t rush bedtime too much. It’s very difficult for children, especially if they are wound up from an exciting evening, to just jump right into bed and go to sleep.

A warm bath, a couple of stories and maybe a glass of warm milk will help the body and brain transition from day to night, and will help calm down your hyper child so sleep will come more easily.

And remember: the sooner your child goes to sleep, the sooner you can sneak a couple of chocolate bars from the trick-or-treat bag.

Oh, and if you’re reading this and saying to yourself “What’s a bedtime routine?” you’ll want to check out The Sleep Sense Program by clicking here.

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Dana’s Sleep Blog

Straight talk about sleep, parenting,
babies, toddlers, relationships… and
just about anything else!
My blog is a great place to find opinions, advice, the occasional rant, and some great videos about sleep.

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