How to Get the Kids Back on Track After the Christmas Break

Busy family getting ready for school

The festivities are over, you've welcomed in the New Year, and now it's back to reality. The joys! For those of you with little ones, we know that this probably marks the end of two weeks full of a lot of chocolate, a lot of sweets, and NOT a lot of early nights.

You might be cursing the late nights you admitted defeat in getting them to bed before midnight, but we've got the tips and tricks you need to jump-start the New Year and get your family routine back on track. Here are four simple ways that you can get your little ones back on schedule!

Take Time To Officially End The Festive Season

It's quite common for children, especially the little ones, to have a difficult time letting go of the fun-filled festive period. If you find that your household is still in mourning for the ghost of current Christmas becoming past, organise a fun task for your child to put together a box of memories for the period.

It doesn't have to be anything fancy, it can just be a shoe box with some heartfelt keepsakes and photos to remember the fun that you've had as a family over the Christmas break. Make it a fun activity for your little one, and make sure they know that this way, they can look back in the box whenever they feel like they want to remember the fun times you had as a family this Christmas.

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Bring Back The Strict Bedtime Routine

We all know how it is, you go into the break with the best intentions to keep up the bedtime rules, and they're normally out of the window by the second day of the holidays. Anyway, if they go to bed later you should get a lie in the next day, right? If only that worked out...

Now that the New Years' celebrations, parties, and family get-togethers are over and done with, it's time to get back on track with a strict bedtime routine. Let your little one know well in advance what time you'll be getting ready for bed for the night, and make sure to have a nice and early dinner so you're not rushing.

When it comes to the actual routine, keep it simple, and keep the entire process down to around half an hour. Building this consistency as soon as possible and making it a habit for the new year will provide your child with a sense of security where they know what's coming every night.

Let Them Have Feelings

There's a good chance that many of your little ones will have a somewhat adverse reaction to the reinforcement of strict rules and schedules after two weeks of freedom. It might be easy to dismiss how they feel and tell them to 'get over it', but why should we expect our kids not to have feelings when we ourselves dread the January return to work?

Recognise your child's feelings, give them time and space to express them, and let them know that you sympathize with how they feel. Going back to school and nursery is tough, and so is going back to work. Allowing them to get it out of their system the night before could well prevent a full blown meltdown while you're trying to get them ready in the first morning routine of school or nursery.

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We know that it can be tempting to put everything off until the night before the first day back, but this can be a recipe for disaster. Try to pre-warn your child at least five days before they're back at school or nursery, and get started on reinforcing the routine.

Kids need time to adjust to a new sleeping schedule, and it's always a good idea to gradually get them back on track in the days leading up to it, in order to avoid a Sunday night of chaos before the first day of term.

At Your Baby Club we know that it's no small feat getting the whole family back on track after a fortnight of fun, excitement, and no rules! Remember to be firm with your little ones, and be prepared for it to take some time to nail the New Year routine down.

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