Parenting specialist Kirsty Ketley, known for debunking common parenting myths, has offered unconventional advice for parents struggling to get their children to sleep on Christmas Eve. Her suggestions include allowing kids to enjoy chocolate and fish fingers.
Kirsty, 42, from Surrey and a mother to Ella, 10, and Leo, 6, has recently voiced her opposition to the popular Elf on the Shelf tradition, labeling it as “creepy”. Her latest guidance focuses on creating a serene Christmas Eve night.
Indulging in Chocolate and Fish Fingers
Contrary to the usual avoidance of sugary and junk foods before bedtime, Kirsty proposes a different approach. She recommends allowing children to indulge in these treats.
Speaking to NeedToKnow.co.uk, she said, “Dark chocolate, often seen as a no-no on Christmas Eve, can actually promote sleep. Combine it with banana and oat muffins and a warm glass of milk for a sleep-friendly snack. Also, serving fish fingers, made with good quality, Omega 3-rich salmon, can be beneficial for sleep.”
Stockings Away from Bedrooms
Kirsty suggests keeping Christmas stockings out of children’s bedrooms to prevent excitement-induced sleeplessness.
She explained, “Placing stockings downstairs rather than at the foot of their beds can reduce anxiety and is easier for parents. This practice prevents unintentional wake-ups and ensures children aren’t waiting up for Santa.”
Adjusting the Sleep Schedule
In preparation for Christmas Eve, Kirsty advises altering children’s sleeping patterns.
“Start waking them up earlier a few days before Christmas Eve. This adjustment will make it easier for them to go to bed early on Christmas Eve and handle the excitement of Christmas Day,” she said.
Kirsty warns against too much relaxation on Christmas Eve, emphasizing the need for children to remain active.
“Participate in activities like Junior Park Run in the morning. Physical exercise and exposure to sunlight aid in better sleep. Additionally, complete any screen time at least an hour before bed and switch to reading Christmas-themed stories to help them relax,” she advised.
The Santa Sleep Ultimatum
Finally, Kirsty suggests leveraging the old belief that Santa won’t visit unless children are asleep.
She added, “While it may seem old-fashioned, reminding kids that Santa only comes to sleeping children can be effective. However, it’s important to gauge whether this might cause anxiety for your child.”