The big day is almost here! Santa Claus is coming to town and the kids are overwhelmed with excitement.

Don't sway from your usual bedtime routine just because it's Christmas / Photo credit: Unsplash
Don't sway from your usual bedtime routine just because it's Christmas / Photo credit: Unsplash

As sweet treats become the norm and their loveable laughs filter the air – it’s without a doubt feeling like Christmas.

But amongst all the joy, you’re a little apprehensive about Christmas eve night, more specifically: bedtime.

Parenting expert for ‘Munchkin’ - Sophie Pickles - shares her top tips on how to ensure a calm, stress-free bedtime this Christmas Eve.

Stick to your usual bedtime routine

It’s tempting for this to be the one night where you allow your children to stay up later and enjoy ‘the night before’.  In fact, it’s more important than ever to stick to your usual routine if you want a quiet(ish) night and a calm Christmas Day. Stick to your usual pre-bedtime routine, whether it’s a story or a warm bubble bath, before popping on their night light to get them in the mood for a good night’s sleep. The same goes for nap times on Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day too - stick to their usual timings for much happier children and grown-ups. Keeping toddlers or young children awake can cause over-tiredness which will lead to a more fraught bedtime for all involved. 

Don’t threaten a no-show 

Threatening that the big man won’t come might seem like a good idea at the time but it can often create chaos and unnecessary upset. Ultimately, it’s not something that you can really follow through on - or would want to - if your child doesn’t do as you ask. If your little one is finding the day to be a challenge, remember that this is a time of huge upheaval for them and they may be feeling displaced and a little uneasy underneath all that hyperactive excitement. Try to stay calm and confident, and acknowledge your child’s feelings instead: “It’s so exciting that Santa is coming tomorrow. I understand. It’s ok to be excited but it’s not ok to (throw toys, push your brother etc). Let’s go outside to run around for a while instead.

Keep the stockings out of the bedroom 

We all know how important an interrupted night of sleep is, especially with the early wake on Christmas Day. Keeping stockings out of the bedroom will ensure that children are left to a peaceful slumber and won’t be disturbed by rustling as you try to creep in quietly. What’s more, the thought of a stranger coming into their bedroom in the middle of the night might actually be a little frightening for younger children. You can explain to your child that stockings will be filled downstairs and any presents will be left in the living room, or perhaps on the landing.  Knowing that Father Christmas won’t be coming into their personal environment will allow them to feel safe and secure - all conducive to a good night’s sleep. 

Tailor your Christmas Eve box and time it well 

Many parents are now giving Christmas Eve boxes to their children to start the festivities off with a bang.  To ensure a calm and relaxed Christmas Eve afternoon, consider the contents of these boxes carefully, making sure that they are tailored around creating a peaceful but exciting atmosphere. If you want to include chocolate and sweet treats, consider opening the Christmas Eve box together in the morning, rather than saving it for just before bedtime.  To create the ultimate calming box, think cosy pyjamas, festive slippers and a festive story that you can snuggle up and share together by the light of the Christmas tree.

Plan Your Day Well

It’s worth thinking about your family activities and when to do them. Keep any high octane escapades for earlier in the day and settle into a calm atmosphere as afternoon hits. Christmas films are often on the agenda too, so plan these in for the afternoon and save the evening for enjoying relaxing activities like reading Christmas books, building puzzles, or doing some mindful colouring. 

Get Some Fresh Air 

Wrapping up warm and getting the children outside for a wintery walk and some fresh air should be high on any parent’s list for Christmas Eve.  Exploring nature provides endless opportunities for creative learning, plus helping youngsters to burn off some physical energy throughout the day can really work wonders when it comes to bedtime. “


To view the full selection of Munchkin products, visit:

by for