Want to know a secret? I actually hate Halloween. Masks terrify me, I don't like being scared, and I definitely don't want to dress up and go to some Halloween party to eat candy corn out of pumpkin that looks like a dead guy with guts spilling out. Not. My. Thing.
But now that I have a toddler, Halloween has suddenly become cute and exciting again. Until I see a creepy kid in a mask. Then it's game over.
How to Trick-or-Treat without losing sleep
Prioritize naps. Make sure your little one gets the opportunity to take full naps the day of, in preparation to be out a little later that night. You can even let naps run a little later and longer than usual, pushing bedtime later.
Your 8 month old normally takes their last nap from 2-3:30pm. On Halloween, let that nap go until 4pm. Then do bedtime between 7:30-8pm leaving time for Halloween fun just before or after dinner.
Your 2 year old naps from 1-2:45 and bedtime is 7:30pm. If you know you'll be out later, let your little one sleep until 3/3:30 and push bedtime to 8/8:30pm.
Baby wear door to door. This works for little ones who are still able to fall asleep in a carrier. If you want to keep bedtime on time, but still want to trick-or-treat with your older kiddos and know you'll be out later, strap that baby into a comfy carrier right around bedtime and let them fall asleep while baby wearing. When you get home do a quick transfer into a fresh diaper, feed (if needed) and straight into their crib for bed.
Let them sleep. If your kiddo is more sensitive to schedule and routine, and you know that a later bedtime will result in a miserable night of wake ups for everyone, then I would do everything you can to still get them home and into bed on time.
Trick-or-Treat solo. Okay not solo, but it's definitely okay to leave your infant at home with grandma and take your toddlers or big kids out for Halloween festivities.
Eat dinner! Your kiddos are about to fill up on candy - make sure there's a nutritious dinner on board first so their little bodies aren't running solely on sugar right before bedtime.
Limit treats. Hah! I know. But truly, sugar and caffeine are major stimulants that impact sleep. Limit what treats you let your kiddos have before bedtime or
let them trade them out for a healthier version. Pay attention to anything with artificial coloring or dark chocolate, as both of these can cause disruptions in sleep. We love the YumEarth pops!
Most of all, enjoy your evening with your kiddos! And know that any bedtime disruptions are temporary. Focus on prioritizing sleep and getting back on track the following couple of days if you do stay out past bedtime.
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