What are You Doing New Year’s? What About Your Kids?

Monday, December 31, 2018

With late night parties and champagne toasts at midnight, New Year’s Eve is definitely more of an adult holiday. But when are kids old enough to truly ring in the new year?

Pediatric sleep expert and professor of psychology Jodi Mindell, Ph.D., estimates that age is somewhere between seven and 10, depending on the child.

“Parents should know how well their child functions with a lack of sleep,” she says. “This should help parents decide if their child is ready to celebrate the holiday.”

Mindell offers the following tips:

  • Until at least 10 years, encouraging an afternoon nap before the festivities is a good idea.
  • Kids can switch into their pajamas and have their teeth brushed before the clock strikes midnight, making the transition to bed easier and avoiding further delays.
  • If school starts back on January 2, kids should sleep in on New Year’s Day — but not too much. Everyone should be awake by 9:30 a.m.

For children who are too young or too tired to make it to the big moment, Mindell suggests simulating the ball drop with a video on a streaming service like YouTube and making sure everyone starts the new year off with a good night’s sleep.

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