With the upcoming holiday season fast approaching, you may be wondering how to keep all of the fun and festivities from totally derailing your little one’s sleep schedule. Traveling to visit loved ones can be especially challenging when trying to keep your child’s sleep routine on tack. In general, the better a child sleeps at home, the more likely he will sleep well when you travel. Even if things get our of kilter during your travels, he will probably return to good patterns once you return home. Here are a few tips to help you have a joyous…and restful holiday season away from home.
- Before you travel, be sure you have established a consistent nap and bedtime routine. Try to do things exactly the same way while you are away as you do at home. This consistency will be comforting to your child, especially in an unfamiliar setting.
- Try creating a similar sleep environment for your child while you are away. There’s no such thing as packing lightly when you have children, so why not pack that favorite lovey, a few books, a night light and a white noise machine. Bringing your child’s sheets from his crib/bed can be comforting in that it will have a familiar feel and smell.
- If you will be staying in a hotel, find out ahead of time if the hotel has a crib, Pack and Play, or rollaway bed (for older children) you can use. Bringing a portable bed rail can help keep toddlers and preschoolers from falling out of a bed big or you can simply put the mattress on the floor. Again, bringing familiar sheets and blankets from home are a good idea.
- Try having your child sleep in the same place for naps and nights. This may be a bit tricky if you are out and about during the day. However, a nap in the car or stroller is better than no nap at all.
- Be mindful of your child’s need for sleep. While it is tempting to not want to miss out on any fun with family and friends, everyone will enjoy being together more if your child is happy and well rested.
- If you are traveling across time zones, switch to the new time the next full day after your arrival. You may have to adjust your child’s schedule a bit for a day or so.
The holidays are wonderful times to enjoy being together with family and friends. Disruptions in your child’s sleep schedule are often unavoidable during this time of year. Try to stick to your child’s schedule as much as possible, without having to sacrifice on all the fun. Once you return home, make getting back to your child’s normal sleep routine a top priority. After all the hustle and bustle, everyone in your family will more than likely need a little more rest.
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