How To Maintain Sleep Schedules When Traveling
I'm sure I'm not the only one who is traveling for the holidays, and will be shuffling around their little fam to fit somewhere other than their own beds. There's lots of extra candy from grandparents, cousins running around everywhere, and it's no wonder it's hard for our littles to get sleep when they're in closer quarters and a different room.
Well if you're going to be staying somewhere other than home for the holidays, and you'd like to get some sleep while you're on vacation, what do you do to help your fam settle in? And how do you maintain sleep schedules while you're traveling?
I'm no expert, but I did put together a few things to help a few mamas out with their holiday travels and their littles' sleep schedules:
Bring a Piece of Home
One thing that absolutely helps my kids is having something that they sleep with at home with them when they travel. That is normally a blanket, a plush toy, or even their sheets to put on a portable crib or bed. You could also bring the same nightlight that they are used to at home, so that you won't have to worry about leaving bright lights in the room on, or keeping the door open which would lead to keeping them up for longer.
Keep Timing Consistent
If your normal sleep schedule at home includes brushing teeth, reading a book, saying a prayer, and getting tucked in with kisses by 8:30 p.m., then guess what? You do that when traveling too! If you want the littles in bed around the same time, I recommend putting them down when they're used to it, regardless of a time change (but if you're going around the world, then completely disregard this). I've also found that it helps my babes to fall asleep when we spend the last few minutes before bed just as our little fam and away from the hustle and bustle of Gammy and Grandad or aunts and uncles. That way they are a little more calmed down, and less excited by all the "fun" happening all around them.
Keep Play and Sleep Spaces Separate
This one will change depending on where you're staying, the size of the space, and how big your crew is, but I think it helps our littles to sleep when we keep their toys and the playtime in a separate place than their sleeping space. If you're staying in the guest room of your parent's house, then I would keep all the toys downstairs in the family room, so there's no mix up about what happens once we go to the guest room. That also helps other family members know that once your kids (or you!) go to the guest room, it means that they are going there for quiet/sleep/nap time.
The fact is there is going to be a little bit of an adjustment period for your littles because falling asleep in a new place without their normal things or in their normal spaces or surrounded by different people is hard. So being patient with them, expecting an occasional wake up, or maybe allowing your little to go to bed with a sippy cup when you wouldn't normally let that slide, or maybe letting your littles fall asleep to the TV in your room. You can decide what being patient means to you, but giving your littles a little bit of slack, while doing your best to make their sleeping situation as close to their norm as possible will go a long way in making sure you all get more shut eye while you're traveling!