I’m not going to lie. Getting your children to sleep in a completely different place than their own beds can be difficult. Add in a different state, and the situation can be even worse. Add a time change as well, and you’re toast. Especially if you’re on vacation, and your children don’t have a place, or the time, to take a good nap, then not only are you exhausted, but they are probably even more exhausted, possibly making bedtime painful.Currently, I’m in Texas. My daughters usually take a two-hour nap every day, and go to bed at the same time each night. Being two hours ahead, I’m not really sure how to decide what “time” bedtime should be. Do I put them to bed Washington time, or Texas time? Do I choose something in the middle? What happens when I get home? Has my vacation made them think they should wake up two hours earlier than normal? There are way too many legitimate answers for these questions that it’s really hard to choose what works best. Because, really, by the time you decide what to do, the vacation is over and you’re heading back home. So for now, I’ll give you some of my tricks.
Practice in a pack-n-playIf your child still sleeps in a crib, getting them used to a pack-n-play will be well worth it. This does not mean have your child take every nap in a pack-n-play but every once in a while, have them sleep in one. Then, when it’s time for vacation, you’ll probably be a in a place where you’ll need to use a pack-n-play and it won’t scare them so much.
Go with the flowSticking to your schedule is going to be hard, and if you can do it, by all means, stay as close to it as you can. However, let it go if you need to, and don’t stress too much. I get SUPER stressed when I can’t get my babies the sleep they need…like extremely, extremely stressed out. BUT, it’s way easier to let it slide if you need it to. Try to let them get the sleep they need so they aren’t cranky, but let the naps happen in the car, make them shorter if need be, or miss them altogether if it’s really the only option. Staying on schedule can make your vacation go more smoothly, but it’s also not the end of the world if you have to adjust some.
Try not to stressIt is so easy to freak out because the kids are cranky, nobody is sleeping well, and you’re all probably exhausted from any festivities you have been doing. Losing your cool is pretty easy, so try to stay levelheaded. Remember that your children are probably feeling out of place too and are missing home, so try to love them a little more, and be a little easy on them.
Enjoy your plansWhether you’re on vacation, or just at grandma’s for the weekend, ENJOY it. Even if your schedule is completely messed up, and your kids are cranky as ever, try to find the fun.
You’ve got this mama. Raising those littles is hard work, and you’re doing a fantastic job whether it feels like it or not. You rock.
*Sleep is essential. We need sleep to function, to take care of our children, to keep up on every single task life throws at us, to keep our sanity. Are you getting your eight hours or do you have a baby who is keeping you up? Let’s remedy that! In the “Rested Mamas are Happy Mamas” series of our blog, sleep expert Jackie calms all of your sleep woes. Have a question or problem that needs fixing? Comment on the series, and a blog will be published just for you!*