5 Sleep Tips When Traveling With Kids
Taking your kids along on an adventure is a great way to cultivate a love for travel in them that lasts for a lifetime. While you can just bet that you’ll be making tons of family memories, you may also be worried about how to make sure that your kids get enough rest so that they aren’t cranky. Whether you’ve had a rough vacation filled with sleepless nights in the past or this is your first family adventure, these tips will have your entire family enjoying quality sleep.
Start Off With a Full Night of Sleep
In the days leading up to your trip, you may be busy packing and making plans. However, you want to avoid letting this lead to getting off schedule before you even leave. As any parent of a newborn can attest, kids will often fight sleep the more tired that they get. Make sure to begin your trip with your kids getting a full amount of sleep each night plus their regular naps during the day. Starting out with a full tank of sleep helps your kids make it through if they do miss a nap on the first day out.
Plan Your Itinerary With Bedtimes In Mind
You might have heard other parents claim that traveling while their kids slept was the best thing ever. However, you need to be aware that this can sometimes backfire. Your kid may be too excited to start their trip to sleep. Many kids are to wrapped up in checking out the airplane’s features or staring out the window of the car to fall asleep. If this happens to you, then you can end up dealing with some serious sleep deprivation. If possible, try to make sure that your travel plans are made to fit the times when your kids are awake. It’s way easier to keep them happy with toys and activities when they aren’t up past their bedtime.
Remember to Plan for Naps
Your travel itinerary should also include some space for your kids to take naps. Even older kids benefit from having a quiet hour midday where they can relax and let go of any stress that they feel from traveling. While an occasional missed nap is probably just fine, trying to squeeze one in when you can makes it easier for little ones to keep up with a busy schedule.
Make Sure Everyone Has a Bed
Don’t be tempted to skimp on a hotel room by having everyone pile into one big bed. Parents also tend to find that even having siblings share a bed can get hairy unless it is a really big one. Call the hotel room beforehand to make sure that there is a crib if you need one. You may also wan to ask what type of mattresses they have in the rooms. Try to match the hotel room mattress with the mattress firmness you have at home.
If you are staying with family, then opt for an air bed over a couch. Giving everyone a place to sleep makes it more likely that your kids will stay asleep throughout the night.
Stick to the Normal Bedtime Routine
There may be times when you are an hour or two off getting your kids to bed. However, you can use their bedtime routine to send signals that it is time to relax. Bring your kid’s favorite toothbrush and pajamas along for the trip. If they have a favorite song, then sing it. They’ll fall asleep faster when things feel familiar.
A little careful planning goes a long way toward helping everyone in your family get enough rest to enjoy the trip. As a final note, remember to pack a few comfort items. Your child’s white noise machine or stuffed animal is worth the extra space it takes up. Keeping things as normal as possible is the key to giving everyone plenty of sleep.