Taking your kids along for vacation calls for a lot of consideration. But the one thing many parents worry about is their child’s sleep schedule. Will traveling with your child disturb their sleep routine? And we all know that a tired child is a cranky and tantrum-prone one. Your little ball of fun and energy could easily become a monster with lack of sleep. And with a different time zone, travel, and new bed, sleep may not come easy when they are away from home. So, how do you travel with your child without it affecting their sleep schedule? Well, you have come to the right place because there are ways your child can adapt to a new routine when traveling.
Give An Overview
If this is the first time your child is traveling, chances are they will have no idea what to expect. Waiting in line, sitting idle, and staying in a strange place can be anxiety-inducing for a kid. So have the travel talk and explain the good and bad parts of traveling. Sleeping in small places, waiting in queues, and eating food from outside are some things kids may not love. Let them know the fun parts as well such as watching movies in planes, meeting new people, and seeing new places.
It’s Okay To Break Routine
Let’s face it, you are on vacation. And while on vacation, it’s okay to break a few rules. Routine is good, but certain special occasions definitely deserve a break from the routine. So, don’t worry if your child didn’t get their afternoon nap. Just make sure they go to bed a little early that night. Or if your child had his/her afternoon nap, it is okay to let them sleep a little late if they want to see the fireworks at Disney World.
Carry The Nap Time Necessities
Does your child have a favorite pillow or a stuffed toy when he/she sleeps? Does your child have a night light in his/her bedroom? If your kid is scared to sleep in the dark, imagine how it would be in an unfamiliar place which turns pitch black when they sleep. Yup, disaster! It’s a good idea to pack a nightlight or a glow bulb to take with you just in case. You can also carry noise-canceling headphones, earplugs, and neck pillows for a sound sleep when on the road.
Though it’s okay to take a break from routine, make sure you are not breaking too many rules. For example, it’s okay to stay up late for special occasions, but giving them cellphones or tablets to play with when it’s close to bedtime is a big NO. This can interfere with their sleep and make the transition to the routine harder when you get back home.
Create A Safe Sleeping Space
If the hotel room doesn’t seem comfortable to your child for sleeping, make the necessary rearrangements. Whether it is rearranging the bed against the wall or replacing the heavy bedding, most hotel staffs will be accommodating of your needs. So it is best to ask for their help before you start rearranging the furniture. With some changes, your child may be able to feel safe while sleeping.
Squeeze In Some Play Time
Kids have a different idea of fun than us. So be prepared if they aren’t enjoying the dinners in fancy restaurants or not liking the experience of eating local cuisines and visiting tourist places. Squeeze in some playtime for them so they don’t end up being cranky. You can take them to a park or a zoo which they might enjoy as well.
Though you have to be flexible while you are traveling, make sure to stick to the routine as much as you can. This can make transitioning back to the old sleep schedule a breeze. Just follow our tips and we’re sure you will end up having the best trip with your kids.