The holiday season is a wonderful opportunity to see family and friends you don’t typically get to visit throughout much of the rest of the year. This sends families on car trips, train trips, on busses and to airports across the country. After all the excitement of the trip and seeing the people you’ve been missing, it would be easy to assume that your little ones will fall asleep very quickly at night…until reality kicks in.
That said, when you’re away from home and you’ve tucked your little one into a different bed, it’s incredible how determined that little rascal can be to keep those tired eyes open! Trying to get your child to settle at night when you’re away from home can suddenly become more daunting than you’d expected.
We’re here for you! After going through this many times with our own children, the Little Sleepy Head team has come up with a list of tried-and-true tips and techniques to keep those excited travelers on as close to a normal sleep schedule as possible
Bring your child’s pillow and pillowcase from home – The familiar fill, fabric and even smell of your kid’s own pillow and pillowcase can help your little one settle down more easily at night. Most of us struggle to sleep in a strange bed, but the pillow your child is used to can make things feel more “normal” at night no matter where they are. When your kid uses a toddler pillow and pillowcase, it’s not difficult to toss it into a carry-on, backpack or tote as it’s not nearly as large as a standard pillow.
Never forget your child’s lovey at home – For similar reasons that a pillow can be comforting to your child, so can his or her lovey. That favorite toy is a friend that provides comfort to many different senses and should be considered as important as your passports and cell phone. Many kids hold their loveys in special ways when they’re falling asleep. Ensuring these toys or blankets are present makes sure kids don’t need to try to come up with a new sleep position when they’re already sleeping in an unfamiliar place.
Stick to regular bedtimes – When you’re away from home, it’s tempting to throw all schedules out the window. After all, you’re on vacation! However, this can throw off your child’s internal sleeping and waking clock. It will only make it harder for him or her to fall asleep at night and can set them up for meltdowns the next day due to exhaustion. It’s better to maintain a bedtime and waking time just as you would at home, to keep your little one’s clock on time.
Lean on aromatherapy – A little spritz from a lavender linen spray can help to create a calming bedtime environment. If you’re already using this scent at home, that’s even better as it will feel very familiar to your little one, especially when he or she closes his or her eyes. Lavender has been used as calming aromatherapy for centuries.
When it all comes down to it, the key to easing your little one to sleep at night no matter where they are is to create a soothing, comfortable and familiar environment. Enjoy a calming bedtime routine, keep the lights dim, leave devices with screens out of the bedroom and try to encourage restfulness as much as you can. Even if that first night is a bit rough, don’t give up on the next one!