Guest Blogger and Qualified Sleep Expert Cara McDermott of Sleepies.ie gives us some advice and her top sleep tips, for parents who may be anxious of upsetting sleep reoutines by ging on holidays.
Going on holidays with the kids is great fun but if they are not sleeping well or you are afraid their sleep routine will be affected it can be stressful, especially if it is your first family holiday. Whether sharing a room or a bed or just having to get up to your little ones, following the tips below will help you all get a better night sleep away from home;
- If possible try to organise travelling around the times your child needs a nap. For example if you are driving at some point during a day, try and do this around your child’s nap times.
- If you are travelling for a few days only and across time zones it is a good idea to ignore the clock change for your child especially if it is only 1 or 2 hours. That way when you come home there is no need to change the time back.
- If the time change is significant, change the time as soon as you arrive to the new location. Also get your child up at the new time rather than letting them sleep. That way their sleep clock will adapt faster.
- If you are staying in a hotel or rented accommodation, be sure to order a cot in advance if you need one as there may be high demand in the busy season.
- Keep the bedtime routine as similar as possible as at home. A bath is usually something that is available in most places and can calm and prepare for night time sleep. Also try to bring some bedding (grobag, blanket) from home to help make the surroundings a little more familiar.
- If your child needs to nap and they are not used to their new environment, lie down with them to ensure they get a good nap during the day.
- To get your child used to their new environment, try some playing in the bed/cot/bedroom and around the new surroundings to allow them to become comfortable with their new space.
- If you are staying in a hotel and your little one wants to sleep with you try and settle them first in their own bed or if they are still in a cot bring the cot closer to the bed so they are not afraid. If they insist on sleeping with you they may be anxious in a different environment so until they become comfortable in that room allow them to be close to you. Also if it is only for a few days it will be easy to transition them back to their own place of sleep when they return home.
- Waking during the night or at the crack of dawn usually signifies overtiredness so don’t push them to their limits over the holidays – watch out for sleepy signs and get them to bed when they need to.