10 Traveling Sleeping Tips for Tots in Tow
(and their parents)
Our relationship with sleep is as complicated as some of its idioms we use to describe this covetous pastime: Catching some zzzz’s, grabbing a little shut-eye, siesta time, crashing out, out like a light, hitting the sack/hay, catch 40 winks, a cat nap, zonked out, etc. I think it is obvious our obsession with sleep runs deep. I have yet to meet a parent that isn’t sleep deprived or doesn’t longing talk about to the time before their precious dreaming state was interrupted.
When the Sandman is no where in sight, what do you do? Especially when you are away from home or suffering from a killer case of family jet lag. Being a seasoned traveler with a tot in tow, I have come up with a few tricks for kid’s bedtime that will keep you sane on your family vacation.
#1 Try to book a suite, connecting room, or rent a home/condo for your vacation. More space, various bedrooms and closing doors are crucial for night-night time.
#2 If staying in a single room is the only option, bring a book light and headphones (with a splitter) for post-bedtime moments (reading a book, watching a movie, or listening to music).
#3 Keep your sanity and arrange for a room with a balcony or patio to avoid nap-time or bedtime cabin fever (even a large window with an unobstructed view can help).
#4 Recreate at-home nap or bedtime rituals while away. Make your new digs feel familiar with your kiddos favorite bedtime stories, sleeping music, beloved ‘stuffies’ and/or special blanket.
#5 At bedtime, talk about the day’s traveling adventures and your family’s plans for tomorrow. Remind your little ones that they will need their rest to have the energy for the next day’s adventure.
#6 If you are jet lagged, go to sleep with your little ones. Catch those zzzz’s when you can, especially since they will most likely wake with devilish energy.
#7 Use the Do Not Disturb sign! The worst is when your tiny traveler is awakened by the doorbell or knocking of housekeeping or mini-bar attendant.
#8 Naps-on-wheels. During naptime, do some sightseeing or get some exercise. Use your vacation time wisely by planning strategically timed scenic drives, walks or jogs that will induce nap-on wheels.
#9 Keep your kiddos nap and bedtime schedule intact as much as possible! Plan your day with nap in mind. When it just doesn’t work out, don’t stress out. Hey Budda, live in the moment. Simply adjust your expectations, adjust your schedule and adjust your attitude!
#10 Take advantage of your child’s shut-eye and add some romance to your vacation. Take your mom and dad hats off, pour some wine, and slip into husband and wife again.
On that note, enjoy your vacation and….
“Good Night, Sleep tight;
Don’t let the bed bugs bite;
If they do, hit them with a shoe,
Until they turn all black and blue.”