- Jessica Berk
Vacation Sleeping Tips for Toddlers
Ready to hear my BEST vacation sleeping tips for toddlers?
Going on vacation can really mess up your kids’ sleep habits. So many families come to me because their kids used to sleep great until they went on vacation and started some bad sleep habits that have been nearly impossible to get rid of.
Let’s prevent that from happening to you with these vacation sleeping tips for toddlers.
>>Watch this blog on my NEW! Awesome Little Sleepers YouTube channel! 👇
There’s the joke that traveling with kids is called a “trip” and not a “vacation” because it feels like work. And as a mom of two, I tend to agree!
But the one thing I can always count on when I travel with my kids is that they will go to bed. My husband and I will have some kid-free time in the evening to enjoy ourselves, and we will be able to sleep all night without being woken up by our kids.
And when the whole family is well rested we’re all just happier. We have better attitudes, feel more patient and are more calm.
Vacation Sleeping Tips for Toddlers
Good sleep is an important part of a successful family trip. So, here’s 7 things you can do to ensure great sleep when you travel with your kids
1. Establish Great Sleep Habits Before You Leave
When your child is an awesome sleeper, their sleep schedule can actually be more flexible than kids who don’t have well-established sleep habits.
What is an awesome sleeper? A kid who has a defined bedtime routine, consistent lights out time and is used to sleeping through the night each night. This kid has sleep “muscle memory” so when they go on vacation and they’re sleeping in a different place or staying up later than normal, they’re used to falling asleep easily. And they can handle these changes to their schedule without becoming overtired disasters.
2. Match the Sleep Space
Try and make your child's sleep space as familiar as possible when you travel. Bring her favorite lovey, sound machine, nightlight, favorite bedtime books, etc. Run through her same bedtime routine just like you would at home. So, even though you're in a different place, sleep feels familiar.
3. Keep Your Sleep Spaces Separate Even When Room Sharing
If your child has their own sleep space at home, try and simulate that even if you’re forced to share a room. If they can’t have their own room, give them their own sleep space.
Hotel stays can be tough, you might need to use your imagination. Here are some ideas: use a pull out couch, make a pallet on the floor with a sleeping bag, some pillows and an inflatable pool float. Invest in an inflatable toddler bed, kids play tent or kids travel cot.
If your child is going to be sleeping like this, try to practice in their own room before you leave so it’s not totally new when you get there. And remember, if you call it “camping” or make a big deal about how cool it is, your child will go along with it!
4. Prioritize Sleep
Would you leave the house right before lunch without a plan for how to feed your kids? I hope not. You know when your kids are hangry they’re unpleasant to be around!
Treat sleep the same way! If you know your toddler needs a nap each day, plan for it. Schedule activities around naptime or leave her sleeping at home with Grandpa. If you know your toddler behaves better when she gets lots of sleep at night, put her to bed early. Plan for the sleep you know your kid needs. Everyone will thank you for it!
5. Talk To Your Partner
Get on the same page with your spouse before you leave. Where will your child sleep? How will you handle bedtime? What happens if he wakes up in the middle of the night? Will you bend any sleep rules? Arguing with your partner in the middle of the night... while you’re trying to get your kid back to sleep... and not wake up other house guests, isn’t fun. So, plan ahead!
6. Avoid Starting Bad Habits
Don’t start any bad sleep habits on vacation! If your child sleeps independently at home, have him do the same while traveling. If you allow him a week of snuggling in bed with you, it can make getting him back in his own bed once you get home a real headache. Because even one night of co-sleeping or a different response from you overnight can reset your child’s expectations and quickly become their new normal. And if you end up doing it for a few days or all week, it strengthens that new sleep habit even more.
7. Get Back On Track Quickly
Sleep may not go perfectly when you travel. And that’s okay. Life happens. Once you get home and normal life resumes, get your child back on track as quickly as possible. If the sleep routine changed while you were gone or you ended up dabbling in some bad habits that you don’t want to bring home with you, talk to him about it. “I know that you slept with Mommy & Daddy when we were at grandma’s house, but that was only for our trip and now we’re home so you’re going to be sleeping in your own room again. That’s always how we sleep when we’re home.”
If he is used to his consistent sleep schedule, re-establishing his good sleep habits shouldn’t take more than a night or two. This is another reason why having awesome sleep habits before you travel is so important.
I hope these vacation sleep tips help you enjoy your family trips even more.
Be sure to subscribe to my channel to be the first to know when my next video comes out.
If you're ready to get those great sleep habits in place before your first summer trip, it's time for my free Toddler Sleep Masterclass where I teach you the proven method to get your child comfortable falling asleep alone - so they can sleep through the night. You can fix your family’s sleep problems for good!
And even if you are still not 100% sure what is disrupting your child’s sleep, this free class can only help you get more clarity. >>Click Here<<