If you are going away this summer, here are some tips that may your child sleep better in a holiday environment.
Routine Yes, 'try' and keep on track with nap's and bedtimes, but don't become obsessed, after all this is your holiday too, so be realistic.
Aim to ensure your child is getting enough sleep in total. Trust your instincts. If your child is sleep deprived and becoming grouchy - it probably won't be much fun for them or you! You may need to be creative and flexible to provide sleep opportunities for them.
Late Nights - If you know for a fact older children will be staying up later - think about introducing an afternoon nap to 'top them up' They may resist you at first, but hide it under the guise of "staying out of the sun" Switch of all screens, and the TV, and instead do some some colouring. Play some white noise and relax. If this is a no-go, perhaps plan your nights with the one night out, one night in approach .This will allow an early or regular bedtime, so your child can catch up. A wee afternoon cruise around in hire car can also "facilitate" a little nap.
Hotel Room - Contact your holiday company, and ask if the property has shutter's or blackout blinds for the windows. Some tourist areas even have hire companies that can provide what you need (this is where google is a godsend!) Sunlight is a big trigger for early waking, and knowing that the pool/beach is just minutes away, can sometimes be an irresistible wake-up call for young (and not so young!) children. If you are unable to loan/hire blackouts, it may be worth sacrificing a few pairs of shoes of suitcase weight allowance in exchange for travel style blackout blind (but do check the weight, as you don't want to be over the limit)
Noise - Download a white noise app onto your phone or Ipod, you can spend a few nights gently introducing it at home, so you (and your little one) are used to it. This may help if accommodation noise is proving distracting. If you are all in one room/environment pick something you will all like :-) If you choose your phone, remember this may mean that you cannot access your phone post-bedtime/nap, and pack your charger as it may mean a battery drain.
Buggy Naps/sleeps. Specifically designed shades for your buggy (such as a Snoozeshade) can be a a good idea. Not only are they breathable, but they often provide sun protection. They also give your child a chance to 'switch off' and prevent well meaning people from peering in to say 'hello' just as your child is dropping off! Please please never use a cloth draped over the buggy - it may inhibit airflow at and may 'hold' heat in. Please purchase a correct buggy shade system.
When You Get Home - If thing's do go a little haywire on holiday- don't worry. When you arrive home, go immediately back to your usual nap/bedtime routine. Aim to have your child having bedtimes/naps at home in their own bed and stick to your routine like glue, After 3-7 days things should be back to normal, or you can contact us for one to one support.
Next week - How to overcome jet lag and time differences when traveling. Subscribe below to receive it direct by email.