I was looking at my calendar this week and I can't believe it's almost August. Our summer has been so much fun with plenty of days at the pool, working on projects at home and of course, an upcoming trip to the beach! I love waking up early to get in a quick run on the boardwalk before stopping at a cool little coffee shop to have breakfast.
What trips do you have planned for the remainder of the summer? Anywhere fun?
And while I'm on vacation, I'm looking forward to early bedtimes for my daughter because she is guaranteed to be exhausted from all the beach time and fun. Will she sleep all night...you bet!
Some parents worry that they'll get even less sleep when they're on vacation, but that doesn't have to be the case. In fact, it should be the opposite--you and your child should get MORE sleep while you're on vacation. That's the whole point of vacation, right?
One of the things you shouldn’t have to worry about is how you’ll sleep when you’re staying somewhere other than your home. Because…face it…you’ll need the sleep and so will your children.
Whether you’re only going for a quick weekend trip or staying at a beach condo for the week, your child can continue to sleep as well as they do at home.
Here are a few tips to help ease the craziness of sleeping away from home with your child.
Tip #1 – Make your child’s sleeping area feel like home as much as possible. Bring along your child’s lovey, sleep sack and white noise machine, if you use one. Make the environment as close to home as possible to help ease your child’s anxiety of being in a new place.
Bonus points for you if the room your child is staying in has good room darkening curtains. For a quick solution, throw a blanket over the curtain rod to make the room darker!
Tip #2 -- Separate your sleeping spaces as much as possible. If you’re staying in a hotel room with a separate bedroom, there’s nothing wrong with your child sleeping in the bedroom so you can continue to watch TV and go to bed when you're ready. If you have to share a room with your child, make sure they have their own sleeping space, such as a portable crib or cots for toddlers already sleeping in a big kid bed. If you’re worried about lugging the portable crib along with your luggage and your child’s car seat, ask to borrow one at your destination. Grandparents have friends with grandchildren, maybe your sister who’s driving in can bring her extra portable crib, or check in the area for rental companies that will supply cribs to your hotel.
(I've seen kids sleep in some odd places in an effort to make their space dark so don't think it hasn't been tried.)
Tip #3 – Don’t skip naps. Make sure your child is getting the recommended amount of naps they need. Finding times for naps can be tough when you’re on the go from sun up to sun down and yes, sometimes they may be in the car seat or stroller. Nap times may be a bit off and that's fine, as long as your child is not overtired when it is time for bed.
It’s easy for family and friends to want to pass the baby around and keep playing until baby is screaming from being overtired. If you know it’s time for a nap, it’s ok to put baby down to sleep. And if your cousin wants to keep baby awake to play longer, ask if she wants to play with a happy baby or a screaming, overtired baby…I think you’ll know the answer.
I hope you have a good time on your vacation!
With a few adjustments, you’ll all sleep comfortably no matter where you are…ok...so the fold-out couch at Grandma's might not be your comfy mattress at home, but it’ll do for a short-term stay.
And if your baby or child isn’t sleeping well now, contact me at www.sleepsolutionsbychristine.com and let’s chat about your situation. We can work together to have restful nights now, and learn more ways to make sleep on vacation much for enjoyable for your whole family!
Planning to sleep a little longer this Sunday morning?
It’s time to spring the clocks forward for the annual move to daylight savings time. Have no fear! I’ll tell you exactly what to do to adjust your baby or child’s schedule in 3 simple steps.
1. First, leave your clock alone Saturday night. Wake up Sunday morning at your usual time, have your coffee, then go around your house and change your clocks that didn’t change automatically.
2. Gradually move your child’s bedtime and nap times starting Sunday night. Children who no longer nap: If your child normally goes to bed at 7:00pm, put him/her to bed at 7:30pm on Sunday night. Do this for 3 nights, then on the 4th night put him to bed at 7:00pm or whatever is normal bedtime for your child.
Toddlers (12 months and older)- Start with naps on Sunday and put your child down for their first nap 30 minutes later than normal on the first night of the time change. If your child usually naps at 9:30am, naptime on Sunday is now 10:00am. Do the same with the afternoon nap if there normally is one. For bedtime on Sunday, if your kiddo’s normal bedtime is 7:00pm, you would put him down at 7:30pm. Do this for 3 nights and then on the 4th night, put him to bed at 7:00pm. Within a week, you’re back to your child’s regular bedtime.
Infants (6-12 months with a predictable bedtime)- If bedtime is normally 7:00pm, move bedtime 15 minutes earlier each night until you reach the normal time. On Sunday night, you would put baby down at 7:45pm, the second night 7:30pm, and so on. In four nights you should be back to 7:00pm. If their bedtime is not predictable (0-6 months old) simply jump to the new time Sunday night.
3. Make sure your child’s room is as dark as possible. Install blackout curtains if you don’t already have them. Your child may wake up too early with the sun rising so early now in the morning and may struggle to fall asleep while it is still light outside. Even with the extra hours of daylight, your child sleep needs the same amount of sleep. It may take children and babies a bit more time to fall asleep or not seem to be as tired as usual, which is normal. It usually takes about a week for children and babies to completely adjust to daylight savings time and some children may take up to 3 weeks to adjust. Be patient and consistent, and your child will be sleeping in no time! If you have any questions about how the time change will affect your child or about your child’s sleep, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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