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Can children sleep well on holiday?

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Can children sleep well on holiday? Of course they can! It just takes a little bit of planning, and making sure they are great independent sleepers before you go.

With the summer holidays nearly here, many of us are busy looking into what adventures we can have this summer. However, it can also fill us with dread that it will disrupt their sleep and cause tricky naps and bedtime when you get back. Don’t panic, you can combine great sleep and summer fun!

This month’s blog is full of tips to help you manage trips away and also make the most of this summer (or any other holiday!)

  1. Where possible stick to their routine when away from home. If your little one is napping still, try to keep to their awake windows, even if the naps are in the buggy or car whilst you are out and about. Kids love a routine, so by using the bedtime routine they know, it can help them settle in an unfamiliar environment.
  2. Try not to overschedule! This can be one of the most common mistakes we all make. We try to fit too much in to make the most of being away. However, sometimes that can result in them being overtired, overstimulated and it can result in tricky bedtimes and grumpy children.
  3. Quiet play or quiet time can be the best use of an hour. If they have been on the go all morning, and you have time, maybe try to build in an hour where they can have some calm play, just to relax and recharge. This can be especially useful for children who no longer nap.
  4. Make sure you take their favorite sleeping toy! It can also be useful to take a sleeping bag and sheet from their cot at home, so it is familiar if they are in a different environment. Don’t forget the gro blind as well to make the room really dark as this helps children sleep well.
  5. If you have a super sleeper who settles independently, the occasional car nap, or later bedtime isn’t going to make too much difference. Try not to have too many all at once as they will become overtired and it is will be harder for them to settle without some support …..which may also become tricky to remove later on.
  6. Try to avoid bedsharing whilst you are away (unless that is how you normally sleep and follow the Lullaby Trusts safer sleep advice.) Firstly, it is likely that nobody will get any sleep (I have made this mistake before!) They may get very used to sleeping with you and find it tricky when you get home. Travel cots are really portable and a great option if needed.
  7. Take a few books from home so that they continue to have this as part of their bedtime routine. Avoid doing stories on an iPad or screen as they can be really stimulating for babies and children.
  8. Where possible try to have adjoining rooms. This way you can have them close but still give them an independent sleeping space. This can also help if they go to bed at a different time to any older siblings, or you want to spend some time together in the evening but don’t want to disturb them! If you cannot have an adjoining room, is it possible to have some kind of partition? This can help prevent them seeing you in the middle of the night, think it is party time and not help children sleep well!
  9. If you use white noise, keep using it whilst you are away.
  10. For older children who have a Gro Clock – take it with you (and don’t forget an adaptor if you are abroad!)

The most important tip I can share is to relax and make the most of your time together! Life is busy, and often it is rare that we take some time away and really immerse ourselves in being with our kids. I know I will be trying to make the most of this summer and I hope you all do too!

If you need more support with your little ones sleep before you go away, we have a range of sleep consultancy support depending on the age of your child.

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