This week we are going on away on a family holiday for a week to a caravan in the Scottish Highlands, we are looking forward to days spent on the beach, in the pool and having lots of family time together. It can always been a bit of a worry that your toddler will not sleep well when they are away from home and out of their normal routine so I thought I would share some of tips and tricks that I use to help Tommy sleep well while we are away.
At home Tommy has a good bed time routine; he has dinner then goes straight up for a bath, has some quite play and does his physio treatment followed by a cup of milk and books. He is usually in bed about 7.15pm. He sleeps in a sleeping bag and sleepyhead grand pod (although we are planning to transition him to using a toddler duvet and pillow once we get back from our holiday) with a muslin comforter and his dummy. He also has his white noise bear playing to help sooth his to sleep. Both the boys currently share a room and I think they like having each other for company.
When we are away it is unlikely we will be able to stick to Tommy’s usual routine every night for a start he will have to sleep in a room on his own (the travel cot will not fit into the room with Oliver) and there isn’t a bath in the caravan so he will have to shower instead. We will also be spending time with friends and family so his bedtime will probably vary through out the week. However there is a few things I will be bringing with us to help him settle and feel more at home.
- Bed sheet - Most places require you bring your own cot bedding from home, this works well for us as I feel Tommy sleeps much better with bedding he is used to. I always put the a fresh sheet on his cot the night before we go away then pack it in the morning. This means that the sheet has a familiar smell and makes him feel more secure.
- Sleeping Bag - I always bring a sleeping bag from home again I use the rule as above and get him to sleep in it the night before we leave.
- White Noise Bear - If I have space in the suitcase I will pack Tommy’s Myhummy white noise bear to take away with his, if I am short on space I will just take the sound box out of the bear and pack it.
- Extra blanket - Sometimes hotel rooms or in this case the caravan can get chilly in the evenings so I like to pack an extra blanket just in case. If Tommy wakes up cold in the night it can be difficult to get him back of too sleep again.
- Books - I tend to pack two or three of Tommy’s favourite books to read to him before he goes to sleep to help keep his routine similar.
- Sticking to nap times - I find that if Tommy doesn’t nap well during the day it effects his sleep at night so when we are away I try to stick to his usual nap time. Am not as strict about him having to nap in a cot like he does at home as this might not always fit in with our plans for the day so it may be that he sleep in the pushchair instead.
- Sticking to some of your usual bedtime routine- As mentioned above it won’t be possible to keep to Tommy’s routine exactly as it is at home but we will stick to some of it. Tommy will still have to do his physio treatment before bed and we will make sure he has a cup of milk of some stories to help him settle each night.
- Let them explore their new surroundings- I think it’s important to allow your toddler to have a good explore of your accommodation before they go to bed this will help them feel more relaxed and have a better understanding of where they are.
I hope you have found of of these hints and tips useful and be sure to let me know if you have any other ideas that you swear by when taking your toddler on holiday.