Traveling with kids is quite an adventure and filled with fond memories to look back on over the years. However, the memories will be met with more nostalgia if everyone is well-rested on the trip!
For spring break last year, we traveled to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. It was the first time my kids were going to share a room (ages 2 and 5) and I was a little nervous to see how they would do. I will be honest, the first night was a little rough, but after that, it was smooth sailing!
I am going to provide you with some tips that can really help make your adventure even more unforgettable (Because let’s be honest, when we are not sleeping well, our memory is not getting restored or cleaned up, making it easier to forget things!). So, let’s make this a fun-filled, tear-reducing trip to remember!
From the start, parents should set expectations around sleep ahead of time and communicate expectations with their children.
Prepare for some extra talking on the first night. It will most likely take longer to fall asleep since they will be so excited in a new place with someone else in the room! You could set a timer – 5 minutes of talking, then quiet for sleep.
It can sound like this, “You will both be sharing a room during vacation this week! This is going to be different from how we sleep at home. A new room and you will be sharing with your brother! I know you will be excited to share a room together, so after we do our bedtime routine, you can talk for 5 minutes. I will put a timer on. Once the timer goes off, you will close your eyes, lay quietly, and go to sleep.”
Also, have an action plan set in place ahead of time if one child wakes before the other. “If one of you wakes up first in the morning, instead of calling out, come to our room. This way, it will not wake up your brother.”
You will want to “mimic” sleep as much as you can from home. If your child sleeps with a lovey or stuffed animal, bring it with you. Make sure to bring a sound machine to block out noise and movement from the other sibling.
To avoid overtiredness, try to stick with the routine you have in place at home as much as you can. If bedtime at home is 7:30 pm, try to follow this while on vacation. This includes similar nap times as well. You should be fine if you stay within 30 minutes of regular bedtime and nap times. If a child becomes overtired, it makes it harder to fall asleep and you can get into a cycle of sleep debt.
Once clear sleep expectations are set on sharing a room during vacation, and parents stick to the boundaries, it is rare that one sibling wakes the other. It can take a few nights to get used to, but the first night sets the stage!
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