10 Sleeping Tips for Kids While Traveling This Christmas Season
December 28, 2018
During the holiday season, a lot of Filipino families take time off their busy schedules to visit their relatives. Sadly, children have to endure long trips in a car, ferry, or airplane, which means they will have to sleep in cramped spaces or stay up for long hours. Lucky for you, we’ve prepared some sleep traveling tips for kids to make things easier for your family.
Tire them out before traveling
How do you get your kids to sleep when traveling for your holiday break? The easiest way is to make them use as much of their energy hours before heading out. You can choose to study, play or take them out for a quick trip to the park.
This will leave them with less energy by the time everyone is ready to go and it will help them achieve deep sleep during the trip. Just make sure that they’ve eaten and finished their pre-sleep rituals before leaving the house.
Prepare them for sleep
Speaking of their pre-sleep rituals, after they’ve spent their energy playing, you can now prepare them for bedtime before you leave the house for your much-awaited holiday vacation. Doing their nighttime routine will help them feel sleepy like brushing their teeth, giving them a good, warm shower, reading their favorite story, and maybe even letting them wear their PJs before tucking them in their car seat. Moreover, you can also play their favorite bedtime music or some white noise to help them fall asleep faster.
Leave the house a few hours before bedtime
You wouldn’t want to leave for your holiday vacation while your child is still wide awake. Doing so can be stressful for you and other passengers as children can be impatient and cause havoc in the car or airplane.
If the itinerary permits, try leaving the house a few minutes or hours before your child’s bedtime. Add the previous two points with this tip and you’ll have your precious baby sleeping well during the trip, giving you some peace and quiet. In case you need to change the means of transport, it might be a good idea to bring the stroller with you or carry them until you can get seats.
Set up the mood
Your kid will not sleep on your command. Like any person, you’ll have to prepare them, which we’ve mentioned in the previous tip, and set up the mood so they can feel sleepy. How exactly can you do this?
When traveling this holiday by air or by land , you can turn off the lights in your area and help them get into a comfortable sleeping position. In case it’s cold, you can use your body heat and a small blanket to keep them warm and cozy.
If you’re in a car, on the other hand, avoid making too much noise and/or play classical music to help them sleep. You can also put window blinds to dim the cabin if the sun is still out.
Give them enough space
Whether they’re on a bed or at the back seat of a car, children would have a hard time sleeping if they are cramped up during the trip. Make sure to give them enough space so they’d be comfortable even while on the move.
Keep nap times short
A 2013 report by BBC news stated that afternoon nap times are very important to children as it aids learning. Sadly, long naps will make it harder for children to sleep at night not only because of its duration but because of the new environment as well.
To help make it easier to sleep during the holiday travel, you can try to keep their nap times shorter than usual. Maybe instead of three to four hours, you can wake them up after two hours. Just a word of warning: they can get a bit grumpy if you do this. Luckily, a quick treat like cookies, candies or an iPad game can fix that.
Stick to the schedule
Your child may already have developed their body clock. If so, it would be wise to consider this before you travel for the holidays. Knowing when your children sleep and when they’re most active will definitely spell the difference between a peaceful trip and a chaotic one.
If possible, schedule trips during their sleeping time so that there’s a higher possibility that they’ll be asleep while you’re on the road, sky or seas. Remember to prepare your toddler’s sleeping arrangements before your vacation so that it will be easier when you arrive at your destination.
Reduce sugar intake
When thinking of helping your children sleep, remember that bribing them with sweets is a bad idea. We’re sure most of the parents know what happens when you feed your child candy or any sugary food, right?
It would be best to reduce their intake of candies or any other sugary food or drinks by afternoon to zero or as little as possible, especially when out on a vacation. This will help you make them sleep easier compared to a kid eating sugar at night. In addition, their teeth will thank you for it.
Use your accommodation amenities and surroundings to your advantage
With all the comfort a hotel room presents, it’s easy to assume that it would be easy for your kids to fall asleep in it. To the surprise of some, it may be the total opposite. So how exactly do you get a toddler to sleep in a hotel or in any accommodation you choose?
One way is to use its amenities and surroundings to your advantage. If it has a pool or playground, let your kids swim or play in the late afternoon or in the evening. If there’s a carnival nearby, you might want to go there with your kids. Find ways or activities to tire them out so they can sleep better.
Bring some sleep-inducing items
The new environment in a hotel or wherever it is you’re staying may make your child feel uncomfortable enough to have a hard time falling asleep. Make it easier for them by bringing a few sleep-inducing items such as an eye patch, a stuffed toy, travel pillows, a night light, their blanky or a Uratex Pillow perhaps? These small items, the smell or the texture can help them feel at home and fall asleep faster.
With these tips, we hope you are now better equipped to help your children get quality sleep while on holiday travel. Not only will this help you have some peace and quiet, a child’s good night’s sleep can let everyone enjoy the day ahead.