Do you remember when an outing to the grocery store was as daunting as a trip to the moon? When taking your overtired little one for a sleepover at grandma and grandpa’s house was simply impossible? Well those days are a thing of the past now that you’ve done SleepWell Sleep Planning and your little one has learned the skill of independent sleep. Now that you’ve reached a point where you value and prioritize sleep, why would you risk disrupting your newly peaceful life for a little vacation?
“OH! THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!”
One of the benefits of having children who sleep well is that they’re adaptable and if you keep in mind a few simple pointers from SleepWell Baby and Dr. Seuss,
“You’ll be on your way up! You’ll be seeing great sights! You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.”
Try not to over-schedule your days. Stick to your naptimes and bedtime as closely as possible. Allow for the occasional car seat nap and later bedtime but keep in mind that this will cause your child to become so overtired that she may forget her sleep skills, making bedtime a struggle.
“You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a Lurch.”
Remember that children will try to test the boundaries in a new environment. Consider looking at this as an opportunity to reinforce your bedtime routine and sleep rules. Your child may have some night waking during your first couple of nights of travel. The best thing to do is handle it the same way you would at home. Providing reassurance every five to ten minutes is a good strategy. Remain consistent during the first few nights or,
“You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump.”
Another mistake to avoid while travelling is sharing a bed with your baby or toddler. This is confusing for your child because it totally deviates from the sleep rules you’ve worked hard to establish at home. Take along a pack and play or look into renting or borrowing a crib. If your child is over eight months old try to create a bedroom for him. Larger bathrooms and closets work well for this. Get creative about how you might use what is available to you to create a partition. If your child wakes up at 5 am and the first thing she sees are her parents, she’s less likely to transition back to sleep than if she had her own space.
“And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.”
Keep in mind that well-rested children handle jet lag quite well and it’s always best to adjust to the new time zone as quickly as you can. Try to limit an extra nap to 45 minutes and if that extra nap is needed later in the day, consider skipping it and moving to an earlier bedtime. Get up with the sun and plan your day around the new time zone. Use blackout blinds and dim the lights a couple of hours before bedtime to help stimulate melatonin production and make your child sleepier.
Take heart if things get off track- not all is lost. Start your plan over as soon as you get home, speeding it up by two nights at each step – and remember that your child is capable of doing this. He just needs a push in the right direction from you.
“With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!
And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.)
KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!
So… be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!”
Seuss, Dr. (1990) Oh The Places You’ll Go!. New York, New York: Random House.