When traveling with your kids, expectations can be the death of you (as a parent) unless you set them really low.
A friend recently asked (while in the midst of her vacation) how to cope with a toddler that wasn’t adjusting well to a change in sleep habits. The mom was now over-tired (along with her child) and felt as though she had exhausted all attempts at making a sleep routine work: she tried to stick to her routine from home, she invented a new travel routine…nothing worked.
The stress in it all comes from the expectations we set as parents. We’re all focused on figuring out how to “vacay” with kids that we often forget that children (especially those under five years of age) could care less about your desired time “away from it all” or your need for some sun.
You should expect that your child might not sleep well. You should expect that there’s a chance you’ll be up all night. You should expect the plane right to feel double the duration. If you’re ready to embrace the aforementioned statements, things can only go up from there.
It’s when you think that you’re going to be able to recharge your batteries by taking a family trip, that you’re setting yourself up…
Parents often split into two camps when it comes to sleep and travel: (1) those who stick to their at-home routine (me) and (2) those who throw schedules to the wind and wing it. Neither camp is more successful when it comes down to it, they’re simply two different approaches to tackling travel.
The right choice is the one that brings YOU (the parent) the least amount of stress.
For once, it’s not about the kids — it’s about you. The reason I say this is because if you’re stressed out during your travels, the children pick up on it, which can (in itself) totally wreck havoc on everything. If you’re relaxed and at ease, the energy of your trip will mirror this vibe.
It’s ok if you try different approaches (sometimes daily) on your travels to try and make things work better for your family. There’s honestly no magic tip or trick that will automatically work when it comes to getting a toddler to sleep in a new environment. Who knows what’s setting them off?!
Don’t waste your vacation stressing over things that you can’t change or prevent. Try to remember that it’s just a short time frame. Even if it’s less sleep for you (because you’re up trying to soothe your child) it’s temporary. You’ll be home and back to normal in no time.
Just use it as an excuse to drink more wine. lol
If you’re determined to sort out travel sleep issues, try these simple tips.
Happy Travels and thanks for sending in questions