‘Tis the season for travel, family gatherings, social events, and all kinds of other wonderful events that can wreak havoc on your baby’s carefully planned sleep schedule. In today’s video, we discuss how you can help you little one stay on track over the holidays.
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Now, I’m going to assume that you have children who are sleeping well, and you’re worried now with company coming or travel plans approaching, that that’s all going to fall apart. And that’s a fair worry, so I’m going to give you some tips here today to help you maintain your sleep schedule through the holidays.
Alright, the number one mistake I see people make when they travel is that they over-schedule themselves. Right? And I get it because there’s so much to see and do, you want to be out and about, no one wants to stay home all day, but a couple of days of that and the child can now become so overtired that she just has a complete breakdown at bedtime and wails her head off for half an hour and you’re wondering, “Where did that come from?” Right?
And then you’re nervous now because you’re in a hotel room or your mother-in-law is staring at you, and you start giving in and going in and doing things you know you shouldn’t, and five days later you’re right back to nursing this baby to sleep.
So you can see how quickly that can derail your progress, so really keep a close eye on the schedule.
Now is a missed nap or a little bit later of a bedtime here and there going to cause problems? Most likely not, right? Let’s have a little bit of wiggle room here. But just be really cautious that a couple of days in a row of missed naps and bedtimes will create such a sleep debt that she will then have problems falling asleep, either at nap or at bedtime. So just keep an eye on that. It just means that you need to slow down a little bit and remind yourself that you have a child who has a sleep schedule that’s really important to maintain.
The second thing that people always do which surprises me is that they bed-share with their children when they travel.
I never got that because my children, when I watch my daughter sleep in a hotel room in the next bed over, she’s like a whirling dervish. She is all over that bed. I don’t know how anyone could share a bed with her because she’s so active. So I don’t totally understand why people choose to do that, but here’s the problem. If your child spends a week in your bed, as soon as you get home, that child’s going to want to be in your bed. Right? And you’re going to have to start the program all over again, retraining this child to sleep well in their own space.
So if you’re sharing a hotel room, a better option would be to call the front desk and see if they have a crib in the hotel that you can borrow, or bring your own pack-and-play along and set that up so that baby has his or her own space.
Now if your baby is older than eight months, you will most likely need to put baby in some kind of “room”. (Laughs) A makeshift room. So, I mean my kids have been in the bathroom at hotels, I’ve put them in the closet at hotels, because if baby wakes up and sees you in the middle of the night, and they’re not used to seeing you, it’s most likely play time, right? It’s most likely that baby is so excited now that you’re right next to him, that he wants to play peek-a-boo for the next two hours.
So it really is good even if you just rearrange furniture so there’s a little barrier between you and baby, that’s going to make your trip a lot more enjoyable.
If there is an option for two rooms, it really is, I mean, it’s worth it to get a good night’s sleep and to have your baby have a good night’s sleep. We’ve slept on many a hide-a-bed out in the TV area of a hotel suite so that our children could have the bedroom.
And then also, if they go to bed at 7:00 PM, what are you going to do? Sit there in the dark, staring at one another until you feel tired enough to go to sleep? That doesn’t sound like a lot of fun to me either, so keep that in mind.
If, though, everything falls apart, and sometimes, you know, even though you’ve planned and you’ve been cautious and you’ve been careful, things fall apart. You know? Your mother-in-law couldn’t bear to listen to one second of crying so she kept running in there every day and now baby’s kind of off of her sleep skills, the good news is that you know your child can do this.
They’ve already proven that they can, and so when you get home, you just say, “Okay, that’s it. We’re starting over. Night one is tonight and let’s get this baby back on track.
I always suggest that you speed it up a bit if you did the “Stay in the room” method. Just instead of three nights, drop it down to two, so you’re out of there a little quicker, and just remind her how to do this. Because she has a memory. It’s there, and she just needs a reminder… now that you’re home, you need to get back on track.
Okay, so keep those little things in mind, and you know what? You’re the boss of this baby, so keep that in mind too. Don’t let any relative or parent or mother-in-law tell you differently and make you feel bad or guilty about not dragging this child around to every auntie and uncle’s house in the city so that they can see baby.
They can come see baby on your schedule. Alright? You are the boss, so give yourself permission to say no to some of these things.
Have a great and happy holiday season everybody. Thanks so much and sleep well.
If your baby, infant or toddler is having trouble sleeping through the night, help is just a click away! The Sleep Sense Program has helped over 57,00 parents to get their kids sleeping 11-12 hours through the night AND taking long, restful naps during the day. If you’re ready to get started today – I’m looking forward to helping you!
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