Children generally do best when they are able to stick to a set routine. However, this may not necessarily be possible while they are on the road with you. The good news is that there are several steps that you can take to ensure that your next trip is a relatively easy one for everyone by maintaining sleep schedules.
Travel While the Kids Are Most Likely to Sleep
If your child goes down for a nap at the same time each day, it can be a good idea to start your trip as close to that time as possible. This ensures that your child will sleep through most or all of the journey. Older children should be given a chance to run around or otherwise get rid of some of their energy before a journey starts. This will increase the chances that they will sleep for a significant portion of a car or plane ride.
Let the Children Run Around Close to Bedtime
Children who have been trapped in a car for several hours at a time could be cranky or overtired. In either scenario, they may not be willing to go to bed without putting up a fuss. Allowing them to run around for a few minutes before their scheduled bedtime can help them to get the negative energy out of their systems. Ultimately, it will be easier for both the parent and child to sleep soundly throughout the night.
Account for Time Differences
If you are going to be traveling to another time zone, it is a good idea to get your kids ready for the time change before the trip starts. You may be able to do this by having dinner earlier or by asking your kids to go to bed and wake up later than usual. Ideally, you will start to make these changes about a day or two before leaving home. it is important to note that children may not necessarily be impacted by jet lag in the same way that adults are. Therefore, they may be able to adjust to a time change in a matter of hours even if you aren’t able to get them ready before the family vacation begins.
How to Help Children Adjust to New Sleep Settings
It can be relatively easy to help your children adjust to sleeping in a hotel or at a relative’s house for a few days. For instance, you could bring your son or daughter’s favorite toy or favorite blanket to sleep with. It can also be a good idea to bring a nightlight to make it easier to visit the restroom or otherwise navigate unfamiliar surroundings at night.
How Much Sleep Do Kids Need?
The amount of sleep that your children need each night depends on their age and personality. Babies may need to sleep up to 14 hours a day while an older child may need as little as eight hours of rest per night.
Traveling with children can present you with a variety of unique challenges. However, as a parent, it is important to create an atmosphere that allows your child to have a reasonably enjoyable experience. In most cases, your children will learn how to adjust to new surroundings the more that you take them to new cities, states or countries.