While I’d like to do it more often, our family travels together usually once a year. The kids do remarkably well traveling by car and plane, but I always had one big anxiety before traveling with the toddlers. Sleep. Where would they sleep? Would they sleep? Will I sleep? We’re not a co-sleeping family. In fact, our youngest sleeps horribly if he’s in bed with us. I can’t blame him though, I love my space when I sleep too. Last summer we discovered a game changer, the portable toddler bed. Here are a few sleep tips to keep in mind when traveling with toddlers.
Packing light doesn’t really apply when traveling with kids IMHO. Our trips are usually jam-packed with activities and that means I need the toddlers to get the best sleep possible. That means packing their favorite blankie, pajamas, sound machine and even their own separate bed. The Regalo Baby Portable Toddler Bed is so compact that we were able to stow two of them in one of our checked suitcases along with all of my clothes. While being lightweight, they’re also sturdy constructed with all steel and suitable for children ages 2-5 and up to 75 pounds.
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These portable toddler beds are great for overnight stays at the grandparents, lounging around the house, and also (like in our case) great for those middle of the night visitors. Our four year old gets up every night and comes into our room where we have this toddler bed set up. No more horizontal kids kicking us in the face.
Being on vacation means bedtimes may be a little more relaxed. We try not to deviate too far from their usual bedtime though or we’ll be in for a cranky toddler the next day. Last summer we didn’t force naps for our youngest and that was probably the biggest mistake ever. This trip we made sure to carve out a break mid-day to head back for naps and quiet time. Having a consistent schedule similar to the every day routine really helps overall moods and minimizes meltdowns.
Recreate Bedtime Routine
Recreating our bedtime routine while in unfamiliar territory helped our toddlers sleep so much better while we were away. Some toddlers may have a hard time falling asleep in a strange hotel room or guest room. Keeping the routine the same will put them more at ease and ready for bed.
I’ve found that relaxing and letting go a little bit makes traveling with toddlers a little less stressful. This time is for making lasting family memories and embracing new cultures and cities. Just remember to resume normal bedtimes as soon as you get home! Staying up late is all fun and games while traveling, but no one wants to do it when you have to go to work the next day. Ha!
Do you have any fun travel plans coming up? What is one piece of advice you’d give to your mom friends when traveling with their toddlers? Leave me a comment below!