CentralCoast Family•June 2013•www.centralcoastfamily.com•Page 3
Plan a Restful Vacation
As we enter the summer months,many of us are looking forwardto and planning our summer vacations. But how do youmanage your little one’s sleepwhile traveling? When your childis tired, he will have a shorter attention span and be less able toengage with the world in a positiveway. Sleep is a universal human
need. It has been shown to eect
crucial development, mood, andgrowth in young children.The trick is to stay as close toyour child’s normal schedule aspossible, but also be able to relaxand enjoy yourself.If you are planning your familyvacation trip, consider staying inone place, rather than roaming. Itwill be easier on your child if you
stay ve nights in the same place,
instead of taking a road trip with
stops at dierent locations. Thiswill oer your child the comfort
of familiarity and continuity, andreduce the stress of packing andunpacking for you.Although I am not a fan of car naps in general, sometimes it isthe best you can do on vacationwith very young children. Sotry to plan some of your drivingduring your child’s normal nap or bedtime. When putting your childdown for sleep and/or naps, tryand stick to your home routine.This may include reading books,singing, snuggles with a soft toyor blanket, etc. And don’t forgettheir favorite comfort item...
such as a stued animal or baby
blanket. At least, your child willhave one familiar thing to take tobed.I do not recommend bed sharingwhile on vacation, unless youare already doing this at home.Sharing a bed with parents is veryexciting for young children. Thiscan be a hard habit to break onceyou return home. Try to bringalong a portable bassinet or playyard or ask for a roll away bed athotels.Changing time zones can be verytricky for little ones. If you arestaying more than a day or twoat your destination, I recommendthat you switch your family over to the local time immediately.This requires waking them at their normal time and putting themto bed at the same time. For instance, if your baby wakes upfor the day at 7:00 am in Californiaand you travel to Florida, wakeyour child at 7:00 am Florida time.
On the rst day in a new time
zone, your baby might be a littletired or grumpy, but his nap willfall earlier as well, so it usuallydoesn’t take long to get himin sync. Remember that youcan always put your child downfor a slightly earlier bedtime toaccommodate a child who is tired.Don’t forget that our kids getvery excited and stimulated onvacation, so we can’t totallyneglect or throw their sleepneeds out the door. To avoidexhaustion, keep to your child’snormal nap routine even if hedoesn’t act tired. Your little oneisn’t going to let on that they mayneed a nap when the mini golfcourse looks so appealing!When you get back home fromvacation, you plan to have alittle bit of adjustment time. Aslong you expect this, it won’tbe so bad... just like adjusting toDaylight Saving Time. Jump rightback into your normal scheduleand supplement with an earlier bedtime until you have caughtup on your baby’s sleep debt. Trythese simple tips for planning awell-rested family vacation trip,and remember to relax and havefun!
Exhausted and overwhelmed from sleepless nights?
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