Mellow Mummy: Mellow Mummy's Travel Sleep Tips for Kids : Taking life as it comes...

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Mellow Mummy's Travel Sleep Tips for Kids

Lara and Holly are very lucky to have had plenty of opportunities in their short lives to travel with us both in the UK and abroad.  As a family, we very much enjoy spending weekends away from home to visit family, visit a special children's attraction or simply to explore the country.  I will admit though that, as fun as our travels are, sometimes it can be very hard work to get the girls to settle to sleep when we are staying in a hotel - the excitement of a night in a new place often means that the girls are unsettled or over-exhausted.

Premier Inn understands that getting your child into a regular sleep routine can be one of the biggest challenges as a parent and, if you’re staying in an unfamiliar environment such as a hotel, they may become unsettled. This autumn half-term, Premier Inn are working with the founder of The Children’s Sleep Charity to find solutions and advice for parents who may be travelling with kids.  As we are a family who travel quite a bit, they've asked me to share my Mellow Mummy tips for helping your children settle to sleep while travelling away from home.

When we stay in a hotel together as a family, we always try and book a family room which has enough space for all of us.  Even though the girls sleep in the same room us as, we like to try and make sure that they go to bed as close as possible to the same time as they normally do at home.  We have found that the best way for us to get the girls to sleep is to make sure that there is a total blackout at bedtime.  When the girls were younger we used to try and simply dim the lights so that Mr. B. and I could read, or we used to try and watch the TV very quietly but we found that the girls wouldn't settle, or if they did, they would wake up and desperately try and stay awake with Mummy and Daddy.

Unfortunately, enforcing bedtime at the normal time of night means that Mummy and Daddy end up having to settle down at the same time of night!  Switching the lights off is by far the most effective way of getting the girls to fall asleep...but it almost always sends us to sleep too.  Thankfully, when we are travelling, we've usually had a really exciting day out, or else we have a very early start the next morning so an early night does us good too so these days we tend to settle down to sleep at the same time as the girls.

Before blackout we calm the girls down with a bit of quiet time, either chilling in front of the TV or else we dim the lights and read them a bedtime story.  Teddy bears and story books come with us on EVERY trip.

We have found, over the years, that settling the girls to sleep in a hotel room is easier if we haven't spent very long in the room during the day.  We try and get out to explore (and wear them out) during the day.  On rainy days when you're tempted to spend more time in your room, it can often result in the kids feeling that the hotel room is a playground...which spells trouble at bedtime.

Unless we are travelling for a specific evening event, we always like to eat dinner either in the hotel, or within walking distance of the hotel.  This makes sure that the girls haven't got the opportunity to fall asleep in the car on the way back to the hotel.  The transition from car to hotel room can often result in everyone feeling wide awake again.

Finally, after the ULTIMATE stressful night in Cambridge last year, we have a strict rule of no sugary drinks before bedtime.  We learned that lesson the hard way.

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