Being in a strange environment is hard enough for adults let alone children, I know I struggle to get to sleep in a new room while away at conferences or even on holiday.
We have our home comforts and our own routines which help us to settle easily, relax and to unwind enough to get to sleep.
We are currently getting ready for a weekend away for Harry’s birthday, the house sitter and dog sitters are sorted, the hotel is booked and the packing will be done shortly. We are also taking some of harry’s birthday presents with us.
Packing for myself and Paul is generally easy but for the children I like to put a little thought and attention into it as it isn’t only their clothes and toiletries they will need but the comforts which help them to sleep.
The children”s sleep charity are working alongside Premier Inn to look at ways of helping children to get a better night’s sleep while away and they have asked us to share our tips with you.
Generally when we are away in a hotel we all share a room so getting the kids settled can become an issue – they are over excited, in a new environment and have the distractions of us around them.
To ease this I like to pack a few home comforts for them:
- Their own pillowcases (and if I have space their duvet cover too)
- Bedtime teddies. Both children have special teddies they sleep with and these can’t be forgotten
- Bedtime stories
- Night light
While we like to make holidays and nights away as fun as possible it is also nice to settle the children as effortlessly as possible.
By keeping their routines as normal as we can in a strange environment helps both us and them. They may have a later night while away but the routine generally stays the same if we can – bath, a bedtime programme (we take their Kindles so they can watch Netflix to ensure they have the show they want to see – something which can’t be guaranteed when in hotels is the TV channels available), story, milk and bed.
We then dim the light or turn them off, put on their nightlights which they always have on at night and mostly stay quiet or cuddle them until they fall asleep.
It may take longer due to the excitement but by keeping things as normal as we can means they do settle and then we can turn on the TV and have evening to ourselves.
I also find that having a light which you can keep on over night helps the children settle if they do wake up – the bathroom light usually works well with the door pulled to, the kids can see where you are and where they are (as they do often forget if it’s the first night or two) and if they need to get up they can find the toilet easily or even you.