The sleeping habits of children are ever evolving and changing. Having your children adapt to a good sleeping routine is a very challenging task for any parent to achieve. Even though they may eventually be good sleepers, introducing them to a new sleeping environment, say a hotel, may completely disorient them, disrupting their usual sleeping habits. This usually proves to be a nightmare for parents especially when the whole family is sleeping in the same hotel room.
The result may be sleep deprivation for both you and your kids, resulting in the entire vacation not being as fun as it is supposed to be. Many parents have had the same experience of spending the days of their vacation as sleep-deprived zombies and the nights unsuccessfully trying to put their children to sleep.
The main purpose of this article is to assure you that sweet dreams and peaceful nights can be achieved even when vacationing with your kids. Below are the top tips that will help your kids get a peaceful night’s sleep in a hotel room.
If Possible, Book a Suite
Booking a suite may not always be possible as they are always pricier compared to normal hotel rooms. However, if a suite is well within your price range and is available for booking, then you should definitely go for it. Both you and your kids are most likely to get a good night’s sleep when you put them to sleep in one room and then you sleep in the other room.
This is more so important when you have a toddler who has an entirely different schedule than the rest of the family. Having a different room to put the baby would make the process of getting the baby to sleep almost as easy as if it was done at home. If you are unable to get a suite, you could fit the baby’s crib in a large walk-in closet if your hotel room has one or in the bathroom.
If you are going for a suite, you should be careful when booking to ensure that the suite you are booking actually has a separate booking. Some hotels categorize a kitchenette or an extra living room as a suite but there is no extra bedroom separated by a door. Some hotel rooms have suites with bunk beds which can be an added bonus if you have lots of kids.
A white noise machine may prove to be a very handy device, especially when trying to put your kids to sleep. A white noise machine does a very good job when it comes to contributing to your kids sleeping soundly throughout the night. Most hotels are noisy and may prove to be a very difficult environment to get your kids to sleep. The noise may come from people slamming their hotel room doors, loud people in the hallway, people shouting and having fun in the pool outside, among many other sources. The white noise machine works to minimize this noise and helps them to sleep in noisy places.
3. Carry their Comfort Items
Kids usually have a hard time adjusting to the luxuries of a room that is not their own. It is therefore very important to always bring a touch of home along with you when traveling with your kids. You can always allow them to carry a food item, a toy, a small blanket or a stuffed animal along with them when you travel. This will help them feel at home when they are away from home. When your kids have stuff that they are familiar with, they can cling to them, making it easier for them to sleep when they are in a hotel room. However, you should always take care not to forget their favorite toys, stuffed animals, or blankets when traveling back home.
4. Consider the Privacy of Older Kids
Many children of the current generation rarely tolerate anyone invading their private space. This is true especially if your kids have separate rooms back at home. Most of them have already lost the habit of sleeping with their parents, and sharing the same bed with them may prove to be very uncomfortable on their side, making it very hard for them to fall asleep. If you have toddlers and older kids, you should organize the sleeping arrangements such that you split the older kids. Putting the older kids in the same bed may result in them fighting over space or goofing off instead of sleeping.
5. Maintain Room Temperature
Maintaining the hotel room at room temperature is very important in ensuring that the kids get a peaceful night’s sleep. Children generally find it very difficult to sleep in extreme temperatures. If the room is too cold or hot, they may end up being awake the whole night. It is therefore very important to ensure that the hotel room you book has a well-functioning air conditioning system. You should then turn on the AC unit to maintain the optimum temperature at night to prevent any interruptions in sleep.
Many children are afraid of the dark and will have trouble sleeping in total darkness. The hotel rooms may also be too bright when the lights are on, making it harder for the kids to sleep when they are left on. You should, therefore, carry a small night lamp that can be adjusted to just the right amount of light that your children are used to sleeping in. This will make them more comfortable when sleeping.
7. Get a Vaporizer to Avoid Snoring Problems
Snoring may prove to be a huge sleep deterrent not only for the kids but also for the whole family. It would, therefore, be wise to invest in a vaporizer if one of the family members has a problem with snoring. The noise from snoring may make it very hard for the kids to remain asleep at night and this usually results in them being cranky the following day. A vaporizer usually provides immediate relief for snoring; hence the whole family gets to sleep well at night.
8. Employ Different Bedtimes
Employing different bedtimes may be a very good technique especially if you have a toddler and older kids. To do this, one parent remains behind to put the youngest kids to bed while the other parent goes out with the older kids to walk around for a while. This will make it easier for the toddler to sleep compared to when the older kids are around. Most of the time when the older kids are around, the toddler will think it is fun having many people around, making it difficult for them to fall asleep. Besides, the noise from the older kids will also make it hard for the toddler to fall asleep. The older kids will then be brought back to the hotel room after the toddler is already asleep. Your spouse will then put them to sleep at a later time.
Another technique that proves to be very handy is tiring your kids out before putting them to sleep. You can also keep the kids out past their bedtime such that when they get back to the hotel room, all they can do is brush their teeth before falling asleep. However, this may be a risky affair especially if your kids are early risers regardless of the time they fall asleep. This may result in them being cranky for most of the following day.
10. An Afternoon Nap
Having your kids take an afternoon nap may help them sleep better at night. Even when you have a busy schedule during the day, you should try your best to squeeze in some time for an afternoon nap for the kids. Having very tired kids is a recipe for sleep disaster. For the older kids, you can also allow them some quiet time in the afternoon. This will help them sleep much better at night.
11. Stick with Your Routine
Sticking with your home routine is also important in helping your kids sleep in a hotel. If you bathe them and brush their teeth before they sleep every night at home, then you should do the same in the hotel room. This is because your kids already have a bedtime routine at home and not following it in the hotel may disorient them. Giving them a sense of familiarity and normalcy in unfamiliar surroundings will go a long way in helping them sleep better at night.
At the end of the day, you should remember that you are on vacation with your kids. You should not be afraid to break some rules and have fun with them. Kids are resilient beings and will survive missing a few naps and going to bed later than usual on a few nights. Let the children do the things they do not usually do and have fun while on vacation. Hopefully, this article has been helpful to you and will make getting your children to sleep in a hotel room a much easier process.