So as summer is nearly here this feature will focus on what to do around sleep and traveling with children!
There are many issues that arise when it comes to going on holiday around sleep, can they go to bed a bit later, what should we do about jet lag and changes in time zones and generally how well can we expect them to react to a change in environment.
For the purpose of this I have to assume that you are happy with your current sleep situation, if you aren’t then it’s not wise to try and change anything when going on holiday but obviously there are many things you can do to try and improve your child’s sleep.
The first big test is getting there and in this post I’m going to talk more about that. In terms of travelling with kids my advice remains the same whether you are heading 30 mins down the road, an 8 hour car journey to Scotland or jumping on a plan to more guaranteed sunshine, just go with it! Let’s be realistic it’s unlikely to be a peaceful trip where you can sit back and read your book, you are more likely to encounter some bumps such as hunger, sleep, nappies and toilet trips so I reckon if you accept that this will happen and prepare yourself for it you’ll have an easier time!
So arm yourself accordingly, in many ways you can throw the rules out of the window, especially for longer journeys. Think snacks every 30 mins, toys (even wrap up old toys in
paper for more excitement), colouring, movies, ipads, books whatever it takes to keep them
Apply the same attitude when it comes to naps. In the car it should be fairly easy to get a child to sleep, but on a plane just do what you can to get them to nap. Do the plane giggle up the aisle, rocking in the galley, ssshing etc etc. The most important part is that they get their rest so that when you get to your destination they aren’t running a major sleep debt in comparison to their usual routine.
If you are lucky enough to be flying somewhere in a different timezone then don’t accommodate for it before hand, get on the plane do what you need on the flight (see above) and then when you land, hit the ground running! Once settled get yourself and your children out in the sunshine and the fresh air as this will help the body clock to understand it’s daytime so that when it gets dark the body will be more set for sleep. When night time gets closer my advice is to try and dim the brightness for about 2 hours before bedtime, this will help the melatonin levels in their body to rise which is a key factor in getting to sleep. So draw the curtains and try and resist any electronics! Fingers crossed It should take no more than two days to kick the jet lag.
The most important thing is to get there in one piece, hopefully having kept to a semblance of a normal routine and then kick back and enjoy!
Next time I’ll be posting about some key things to do once on holiday to try and maintain a healthy sleep pattern for all.
Of course if you need any further advice please get in touch for a free 15 min consultation on 07748677908 or firstname.lastname@example.org.