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But a 6AM budget flight to Corfu, an eight-hour traffic-filled drive to Cornwall, and a holiday cottage with paper-thin walls conspire to drive you insane. Parents employ a series of techniques to lull their children to sleep on holiday, which range from the pathetic to the absurd.
Some swear by staying in the same time zone - either physically or temporally, sticking firmly to GMT despite having crossed a few time zones, daylight be damned. Others travel everywhere with suction-cup blackout blinds.
Still others make creepy allusions to the somnolent powers of Calpol memo to parents: Even though it's summer, a routine is still helpful Credit: We had only the glare of the television to see our way through supper - but at least our six-month-old daughter was asleep in her cot. A note on location: Whether in a cottage, villa or hotel, how can parents get children to sleep in unfamiliar surroundings?
Here is what the sleep experts say: Not only this, but the extra time in the fresh air and the stimulation that comes from being with not just mum [or dad! Andrea Grace, health visitor, mental health nurse and sleep expert at The Baby Show Olympia The best family holiday is one where you leave the children at home 2.
If your baby is like most; and tends to be lulled to sleep with motion, then they will tend to sleep on and off during any journey.
Of course, if you have travelled during the day, this excessive sleep can affect the ability to settle down and sleep at night, once you have reached your destination. There are two possible solutions to this one: Travel during the night. Set off early in the morning - and if your little one has slept a lot on the way; put them to bed much later than usual, and only then, when they are showing signs of tiredness.
They are far less likely to struggle to settle if you do this, and you will avoid all the negative sleep associations and habits which can occasionally develop in relation to a holiday cot. Routine Even though it's summer, a routine is still helpful. Children get used to routines. During the school year they know that after dinner they'll have a bath, read a story, and go to bed. While this can be relaxed a little in the summer, try to keep the familiar ritual - even if the times are out of sync.
Kristen Harding, childcare expert from the Tinies nanny agency 4. Screen time In general, make after dinner a screen-free time, unless you're all cosying up for a movie night. Set the rule at the beginning of the holidays and stick with it. Time spent on screen leaves little minds buzzing, and they need time to settle before sleep is possible.
Heat During the hot weather, you need to keep your baby lightly covered and in the shade. Offer lots of drinks and remember that if you are breastfeeding, your milk will become more watery and thirst quenching when the temperatures rise.
So feel free to feed on demand! Overheating during the day is not only dangerous, but can also lead to night time problems. Andrea Grace How to protect babies and children from the dangers of hot weather 6.
Strange room-mates On holiday, children often share rooms with other people. If this is the root of the problem, try to find a way to either give them their own space or stagger bedtimes so that each child has the quiet time they need to fall asleep without the added distraction of wanting to have more fun with siblings, or cousins or friends.
Where they sleep Create an environment that is similar to their space at home. For example, if your little one is in a cot in their own room at home, use a cot while away and if they cannot have a separate room to you, create a screen or separation of some kind. Also, bring a favourite teddy, book or blanket, in order to recreate the bedtime routine.
A pillow or bed sheet straight from your little one's cot or bed may help with familiar scent. Lucy Shrimpton is the sleep nanny , and is sleep expert at The Baby Show 8. You may be the problem Often the idea of settling to sleep in a strange room is more daunting to you than to your child. They're very adaptable and feed off your state. If you are cool about it, your child is more likely to feel relaxed too.
The more you travel, the more adaptable your child will become but even if it's your first time away, your little one will feel safe if you're providing a sense of security and comfort. Take your baby monitor with you so you can relax in the evening. Lucy Shrimpton Why summer holidays are the best time for children to learn to swim 9.
Unless you already do. Don't start co-sleeping if that's not what you do at home because this will be very hard to change once you get home. Instead, use your buggy. Taking your little one out in the pram or pushchair is fine and I recommend finishing feeding, bathing and actually putting him to bed in there.
Then, after a few laps, you're free to enjoy your evening with a little sleeper by your side. During the first few hours of sleep, they're likely to sleep through most noise so long as it's steady and not startling. Kids are not easily fooled and the idea of putting them to bed later so they wake up later on holiday rarely works. They take their cues from the rhythm of the day - meal times, activities - and daylight.
A late night will likely result in a usual or even earlier start to the day and then you've got an over-tired child on your hands.
More, not less sleep Swimming and sea air can mean more tired children than usual. Early nights help or allowing naps when you wouldn't usually. Are you a leader? Remember that children learn by copying what they see around them. One rule for the whole family and leading by example will always get the best results. Dave Gibson, a naturopath, hypnotherapist and osteopath, is the resident sleep expert for Warren Evans bed makers, and founder of thesleepsite.
The science behind having a happy family holiday Coming home On holiday it is only natural that you relax some of your normal rules. The same goes for babies and toddlers too. If naps have been taken mainly on the go and your baby has slept in your bed or gone to bed very late, then as soon as you come home you need to get back into your normal routine.
Typically the under cot storage is the most popular and ideal for keeping cot bedding and other non-bio washed baby garments. Read the full Cariboo Folding Crib review.
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