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Toddler sleeping while traveling.
Ollie
strychnine_ wrote in parenting101

My 19 month old has been a pretty good sleeper, but typically only in his own crib at home. Last summer we took a couple of overnight trips and the whole family ended up as miserable zombies because everyone slept poorly. This past weekend we went to a cabin and hoped my son would do better being a whole year older. We brought the pack n play and figured he'd either sleep in that at the foot of our bed or in bed with us. We tried the pack n play, screams. Okay, in bed with us. He was happy as a clam in bed with us but just COULD. NOT. SETTLE. he was jumping on the bed, rolling around, he kept seeming like he was drifting off the pop up and go "HI!" Lol. No amounts of my husband and I saying "it's time for NIGHTY. NIGHT. did anything. After about 2 hours of this we tried the pack n play, and while he didn't cry, he still couldn't settle because he saw us. He was still waving, going "HI!", barking like a dog, showing us his stuffed bunny, etc etc. it would have been cute if it wasn't 3am at this point. Finally, we decided to try putting him in the pack n play in the other bedroom. We set up the monitor and gave him a book and his bunny, and watched at he flipped through his book a bit, then laid down and WENT TO SLEEP. He then slept until 9:30am, and slept great for every other nap and bedtime for the rest of the trip.

Long story short, this is now opening up a whole new world of being able to travel with my son without being totally sleep deprived, it just looks like the ticket is that he needs to be by himself to settle down. He's always been the type that he'll read/play for a bit in his crib until going to sleep, I just never realized how exciting my husband and I were lol. Anyone else have a kid like this? How do you travel? We have a trip in a couple of weekends to a one room cabin and I'm wondering if there's a way to block his view in some way so that he can't see us. We also have a one week trip in August that I'd REALLY like to figure something out for, but the whole family is sharing a bedroom for that one. Any suggestions?

Also, he was in his pack n play for this trip, but he's looking pretty tall in it and I'm wondering how much longer he'll be able to be in it. He's not a climber but he is determined. What do your kids sleep in when traveling after they grow out of the pack n play?

Thanks!


Somewhere between 2 1/2 and 3 my son outgrew pack-n-play sleeping. My MIL has a toddler bed/crib mattress, so he slept on on the floor a few times since then, but if that's not convenient/available, I'd probably just put him on an adult bed or an air-mattress. If he was older, you wouldn't think twice about getting him his own bed to sleep in ;-)

Maybe you could hang a sheet to block his view? Or leave the room for a little while? (bring a baby monitor?)

Edited at 2014-06-16 08:29 pm (UTC)

The sheet is a great idea, thanks!

I've thought about putting him in an adult bed, but I just don't think he's old enough yet, at least not to sleep on one by himself. He's all over the place still and I'd be afraid he'd fall out. Hopefully he'll be able to stay in his pack and play for a bit longer.

That's why you'd want to start with mattress on the floor--if they fall, they only go down a few inches and won't get hurt. But for getting used to sleeping up off the floor, a universal bed rail helped a LOT when we transitioned our son to a big boy bed. Of course, we picked a super-low bed frame on purpose so it wasn't a 3 foot drop, but only 1 foot. He's fallen out of bed a couple times since we took the rail off, but hasn't gotten hurt from it.

This is my kid to a tee (she's 12 months) - she will only settle down to sleep if left on her own, even if it takes her an hour sometimes - she just hangs out in the crib switching sides back and forth until she finally settles. But we haven't really with her yet except to my parents a few weeks ago, and when there, the first night, she refused to settle unless I rocked her to sleep, which was weird for her. Thankfully she was fine the following 2 nights, so I just assumed she was nervous about the environment and needed that reassurance that it's OK. I have no idea what travel elsewhere would look like, so we'll see. I agree that a sheet dividing the room may help if you're confined to one room.

Yeah, sometimes it takes my son an hour to fall asleep in his crib at home. I often wonder what he's thinking about up there ;)

Thanks!

When we have to share a room, I put my daughter to bed first and then make sure she's asleep before we try to go to bed. It usually works out anyway since her normal bedtime is 8pm and we go to bed at about 10.

This.

We just got back from a trip where we expected to have two rooms for our use but ended up with just one (in a dorm). It was hell. Most nights my son was able to eventually get to sleep on his own, but it meant I had to hide under blankets until he was out, which took longer than at home, and then I had to go sit in the hall if I wanted to be able to do anything that required light. </p>

For your cabin trip, maybe stock up on bug repellant, bring the monitor, and go sit outside until she's asleep?


Yeah, this sounds familiar. We can definitely sit outside for the cabin trip while he's falling asleep, though I guess if it's raining that'll put a kink in our plans. I have vague nightmares of us all trapped in this cabin, trying to sleep, while it's raining, haha.

Same here. When we have a choice (hotel of our choosing) we try to find one that has a little "nook" or alcove where we can put the pack-n-play out of sight of us. Better yet, if we travel with friends/relatives we get adjoining rooms so our daughter can fall asleep on her own and we only have to enter when we're ready for bed.

Ahh! Great tip about the nook/alcove, I never would have thought of that! Thanks!

Sidenote: We have had the best luck with Marriotts.

This is typically what we do anyways at home, and I guess I should be grateful that we will get some "adult time" even when traveling. I just wonder if my son wakes up in the middle of the night, if he sees us will he not be able to settle back down?

I wish I had an answer because my girl is the exact same way and I'll be traveling with her in July and might be sharing a room with her at my parent's house (my husband will not be accompanying us).

My current plan is to bring our Phil and ted's travel crib, it completely zippers her in, but I'm worried she'll hate it since she has a toddler bed right now and is no longer crib confined at home. My parents have a trundle but I'm worried I'll wake her up climbing into bed and being so close.

My kids are both like this. We always put them to bed before us and hope to not wake them up. When we traveled to Disney for a week, I was super concerned and bought some of those 3m stickies that don't peel paint off, so I could hang a sheet up, just so my daughter couldn't see me. Good luck!

Same here. A note to fellow parents of poor sleepers about Disney: If you stay at certain hotels on the grounds they really cater to kids like ours. We stayed at the Port Orleans French Quarter last time and they have a thick curtain that you can use to separate the bathroom area from the rest of the bedroom. Within the bathroom area there is a perfect little nook for a pack-n-play! With the isolation provided by the curtain our daughter fell asleep without any issues. They think of everything!

We stayed in the Animal Kingdom, and while the hotel grounds weren't very kid friendly (tons of walking just to get to the shuttle stop, tho the grounds were beautiful!) they also had a little door that shut where the sink was - and another door for the shower and toilet. The pack and play fit perfectly in the sink alcove thank goodness! I definitely had my 3m strips with me, just in case tho. Haha

The 3m stickies is such a great idea! I'll grab some of those, I bet I can jury rig something up. Thanks!

We pay extra for suites even though there are only 3 of us just so my daughter can go to sleep and my wife and I can still hang out and talk. On a recent trip, it was $15 or so more per night--and totally worth it.

Yeah, this is what we did last summer, but I don't know how things are going to work now that there are two kids. I'd probably just try to rig up a sheet and clothesline for your one bedroom cabin thing, though.

My hubby strung a rope across part of the cabin and hung a shower curtain with hooks from it. Gave us a little privacy corner for changing, etc. Probably would work for your purpose, too.

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