To Grandma’s House We Go! – Sleep Techniques To Maintain Healthy Sleep
The car is packed, the kids are buckled in and you’re on your way to the grandparent’s house! Whether they live close by or further away, there will be some changes that your kids have to adjust to. This applies to their sleep as well. It’s hard for kids to sleep in strange places, especially when there is lots of excitement going on, but there are sleep techniques and things to bring to help them adjust to their unfamiliar environment. Here are some tips to help your child sleep well at the grandparent’s house.
It’s hard for kids to sleep in strange places, especially when there is lots of excitement going on, but there are sleep techniques and things to bring to help them adjust to their unfamiliar environment.
Pack their comfort items
This could be their stuffie, their favourite blankie, their white noise machine or even their unwashed crib sheet. If they use a sleep sack or special night light, bring those as well. You want to re-create their sleeping environment as best as you can so that the space feels familiar and comfortable.
Pick a consistent sleeping place
If you visit Grandma and Grandpa’s house frequently, pick a spot in the house where your children can sleep the majority of the time you are visiting. Putting baby to sleep in a consistent spot will help them get familiar with the alternative sleeping arrangements when you’re not at home.
Make the room dark
When picking a space for your children to sleep, consider how dark it is going to be. If it is too bright your child may have trouble staying asleep. The darker it is, the better they will sleep, and the less strange it will feel. If a super dark room isn’t possible, bring garbage bags and painter’s tape to temporarily cover the windows and block the light.
Mimic the sleeping arrangements
Sometimes it’s hard for parents and their kids to have separate rooms when staying with family, and sharing a room can make it difficult for kids to sleep if you are readily available! If you are all in one room and don’t normally share a room at home, use a walk in closet or bathroom as a temporary nursery, or hang a room divider so they can’t see you.
Beware of extra treats!
If your kids are anything like my kids, sugar makes my children temporarily crazy, followed by extremely upset. They scream more, cry more and it also wreaks havoc on their sleep! Keep an eye on how much sugar your kids on getting from well-meaning family members, as it can result in some very cranky kids who have trouble going to sleep. And guess who has to deal with them! Hint: It’s not Grandma.
Sleep on route
Sleep in motion is not the most restorative sleep, but if you think your child might have trouble with daytime naps once you arrive at the grandparent’s house, then sleeping in the car might be the better option. Use a sleep shade for the windows and even put on some white noise if you think it will help. You should plan to put your child to bed slightly earlier that night to make up for the lighter nap in the car.
Jenn Kelner is a mother of three children, including twins, and a Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant at BabyZzz. Just as every family is unique, Jenn supports many different sleep methods and works directly with families to design a solution that will help them become well-rested, happy families.