The warm weather is finally here which means that Cottage Season has arrived. It’s supposed to be a time for rest, relaxation, and spending time with family and friends. Unfortunately, if you have a little person in your life, it can also mean worrying about whether or not your little one will sleep.
Here are a few tips that may help baby sleep during this time:
1. It is not uncommon for your child to struggle with sleep when you travel. The key is to try to stay as consistent as you can at bedtime and in your responses to awakenings.
2. If you have recently completed sleep coaching, try not to fall back into old habits such as co-sleeping or breastfeeding to sleep, instead find alternative ways to comfort your child.
3. Aim to have your child’s sleep space feel and smell as much like home as you can. Bring along the items that are a part of their bedtime routine; nightlight, sound machine, crib sheet and favourite blanket or stuffed animal.
4. Try to keep your child’s sleep schedule consistent, which includes naps and bedtime. If they’re fighting against sleep at nap time you can use your judgment. If you think they’ll fall asleep leave them to do so, if you don’t think they’ll fall asleep you may want to get them up and hope they’ll nap in the stroller or car. Just be prepared to try for the next nap or bedtime a little earlier.
5. When it is time to put them down for sleep, try to maintain your routine; whatever you would do at home to prepare for a nap or bedtime, you want to also do while you’re away to help baby sleep.
6. Try not to fall back on old habits such as co-sleeping. Talk to your child and tell them that any change is only while you’re at the cottage. As soon as you’re back home they’ll go back to sleeping in their own bed. Even young toddlers will understand more than you may think.
7. You may also want the baby monitor so you don’t feel like you have to stay in their room from bedtime on.
8. If you’re able to provide them with their own room (if they sleep in their own room at home), and have them sleep in the same space for the entire time you’re away, you will likely find that sleep improves over the time you’re away.
9. If you do have to share a room with your little one, if possible try to place the crib in the room such that they can’t see you. This might mean putting up a sheet or screen between where they’re sleeping and your bed.
If you’re lucky enough to have a family cottage that you’ll be visiting repeatedly, try to find a room or a space that you can set up as your child’s sleep space. If they always sleep in the same crib, in the same place the surroundings become familiar and will help baby sleep better. Be sure to take full advantage!
Always remember that our children take cues from us – stay calm, be reassuring and understanding as they transition to a different sleep space. Hopefully after a night or two you can all settle in and enjoy your relaxing time at the cottage!
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