Traveling is something that cannot be avoided. But what do you do when the holidays are over, you return home and want to regain good sleep habits? It seems that no matter how hard we try, it’s impossible to keep up with the daily tasks and the sleep routine we follow at home. It doesn’t matter if the family comes over during the holidays or if we take the children on a trip. There is always something – maybe you are in a different time zone, or maybe your child doesn’t want to nap in the new environment. Perhaps you decided to go back to old habits in order to avoid waking up the whole household. Here are a few tips that will help you to readjust and regain healthy sleep routines.
Explain the change to your older child. Vacation is fun, but you are now back home and have to resume your normal routine to how it was before the holiday. Start the routine with bedtime and remind your child that a late bedtime will not be the new norm back home.
During the holiday your child might have to go to bed later than he/she normally would at home. You want to go back to the regular bedtime as soon as possible. It might be difficult in the first couple of days back home. To make it easier for your Little One, move bedtime in increments of 30 minutes each day starting from “holiday bedtime”, until you reach the bedtime before the holiday.
Hopefully, you managed to keep the bedtime routine during the vacation. If not, get right back on track the first day you arrive back home. Start the regular bedtime routine around 30 minutes before bed. This routine is your child’s cue to approach bedtime, and it will make it easier for him/her to unwind from a busy day.
Children often have difficulties napping in new places. It is also difficult for them to fall asleep during a day full of fun activities. Your child might sleep at strange times during the day, or even refuse to nap at all during the holiday. Once back home, help your child to nap inappropriate times for his/her age. Often a short version of the bedtime routine can help them to relax and fall asleep.
You want to go back to old routines as soon as you get home. It might be tricky during the first few days, but take it slow – it is important to keep the good sleep associations and to make it as gentle as possible for your child.
If your child’s sleep went downhill, consider to sleep coach your child again. Remember that it is only a reminder and it doesn’t take as much time as initial sleep coaching.
Ola & Dorota