Vacation Update: Smooth Sailing

I last blogged before my family left for a one-week beach vacation with extended family. I wasn’t worried about my kids’ sleep, but I will admit I was stressed. Travel is always a challenge, and it’s always unpredictable. Change can be hard for kids, and for some adults, too. So how did we fare? It wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty darn good.

Our travel day went pretty smoothly. We skipped nap, something we never usually do, but our little guy handled it like a champ. I suggested doing take-out that night for dinner. That way, we could be at home and not have to worry about kid melt-downs or having to cook. Keep it simple. And with all the excitement, the kids were pretty tired and went to bed on the early side that first night.

The first night of vacation we had one hiccup related to the big boy bed – it was my son’s first time in a real bed. The kids’ room had a trundle bed, which was perfect. We put the two-year old on the bottom bed. My friend, Karen, suggested that we tuck pillows under the fitted sheet to create a bolster along the side, since we didn’t have a bed rail – brilliant! But despite all that, I heard a thud during the night and found that my son had moved himself towards the bottom of the bed and rolled out onto the one spot on the floor we didn’t have pillows, of course. He startled himself awake, but I just calmed him down and lay him back to bed and he fell back to sleep. The next day, we repositioned the bed against the wall on one side and pillowed up the other side, which prevented any further falls.

Our trusty traffic light alarm clock made the trip with us, so the rest of our bedtime routine and morning routine were almost identical to home. Kids brushed teeth, went potty, had stories, and turned on the red light when they went to bed. And they knew they weren’t allowed to come get us until the green light went on. Fortunately, the room was pretty dark. We used an ipod app for white noise during nap time and at night to help mitigate any noise from outside.

As with any week, our vacation week did have unexpected developments. My son’s two-year molars all seemed to be coming in at once a few days after we arrived. He was drooling like crazy and certain foods bothered his teeth. He was cranky and lethargic. A few days, he didn’t nap for very long. But he was a trooper. We continued to follow our routine, and we let him go to bed earlier to make up for shorter naps. After a day or two, and some ibuprofen, he was back to his old self and sleeping much better.

And as I suspected, we fell into our own vacation schedule. Mornings were spent at breakfast, running errands or playing at the house, then some time at the beach until lunch. Lunch was followed by nap for my son and quiet time for everyone else, then back to the beach for the afternoon. Given all the fresh air, running up and down the beach, and playing in the ocean and sand, the kids were wiped out by the end of the day and slept soundly.

The week zipped by, and fortunately, our flight home was in the morning and everything worked out very smoothly. We pulled up to our house right around nap time, and our son asked to go to bed (maybe he missed the security of his crib?!). He climbed in and settled down for a three-hour nap!

I hope you all had a wonderful July 4th. If you traveled with your kids, how did it go? What tricks did you use to keep your kids and the rest of your family sleeping well?


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