Training my children to sleep independently was one of my greatest parental accomplishments. I love that each night I tuck them in their own rooms, say prayers and turn out the lights. And for the most part, they stay there until morning.
But then, there’s travel. Pretty much the exact opposite of everything I taught them at home.
When we share a hotel room as a family, we suddenly change up everything. Now, rather than insisting on them falling asleep without the comfort of a parent close by- we throw them in our bed and expect them to sleep perfectly. And that isn’t easy- for anyone!
Recently I was traveling with my two kids by myself. I *thought* it would be easy. So easy, that I decided to throw all of our tricks out the window and wing it. The result was a miserable night for myself and Mary Grace.
On the other hand, I’m pretty sure Miller got a full 12 hours of sleep sprawled out sideways on our King size hotel bed.
The three of us started out the night in the bed together. I put Miller in the middle since I was a tad concerned he’d roll off the edge. Worst.decision.ever.
Miller made himself right at home. Who knew a 48 inch, 43 pound little boy could take up an ENTIRE king size bed?
Around midnight Mary Grace asked if she could move to the floor. I probably should have joined her! Even with just 2 of us in the bed, Miller continued to throw his arms and legs all over me. I woke up that morning at the foot of the bed, sleeping horizontally.
Thank goodness for Starbucks coffee! I felt so badly for Mary Grace that I was honestly tempted to get her some too. But then there was this kid who was well rested and happy as a clam as we continued on our vacation…
Let me just say- this is something you only let happen once. Here are a few hotel hacks for kids that- like Miller- don’t do well sleeping with others:
- Sleeping Bag: Perhaps the absolute easiest, always travel with a sleeping bag and put your children on the floor!
- Mini Air Mattress: Another great option is to bring a child size inflatable Airbed. These things are perfect and your children will think it is such a treat to sleep on one! (This one is a bit pricier, but I really like it!)
- Pool Noodles: Yep, I’m totally serious. These make awesome bumpers to keep your children in their “lane” in the bed! Shove them under the sheets and you will be amazed at how easily your children keep to their own space. This also works great if you have a child who rolls off the bed.
- Pack N Play: Many hotels offer Pack n’ Plays or cribs for children who are still small enough to fit. Even once we moved our children out of cribs at home, I used a Pack n’ Play when we traveled. You can also ask about roll away cots or rooms with pull out couches.
Another one of my favorite go-to hotel sleep hack is the Pandora Sleepytime Tunes Station. At home we don’t use any music or sound machine, but sometimes we need something at hotels. This awesome station plays hit songs in instrumental, lullaby-style.
For more tips on staying in hotels with kids, you’ll definitely want to read: How To Survive Hotels With Kids
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