Sleep is without doubt our most precious commodity.
No one wants a visit to family & friends, or a holiday to go pear shaped because the kids are over-tired… which is one of the reasons that we set up Bundle Beds. We're all about making getting out and about with the family that little bit easier, and ensuring that everyone sleeps well.
As a family, we love going for weekends away, on visits to see friends and in warmer weather, on camping adventures. Our two boys (aged 3 & 5yrs) sleep on their Tot-2-Ten Bundle Beds whenever they're not in their own bed, and it really does help them to settle straight away.
We've also found that these little tricks for bedtimes away from home have really worked for us, so wanted to share them with you...
1. Keep a similar bedtime routine.
We try to stick to a similar routine and timings to back home. (They're usually in bed by 7pm at home, and we usually get them into bed by 8pm when we're away). We give them a wash in the bath or shower (when they were babies, if they didn't have a bath we used a bucket or the sink!), brush their teeth, get them into PJs and then have bedtime stories in their Bundle Beds.
2. Have a little chill out before bed.
When you're out and about and exploring new places, it's easy to just whizz back to the bedroom and get the kids straight into bed. We've found that taking 5-10 minutes to have a moment of calm can help make the bedtime routine go that little bit more smoothly. Maybe lie on the beds or snuggle on the sofa and talk about your favourite part of the day, and something that you're looking forward to tomorrow.
3. Get plenty of natural light in the day.
We don't find it hard to get out and about when visiting new places, and we try to encourage the kids to get as much natural light as possible during the day, especially in the morning. Bright light suppresses melatonin, which helps children to feel awake and alert during the day and sleepy towards bedtime. And I don't know about you, but a blast of fresh air (especially sea air) before dinner time always helps to make our boys sleep better at night.
Once we've read them their stories and given them a kiss goodnight, we play them an audiobook to listen to whilst they go to sleep. We've found that this helps to block out any new background noises, and helps them to relax and drift off.
We try to download a couple of stories on the iPad before we leave, and we pop it just out of reach, so that they can hear it, but aren't tempted to use it!
5. Make it feel like home.
Our two have a Groclock in their room, and always sleep with the same cuddly at night, so we're sure to bring those along to keep them settled and happy. Some children sleep with night lights or a special blanket too, so although it's another thing to pack, it's worth it to keep kids content in their new space.
Of course... Bundle Beds really do ensure a great night's sleep for the kiddos! They act like their bed away from home, creating a familiar and safe, sleep space for them to instantly snuggle into. Try a practise sleepover in the Bundle Beds before you leave, so that the kids are used to it when you're away. (If you're struggling to know which bed to pick, then do take a look at our comparison chart for Bundle Beds to help you decide...)
And for the little ones still in a travel cot, bring a bottom sheet and blanket from home so that they have familiar smells to feel at home with.
If you have a holiday planned for this summer, take a look at these easy games to play with kids on a long car journey and our tried and tested fun activities for kids. Or if you're heading off in the tent, take a look at our top sleep tips when camping with kids.
Happy Travelling! x