Summer is just around the corner and families everywhere are preparing for travel. Some trips may include the children, but some trips may mean that the children stay with a babysitter. Either way, parents want to ensure that their children are sleeping their best, no matter the circumstances. At Good Night Sleep Site, we want to assist in giving parents that peace of mind. Here are some tips on how to help your children sleep better outside of the home or with a babysitter.
How to Help the Babysitter
To help your children sleep better when with a babysitter make sure you write out a plan. Include details about meals, snacks and specific times for the wind-down to begin. Keep in mind that your kids may be more hyper with a new caregiver around, so allow for extra time for them to get calm. Be very specific about the sleepy time routine so that they can recreate it exactly. This will also disencourage slightly mischievous children to stall and try to stay up later than they should. Your babysitter will be confident in the routine if you’ve outlined it exactly, and your children will be asleep when they should. Knowing that your children are getting the rest they need will help you relax on your date night or vacation. Please ensure that your babysitter knows of any special needs your child has around sleepy times so that they can be honoured. Your child will go off peacefully to la la land and you can enjoy your free time.
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To help your children sleep better outside of the home, the absolute key is to properly set up the sleep environment. Find a space for your child where they can have that uninterrupted sleep no matter their age. A separate room is obviously ideal but that may not always be available. You can get creative with this to help your child sleep better. A dark corner of the room, a large well-ventilated closet and even a large bathroom for a pack and play can work really well. As always, ensure that the space is safe and that the room is cribbed for older children. Please secure all outlets and cables and look out for unanchored furniture or large objects. Darkness is so important for restorative sleep outside of the home so try to darken the space as much as possible. Here are some great tips on how to darken windows anywhere.
Items for Sleep
To help children sleep better outside of the home, some comfort items are necessary. Don’t forget to bring your child’s lovey, night light and favorite book. An unwashed sheet and/or pillow case can help soothe them with familiar textures and smells. Setting up the white noise machine near their sleep space will further recreate the home environment. It will also block any noise to get your child into that deep restorative sleep.
The Importance of Routine
Following your home sleepy time routine will help immensely in helping children sleep their best outside of their home. A routine of similar activities done in the same order cues your child’s brain. Once the brain recognizes these cues, it releases melatonin for your child to get sleepy. Following that routine no matter where you are, will have the same effect! Read that favorite book, sing that special song and speak your sleepy “mantra” in the same way as you would at home. Your child will know what is expected of them and will sleep better no matter where they are.
Try to Relax
At Good Night Sleep Site we encourage all parents to follow the 80/20 rule: 80% of the time you follow the schedule and try to have kids in their consistent sleeping environment. But 20% of the time you can let all of that go, relax and have fun! Even if your kids don’t sleep their best when on vacation or with a babysitter, you can always get back on track and they can catch up when things are back to normal. This way of living ensures that you don’t get too anxious when sleep is not perfect. You are able to enjoy what life has to offer knowing that your kids will be just fine.