To conclude my little series on traveling with your little ones and maintaining the best sleep possible, this post is all about the return home.
These tips are going to help you to get your little one’s sleep back on track and get them sleeping really nicely at home when you’ve returned from travel or being away, or on a holiday, or something like that.
Number one, the journey home itself. So when you’re coming home a bit like the journey out, you have this random day, it’s a transitional day. It’s going to be a day where you may find you or your child might get more sleep than usual, you might get less sleep than usual. It doesn’t matter, it’s a transition. It’s when you get back, that really makes the difference in getting back into your routine.
When you come back, try if possible, it’s not always possible, but try if you can to factor in a recovery day. That’s the day after the travel day. So you’ve got your travel day and then a recovery day. If you can, if your timetable allows. That’s going to give you the opportunity to just play with timing, whatever time we start, the day is fine. Wake up when your body clock’s ready. And then, look at, where are we now? What time is it? Right, based on this wake-up time we need to have, or not have naps. Based on what happens there, we need to do what we need to do in order for bedtime to happen at that time, which is your time at home. So having that recovery day, it’s like having a buffer zone to really sort it all back out.
The second thing is home routine right away. Get into your home routine right away. Once you’ve got back and you’ve done that, you’re going to be starting to think, right it’s breakfast time at this time, this is our dinner time, this is when bedtime is. Just get back into that routine and rhythm. And particularly when it comes to your bedtime routine for little ones and the environment that they’re in. If they are in their own room, if they spent a week sleeping in a room with a sibling, but normally at home, they’re on their own, it’s hard and fast rules back to normal. That’s where you sleep, your bed, your room. If they are usually in their own cot, but they’ve been sleeping in a bed or a different sleep setting or in with parents on a holiday, back to normal, back to their own sleep space. Whatever the rules are at home, they need to come back right away.
The third thing to remind you of is jet lag. If you have changed time zones, especially big ones, jet lag can last a week. It can take a week to really get back to normal. But you’re going to encourage that along and you’re going to help that along faster by getting into your local time and your routine based on the time zone you’re back in. And by getting into those cues, the environments, the meal times, all those things that make up the home routine. Catch-ups as well. If you are, or your little one is tired, more than usual, have little catch-ups. It’s okay. Don’t think you’ve got to keep your little one awake to maintain the perfect bedtime if they’re tired, just because perhaps they don’t usually nap or they’ve had their usual amount of naps. If there’s additional tiredness there, a little catch-up sleep, really won’t hurt. And then still go ahead with your normal bedtime, so you can get that back onto the normal path.
Take care and I hope that this helps you and your little one if you are travelling soon.
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