Tips to Get Your Toddler to Sleep in a Strange Place

Vacation. A new house.  A sleepover at Grandma’s.  A hotel room.

All of these require your toddler to fall asleep and stay asleep in a bed and room that is unfamiliar.  Even as an adult, I find it difficult to sleep in a place that is not mine, you know? So I completely empathize with my kiddo when he struggles to sleep with unfamiliar surroundings.

We’ve had our fair share of learning to sleep in strange places over the last few months.  For several months, we were back and forth between Gram’s house (weekdays) and our house (weekends).  Then we went to the beach for a week.  We’ve had a few hotel stays in between for weekend trips.  And then, of course, we moved into our new house a week ago.  I’m certainly not an expert but these days I can at least rub shoulders as someone who’s had quite a bit of experience.

Here are 5 simple tips for getting the kid to sleep in a new place:

  • Pack a lovey 1 of 5
    Pack a lovey
    DO NOT FORGET THE SECURITY BLANKET. Whether it's an actual blanket or a toy, if your child has something special that helps him snuggle in, bring it. We never go anywhere to sleep without his "friends."
  • Give him security 2 of 5
    Give him security
    Turn on a nightlight and crack the door, then plop your tush at the doorway. My mother used to do this for me and now I do it for Harrison. Just my presense calms him, gives him security, and he falls asleep quickly knowing that I'm only a few feet away.
  • Get a travel bed 3 of 5
    Get a travel bed
    We bought Harry a toddler-sized inflatable mattress and that's what he sleeps on whenever we travel. He "knows" that bed and is comfy on it, so whether we're at the beach or hotel or Grandma's, he has his own place that he recognizes.
  • Create a familiar space 4 of 5
    Create a familiar space
    This one really applies to moving - our first priority was to set up Harrison's room and essentially "recreate" his old room. We used the same wall color, same decor, same furniture. He could have transitioned to a twin bed but we thought it would be best to just leave be and keep his toddler bed.
  • Bed share 5 of 5
    Bed share
    Yeah, I know. I've been talking so much lately about NOT bed-sharing and breaking the habit and now here I am recommending it. But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to get sleep and if it's one night in a hotel, I am all for letting the kid crawl in bed so you can all get some shut-eye.


Article Posted 4 years Ago

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