Thursday, June 14, 2018

Toddlers, Travel, Sleep & Simplifying


When you overthink things and it gets more complicated sometimes you just need to listen to a 2 1/2 year old to simplify things.

You see my youngest is still in a crib at home.  He has plenty of space in it and still sleeps well.  Our hope and intent is to use it until he is too big or he starts climbing out.  The problem is, at 2 1/2 he doesn't fit in the pack and play any more.

We knew the time was coming, but we didn't know what to do to transition from using it.  We didn't have to with my oldest.  He slept one last time in the pack and play at 2 1/2 before we moved, but the next time we traveled he was using a mattress on the floor at home, so we set up some blankets like a bed on the floor for him.  Worked great.  But he was a pro at sleeping in something bigger by the time we traveled.

My youngest, well a combination of separation anxiety, knowing how to open doors, and not having been in anything other than a crib or pack and play, this was going to be interesting. 

Our first attempt was trying out an air mattress with sides at a hotel recently was a total flop.  After repeated attempts of trying to get him to use the air mattress we put the pack and play up so everyone could hopefully get some sleep.  Not a great night sleep, or nap, or the next night without being near me or me being in the same room. 

So when we planned on traveling again to my parents' lake house, I just took the pack and play. I had purchased a cot for our other trip, but decided to return it after realizing we had the air mattress and wanting him closer to the floor to start.  I prepared myself and everyone else for rough starts to sleep and shorter length.  I knew that he didn't like the pack and play anymore and just couldn't get comfortable.

While at the lake, I decided to give sleeping out of the pack and play a try.  It was a good time to try it and see if we could figure out a solution.  So I set up a twin mattress on the floor next to the wall and box spring.  At least it would still feel like there was sides I figured.  Problem was, he still wouldn't lay down.  He kept getting up.

Eventually he fell asleep, right next to door on the carpet.  Okay, I thought, I will just set up some blankets on the floor for bed and see how it goes.  It took him a bit, but he slept on those.  Then I decided for nap time the next day, I would put things back.  I moved the twin mattress back onto the box spring and opened up floor space.  I picked up the pack and play, but left the mattress on the floor.  I set up an area near a closet door and wall with a few extra blankets in hopes he would sleep there.

Nope, he still ended up sleeping by the door to the room.  So for bedtime, I gave up.  Cleaned up the rest of the pack and play and extra blankets.  I asked him where he wanted to sleep.  He pointed and said "right there, on the carpet"

Here I was, trying to figure out the best solution, the right one.  All I needed to do was listen to my 2 1/2 year old.  Other than wanting his big bed at home, he just wanted to sleep by the door on the carpet.

The rest of the week he slept fine.  I figured this was a good trial run for when we travel and for down the road when he sleeps in a regular bed.

What tips and tricks do you have for traveling with a kiddo who still sleeps in a crib at home, but doesn't fit in a pack and play?

I have no issue with him deciding to sleep on the floor at family and friends houses for nap and overnight.  But what about in a hotel room?  The floor isn't exactly known for being the cleanest.  Hopefully by the time we stay in a hotel again I will have a better answer. 

But for now, I guess when we travel, I need to listen better and simplify things.