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9 things I learnt about my children's sleep on holiday

Updated: Jun 9

Last week we experienced our first holiday as a family of four. We've had a night away here and there, but not a real 'holiday' and certainly not as far away.


Read on for tips on how to survive sleeping in a caravan with two young children and hopefully you will avoid making the same mistakes we did!


1. YOUR CHILD WILL FALL ASLEEP ON THE CAR JOURNEY!

No matter how hard you try, or how old your child is, it's unlikely you'll be able to keep them awake! If you can, time your journey around nap time, or travel in the morning to avoid jeopardising bedtime too much with an older child.


2. TAKE A PORTABLE BLIND

Caravan curtains are rubbish. They don't fit properly and let in loads of light. Not so bad in the winter, but if you don't want to be up with the larks in spring/summer, invest in a portable blind.


3. USE WHITE NOISE

Caravan walls are so thin and you will hear every sound - both from your own caravan and next door's! If you have a white noise machine, definitely take it with you, or download an app that will play all night to muffle any sounds.


4. DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK PEOPLE TO KEEP IT DOWN

Following on from point 3, I don't see any problem with politely asking your neighbours to keep it down. On night 1 I had a quiet word with the caravan next door to ours and explained that we had young children trying to sleep. "No problem," they said, and shut their doors and windows to continue with their drinking games!


5. TAKE A BED GUARD, OR ASK FOR ONE TO BE PROVIDED

This never even crossed by mind....but think back to the caravan holidays you had as a child. Nice roomy beds? Nope. Even my stick thin 6 year old struggled to stay in the single bed so we pushed the beds together and used a bed guard. She thought it was a great adventure and we felt a little happier she wouldn't fall out.


6. REMEMBER EXTRA BLANKETS

Our caravan really lost it's heat at night (and what's with those holes in the floor for vents?!) so we were glad of the extra blanket we'd taken for Jack, plus he was in his 2.5 tog sleeping bag - in June!


7. TAKE SOME TIME FOR YOURSELF

Wherever you go on holiday, remember to take time for yourself to unwind. Whether that's at nap time, in the evenings or while your partner takes the kids swimming, take a little time to recharge those batteries. Last week was definitely more stressful than I thought it's be so I really enjoyed having a bit of time to sit and read my book.


8. THEY WILL STILL WAKE UP EARLY


If they wake at 6am at home, they'll wake at 6am on holiday. And perhaps even earlier if you are later to bed. Children are odd like that!


9. DON'T UNDERESTIMATE THE IMPORTANCE OF WIND DOWN TIME


This is where we really fell down. We went from full on chaos in the entertainment (see above) - dancing, singing, joining in with the crazy games - to bed. No bedtime routine except teeth brushing, and it really came back to bite us. One night both children took around an hour to settle, and were still up at 6am the next day again.



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