Toddler Sleeping Away From Home: 5 Tips
Little Yawn Collective - Apr 28, 2022
A momentous occasion in your toddler’s life is the first time they sleep away from home. This will also be a big occasion for you, as this may be the first time you and your toddler have spent the night apart.
Even if you spent the night away from your child when they were a baby, it might be a little different at this age because your toddler is mobile and can now communicate some of their feelings with words. They can also recognize that they are in a different place and may feel out of sync since they will not be in their own bed.
If you have a night away from home planned or have a special out-of-town trip, you don’t want to worry about the possibility that your toddler may be homesick and missing you. Read on for tips to have your baby snoozing comfortably in a new setting.
#1 No Surprises
Toddlers thrive on routines and predictability during the day. This doesn’t mean that they have to do the same activities day in and day out, but their day will still have structure. Your toddler knows that they will have lunch after playtime, and then settle down for a short nap. The playtime may be at a new place or with new friends, but then they know that lunch and a snooze will follow.
When our toddlers are confronted with surprises that create unknowns in their schedules, they may become hesitant and fussy. Be proactive with your toddler and let them know that they will stay with their grandparents, aunt and uncle, or with a family friend in a few days' time.
Allow your toddler to answer any questions they may have. Even if their question seems silly, it may help your toddler understand what will happen a bit better. The more they understand, the smoother this transition will be.
Let them know that you are going away for a night or a weekend. Also, add in how much fun they will have. It may help to mention that you can take them on a special outing to the movie theater or get their favorite treat when you get back. Keeping things in a positive light helps your toddler look forward to this experience.
#2 Trial Run
A trial run of sleeping in a new place is an excellent way for your toddler to practice their self-soothing skills and build up their resilience to being in different places. If you live close to relatives, especially the family or friends your little one may be staying with while you are gone, having a trial run will help your toddler be more accustomed to sleeping in new places.
Take your toddler over to the designated home for a visit and try to fit in a nap. You can run through your toddler’s typical nap time routine and get them settled in. Have the family member or friend also be in the room doing your toddler’s nap time routine.
This person will be able to have a first-hand look at your toddler’s routine and your toddler will also not be completely thrown off guard.
Encourage this caregiver to wake up your toddler when it’s time to go, and this will help your toddler establish even more familiarity when it comes to a new face in their sleep-wake routine. Now your toddler has successfully had a trial run, which will help their time away from home be successful.
If you cannot practice a trial run when your child will be staying, you can still help your toddler learn to get comfy in new spots by sleeping in a guest room or the living room.
#3 Bring In Some Familiarity
Being in a new setting doesn’t mean that everything has to be completely unknown. When packing your toddler’s bags, include their blanket, lovey, and favorite pair of pajamas. All these beloved items will bring familiarity and comfort to help your toddler feel relaxed and ready to sleep.
Your toddler may also not be accustomed to new sounds in a different setting. If they already use a white noise machine, pack that too.
Packing your toddler’s Little Yawn Collective products also ensures that your toddler has everything they need for their bedtime routine. They’ll also feel right at home with the soothing scents they experience every night.
Our sense of smell is one of the biggest triggers of memory. When your toddler is flooded with the soothing scents of lavender, cedarwood, and bergamot, they will be able to tap into that comfort and relaxed feeling that they experience with you.
Remember to pack our Calming Probiotic & Organic Chamomile Sleep Drops to help your toddler in case of an occasional digestive upset. Since your toddler is away from home and from you, they may be missing you. When you are experiencing new emotions, your tummy may act a little funny, and the same goes for your toddler.
#4 Set the Routine
Preparing your child for their night way also means prepping your toddler’s caregiver about their bedtime routine. If you aren’t able to do an in-person trial run, you can bring in this person through video chat so they can have some involvement during the evening hours.
Of course, we know that a bedtime routine is one of the best ways to ensure that our little one gets the rest they need and provide stability to end your toddler’s day on a good note.
No matter where your toddler is laying their cute little noggin, going through all the steps of their bedtime routine helps ensure that they can go through the tried-and-true routine that allows them to unwind and get ready to close their eyes.
Inform your toddler's caregiver of the Little Yawn Collective products you normally use during your toddler’s bedtime routine. They, too, can create the same restful environment that you create every night with our melatonin-free sleep solutions.
Let your toddler’s caregiver know that your little one starts their routine with a bath and our Soothing Shampoo & Body Wash with Calendula, and then they like to dry off and moisturize their skin with our Nourishing Body Lotion with Oat & Shea Butter. Then your toddler likes to put on their favorite jammies while singing their favorite song.
After this, they want to have a quick sip of water or milk, brush their teeth, and then get snuggled into bed. Spritz our Relaxing Pillow & Linen Spray to encourage cozy feelings. Once they are comfy, they like to read a bedtime story, and then it is time for good nights and sweet dreams.
#5 Prepping the Night Of
It is okay to feel nervous when your toddler is away from home. You want them to feel safe and secure and make sure they aren’t crying or being fussy while with their caregiver. This will typically depend on your toddler’s personality, but checking in with your toddler gives you a chance to say good night to each other.
For some toddlers, seeing your face or hearing your voice may make them miss you and make bedtime a little more strenuous. For others, this may help them feel better and ready to go to sleep once they know that you are thinking of them.
If you feel that your toddler may become a little fussier if you check in before going to sleep, you can always check in after they wake up. They’ll love to chat with you at the beginning of the day.
With new experiences come new emotions. It can take a lot of preparation and patience to set up your toddler for success. When the right foundation is set in place, your toddler will thrive with stability and the support of those that love them.
Steps like this in your toddler’s life show that they are growing and becoming their own person. Although we would love for them to stay little forever, watching them grow up and become independent is fun!
Here at Little Yawn Collective, we know that bedtime can be hard. Bedtime can be a little more complicated if your toddler is in an unfamiliar place and without you. With your hard work and prep skills at keeping your toddler prepared, they’ll be able to catch some ZZZs even when they’re sleeping away from home.
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