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What do you do when your kids won’t sleep on vacation?   Try this little vacation tip!

sleep vacation 2

Packing for a vacation is exhausting enough – deciding where your kids should sleep should not be as exhausting.   However, when you have a toddler and they are normally happy to sleep in their crib at home – what can you do?

Here are your options:

  • Pack n play
  • Rent a crib
  • Mattress on the floor
  • Sleep in your bed
  • The most fun…  bring a tent!

My go-to-answer is for your child would be to sleep in a Pack ‘n Play,  but now I’m not so sure. Let me say this that if your child loves the portable crib – DO NOT change a thing.   You’ve got it made!  However, if your child refuses the pack ‘n play, you can try something new.

Our last vacation resulted in having neither kids sleeping at 10:30pm – both were up, because our toddler was having a very hard time falling asleep in her Pack ‘n Play, so we knew that we had to change this up a bit.

When we decided that the best answer, for our family, was to bring our castle tent, we found some very happy kids!
tent 1

We just packed up the tent in the perfect portable bag that it comes in:

Helpful tips:

  • Put it beside your bed, on the floor, to keep an eye on what is happening.
  • Keep a nightlight plugged in, in the same room, to let some light into the tent.
  • Talk to your kids about the sleep rules how and why they need to stay in the tent at night.
  • Lay a comforter down on the floor, to make it comfortable.
  • Bring a pillow from home (or a special blanket)
  • Let them play with some Busy bags  to help with calm-down time.
  • If they won’t fall asleep, lay with them for a few minutes and then sneak out when they are asleep.  If they wake up, they will just look up and see you in bed beside them.miatent-ymf
    Ps- our kids always wake up extra early on vacation, so I have invested in this and it makes a world of difference!  It turns green when they can wake up:

By the end, our daughter told us “I am lucky I sleep in a tent”. (OK, we may have been saying that line a lot, but hey, she got it!) We set the expectations and she went with it.  So that my friends, is another tool to put in your sleep tool belt.

teaching your kids to sleep in later

fall asleep






Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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