The first time we took a trip as a family of four we got about 2 hours of sleep. We ended up leaving the beach early because both our kids weren’t sleeping. It was not the best first vacation!
Though as a parent with a two small kids I was determined to travel. I saw all these other families doing it on Instagram so naturally I thought “how hard could it really be?” Well it turned out to be a lot more challenging than we expected!
I’m here to tell you, you can get sleep when you travel with young kids. It is possible to have rested kids and enjoy your vacation together. You can do this!
About two weeks ago we traveled to NYC for the weekend. Before we get started, I want to thank Firmdale Hotels for giving us a discounted rate to stay at the Crosby Street Hotel in SoHo. It was absolutely amazing! The service was top notch and the hotel was stunning. The kids begged us not to leave at the end of our stay! See more about our experience at the end of the post.
So here it is, our top sleep tips for traveling with kids.
How to Get Your Kids to Sleep on Vacation
Number one, plan ahead.
This was one of our fatal flaws that first trip. We didn’t think much about our children’s sleep environment and we kind of winged it. Now I’m not saying that won’t ever work, but it depends on your kids.
This time around we made sure to bring our sound machine and we talked with the staff at the Crosby Street Hotel ahead of time to plan for sleeping arrangements. Lastly, our kids love to be prepared so we showed them photos of the hotel before the big trip. They were so excited to see it in person and they knew what to expect going into it.
Second, know your child.
Some kids are “easy” sleepers and it won’t matter where they are, they sleep soundly! Unfortunately that isn’t the case for everyone. If your child has a favorite stuffed animal or bedtime book be sure to bring it on the trip. If possible try to keep the bedtime routine similar to your routine at home.
Also know your child’s limits. If skipping nap time means a meltdown at a fancy dinner later in the day, don’t do it!
Traveling in a new city is not the time to push limits and see how far your kids can go without rest or food. Know what makes your children feel comfortable and rested and plan to put this into action when traveling.
Third, give your kids the chance to sleep somewhere new.
Do it often if possible. When our son was little he slept best in his crib. He didn’t have much experience sleeping in new places with unfamiliar sounds or smells. So he needed practice. Though I have to say, the Crosby Street Hotel was so quiet! I couldn’t believe how we heard no noise at night, especially in the middle of NYC.
We’ve found each trip we take, the kids are more excited and more confident about sleeping in a new bed. It may not happen the first trip, but don’t give up. Your kids will learn to sleep on vacation! Each time they sleep somewhere new they will get more comfortable.
Lastly, prepare the kids.
I said earlier that we like to show our kids photos of the hotel or resort before we go. It gives them a picture in their minds of where they will be sleeping. Before our weekend trip to NYC I overheard our daughter telling our 2 year old son “There is a lot of waiting in NYC.”
She knew last time we visited the city we had to do a bit of waiting and this time she was prepared. It’s always good to share expectations and experiences ahead of time. It makes the kids more comfortable and hopefully reduces the risk of meltdowns.
The Most Relaxing Hotel Experience With Kids Ever!
So now to our once in a lifetime stay at the Crosby Street Hotel. One of the first things that caught our eye were the floor-to-ceiling warehouse style windows in our one bedroom suite. It was so refreshing to have so much natural light in our room, especially in a city.
The decor was absolutely stunning and even my husband committed at how beautifully decorated it was. The patterns, styles and colors were never something we could have dreamed up, but it went perfectly together. Our room even had fresh flowers and the kids got the cutest coloring books from the front desk.
Our daughter of course loved the big “princess” bed. And the shower!! It was one of the most relaxing showers I’ve ever taken.
Not only was the room fantastic, the staff was excellent. Robert gave us a wonderful tour of the hotel and shared some interesting facts with us. The outside terrace was so relaxing and the perfect place to unwind after a busy day in the city.
We ate breakfast at the hotel in the morning and we were stunned to hear the eggs were from the chicken coop located on the rooftop garden. How cool is that!? We also learned Crosby Street Hotel is one of the most environmentally responsible hotels in the United States.
As I said earlier, the kids were so sad to leave and so were we! We hope to go back one day as it was truly one of the best NYC experiences I’ve ever had.
So how about you? Have you traveled to NYC with kids? How do you get your children to sleep on vacation? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
We’d like to thank the Crosby Street Hotel for providing us with a media discounted rate for our stay.