My in-laws live 4-5 hours away from us so when my husband, 2 year old, and I go to visit them, we stay for a few days. Well, we came home early from our Thanksgiving travels b/c my son will not sleep when we go away! He is too large for his pack and play, but he won't sleep in a bed yet b/c he won't stay put. He sleeps great at home, in his crib, and that is it! Going away is just not worth the hassle for us, but my MIL doesn't understand it. I get so mad that they won't come to see us - we are the ones with a child. It is so exhausting for my family to keep doing this.
The first night, my son woke from 3-5 a.m. and was wide awake. He would not stay in his pack and play and would not sleep in bed with my DH and I. He didn't nap much while we were away either. Most times, we had to take him for a 1/2 hour car ride to get him to sleep. Plus, he woke up every morning before 6 a.m. and he usually sleep until 7 a.m. at home.
My DH and I are always so exhausted when we go to visit his family and come home miserable.
Anyone have/had a child like this and is there anything you can do to make them sleep better when you go away? I have to get rid of the pack and play, my son is just too big for it. I guess we will get an in inflatable mattress and try using it at home a few times so he will get used to it. He is still a "crib kid" and doesn't like to sleep anywhere else. UGH! We are re-thinking our Christmas travels now.
Is there anyway to take the mattress from the crib with you? Maybe try that on the floor before the air matress.
I know how you feel. It's a pain traveling with young children; it disrupts their routine and you have to bring so much extra crap with you for them. My in-law's always expected us to come to them, also. Well, tough. I try not to hurt people's feelings, but I won't be guilted or manipulated into doing things that I don't want or aren't good for my family, either. We would visit them once a year, and if they wanted to see us more often, then they had to come here. I always told everyone from the time we got married that once we had kids, we were staying home for the holidays; I was NOT going to drag kids all over the place, and we needed to establish our own family traditions. Sometimes they would come here; sometimes we'd go see them the week after Christmas. Of course they still wanted us to come there, but they dealt with it. We actually didn't go visit for at least year when our sone was a toddler because their house wasn't childproofed and there was way to much for him to get into, and we had a miserable, stressful trip having to stay on top of him constantly.
Now things are a little different; his dad has declined quite a bit in the last few years and really has no business driving, so we have relented on making them taking a turn visiting us before we will come to them again. We still stay home for the holidays, but we do go visit them more often. However, we keep our visits very short, usually just 2 nights, because we ALL have trouble sleeping at their house. The mattresses are really hard and they have floodlights all around the house and only thin curtains in the bedrooms, so it's almost like trying to sleep in daylight.
So, my advice would be first of all, don't go if you don't really want to. Second, if you really feel you must go, keep your visits short so you don't get quite so exhausted and stressed out. As far as getting your child to sleep better, I would try taking the crib mattress if you have room, or a small air mattress, and/or sleeping bag. But he's probably always going to have trouble there. This may sound awful, but have you tried Benedryl? I admit I do resort to that for both my son and myself when we travel because we both have such a hard time sleeping out of our own beds, and it does help. Oh, another idea, put your son in the grandparents room and let him keep THEM awake!
Good luck, and hope your next trip goes better!
It will get better.
Both my boys wouldn't sleep away from home for a year or so after they turned one. It was not fun and we only went to visit my parents about twice a year for a weekend at a time.
Now when we go I have very little to do since they hang out with Grandma.
My 2 yr old is the same way. He's too big for his pack and play and he's not in a crib anymore, so I feel your pain! I don't have any advice since nothing really works with my DS. He'll only sleep if he's had a REALLY busy day and exhaustion wins out over his stubbornness. He's at least behaved enough to stay in bed, but he'll lay there for hours, wide awake. We're going to Dallas next week, and I hope he'll do better this trip since I'll have the baby with me too. The baby, of course, will sleep anywhere, anytime. But traveling with a toddler and an infant...I must be crazy!
One of mine sometimes had trouble sleeping away from home. At different times, different things made a difference:
- at 6 months old, he wouldn't sleep on a little trip we made. No idea why! Came home and changed his crib bedding with him on the floor next to me. He scooted right over to his crib comforter and acted like he'd found an old friend, rolling all over it and giggling. He had a blankie and I didn't know it!
- From 12 to 24 months, we would often visit my sister 8 hours away. Believe it or not, I got him to sleep on a pallet on the floor. We would make the pallet early in the day, talk about how it was his bed, put his favorite stuffed animal on it, put a night light in the room, etc. By the time bedtime came, he was very excited to sleep in this very special bed. He would get up an hour earlier than at home, but I could handle that for a few days.
I guess my best suggestion is to bring some special things from home and talk up the bed away from home. Make it special and comforting. Be sure to simulate his home bedtime routine as best you can. Be sure he is settling down before bedtime, takes his normal bath, reads his favorite books, etc. It might help.
We were extraordinarily consistent with bedtimes for our kids and because of that, we never one time had trouble with our kids going to bed and staying there when we were at home. I think this helped a lot when we were away from home, even with one child who didn't like change in his routine.
Thanks everyone. DH and I are getting to the point where we just don't care anymore and we won't travel as much to see his parents. I agree that we need to keep our trips short so we don't get so exhausted. It is also a pain to pack that much stuff for a weekend, but it is just how it is going to be.
We do simulate his bedtime routine when we stay somewhere. Right down to the bath, books, and blankies. I never thought of taking his crib mattress with us, we could try that - IF there is a next time! But my son is an active child and will not stay put to fall asleep. He was so tired the one day, but he kept rolling around on the bed and trying to get off. I spent 15 minutes putting him back on - and then he was laughing and thought I was playing a game. When he gets overtired, he gets restless.
We do stay home for Christmas (I insist on it - even though my MIL gave us a hard time at first) but we often go out on the 26th or 27th for a visit. We think we are going to play the "sick card" this year - and cancel the trip!
My MIL is so stubborn that she refuses to come and see us for a holiday b/c of her own traditions, but yet, she wants us to come and see her. I think stubborn is too nice a word for her, but I am just tired of being so exhausted when I have some time off!
Thanks for the support and advice everyone!
We just got back from my MIL. What we do is for those few days, I sleep with my lil one. I don't mind going to bed a little earlier, and my DH doesn't mind sleeping alone. (I think he actually likes it!) We have been doing it this way for more than two years.