On the Road Again

We’re getting ready to travel for Thanksgiving. Last year, my big concerns involved making it through our road trip without my baby crying too much–he’s never liked car travel. Thankfully, that part has gotten better. My new dread is the disrupted sleep that comes with any sort of routine change for my kids.

It takes us weeks to make it through daylight savings switches, and a few days staying with grandparents means the same sort of scenario:

multiple night wakings, super early rising, difficulty going down for naps.

My husband and I used to try to leave around bedtime, hoping the kids would fall asleep in the car and then transfer gently into their beds at Mom-mom’s house. Ha! Hahahahaha. We don’t have that sort of child. Our kids get wired (excited?) and stay up hours past their bedtime, even in the toasty, moving car. They eventually fall asleep, but wake up when we’re moving them into the house. Not even an extended nursing session helps my 18-month old understand where he is or ease back to sleep.

Our plan for this trip: leave just after lunch on Wednesday, hoping the kiddos will nap in the car and arrive at Mom-mom and Peppy’s house ready to play for a bit before doing a regular bedtime routine. They’ll get in some good hugs and (I hope!!) figure out where they are, feeling comfortable enough to go to sleep.

There’s really not much I can do about their repeated night wakings. I don’t sleep well in a new place, either…even without my children waking me up.

Our plan for this trip: mentally prepare to be nice to my husband when we’re up for the day at 5am (I struggle with this. A lot!). We can work out a schedule in advance about who gets to sleep in and who gets up to make bagels and figure out the television.

And I can commit to going to bed by 9 myself, even though I want to stay up and visit with my family. If I want to have some quality time with them during the day–instead of bleary, grumpy time–I should maximize the sleep time I can snag. Maybe I’ll inspire them to go to bed early and they will get up at 5 with my kids! Big party for sunrise?

One bonus to going to my in-laws’ for Thanksgiving is the multiple drive-through coffee options. We don’t have any in Pittsburgh city limits (except McDonald’s I guess, but I haven’t been that desperate yet). I have this fantasy that I can load the kids in the car at the crack of dawn and they’ll fall back asleep. Then, I can either jolt up and read a book or pull over and nap with them!

Does travel disrupt your kids’ sleep schedules? Leave us a comment to share your tips for tackling tired travel.

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