It’s extremely common for sleep problems to develop either during or after holidays, even with children who have previously been excellent sleepers. Your child may now be needing extra help to fall asleep at bedtime, waking in the night and may have become used to new habits such as feeding in the night.
Sleep problems can develop after even a very short holiday. It generally takes about 3-4 days for good sleep habits to be established, so the reverse can also develop in a similar time frame!
There are a number of reasons that sleep problems develop on holiday. Usual causes are that your child has become used to one or more of the following:
- having parents in the same room as them, both at bedtime and during the night.
- has got out of their usual routine, including getting used to a later bedtime.
- extra assistance to settle, both at bedtime and to resettle during the night, eg feeding to sleep or feeds in the night.
When looking to resolve your holiday sleep problem, there are 3 main objectives that will help your child return to settling and sleeping through the night independently:
- Ensure that your child is in an age appropriate routine including appropriate day sleeps and bedtime no later than 7.30pm.
- Ensure that your child knows how to self settle at bedtime.
- Ensure your child can get back to sleep during the night without help.
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