For me, one of the hardest parts about traveling isn’t the packing, the prepping, or even the long hours in the car; it’s the battle for good, quality sleep.
Good quality sleep for me, for my husband, and particularly for our two little girlies. If we can coerce a good night’s sleep from the rigours of a travel schedule, it makes all the other challenges so much more enjoyable, not to mention do-able.
But good quality sleep is not always possible on the road.
We’ve been gone from home and our beds for about six weeks, and there are still about four weeks to go. (Yes, we’re insane.) During the past six weeks, we’ve slept in hotel beds, on air mattresses, in spare rooms and rooms that have been oh-so-hospitably given up for that night. We’ve had everything from a whole basement suite to ourselves to having the four of us all sleeping in the same room with barely room to walk (but we stayed up so late there, it didn’t matter anyway!) The girls have slept in cute little cubbys, on matching toddler beds (just like at home!), on couch cushions, and their cousins’ bunk beds.
In all the change and craziness, the only thing that has really stayed consistent is our nightly bedtime routine, and the comforting presence of two slightly worn out, soft, fuzzy blankets. Security blankets.
I tried to pack light on this trip, knowing well that we would be in a ton of different houses and new places. And while I didn’t want the fuss of carting a ton of stuff, these two blankets were high priority.
They provide that little piece of home for our girls; that priceless feeling of security amidst the constant change of the open road. The security of having that same feeling every night, that exact same peculiar smell, and when all else fails; the ability to throw that little piece of security over your head when the rest of the world is just too overwhelming. Dropcam can also give another sense of feeling secure when you’re on the road by knowing what’s happening back at home or in the next room.
So when bedtime comes around, no matter where we are, we’ve gathered close as a little family (blankets included!) hugged each other close, and we all take our turn saying bedtime prayers. With the blankets tucked tight, we borrow a book from our hosts’ bookshelves, or read one off the Kindle. Then the two girls get tucked in (wherever it is that they are sleeping for that night) and we cover them up with those two special blankets.
We sometimes sing to them for a bit, rub little feet and little backs, and answer that “just one more” last question. And while we’ve tried different tactics, such as a white-noise machine, or an essential oil diffuser (I want one for my bedroom!) we’ve always had the blankets…
Finally, they settle down and fall asleep, cuddled close with that little piece of home that keeps them feeling safe and secure, no matter where we are.
What does your sleep routine with your kidlets (or yourself!) look like? Do your kids have a special blanket, toy, or teddy bear that helps them feel safe, or at home?
// This post was written as part of a fun campaign with Dropcam, who asked me to write about children’s security blankets. All opinions are mine. //