Helpful Toddler Sleeping Tips to Make Your Travel Life Easier
Getting a toddler to sleep in a camper presents all sorts of challenges. How, when and where will your toddler sleep? If your toddler is anything like mine, they NEED their sleep to function. Add more kids to this equation and things get exponentially more difficult!
Children’s sleep, in general, is just as important when traveling as it is when you’re at home. I have three of them, an 8 year old, 2 year old and 1 year old. Traveling with them is difficult enough without them being extra cranky from not getting enough sleep. This is why I have done my best to create a sleeping arrangement where they can actually get some rest!
I have found these things to be most important in helping babies, toddlers and kids (and us) get the most sleep while camping!
1. Keep toddlers in separate areas
If you have toddlers, make sure they all have a separate place to sleep. When we first started going camping in our trailer, my toddler was still sleeping alone in a crib.
The camper has two bunk beds but I didn’t want both boys sleeping in a bunk together. One trying to fall asleep without disrupting the other would be a disaster. On top of that, I was too worried that my youngest was too small to sleep in a bunk alone. I had nothing to keep him from crawling out the end and falling. There was also the suspicion that the boys would both stay up longer if they could see each other.
Tips for keeping toddlers separated
First, I put up black curtains and a curtain rod at the end of the bunk beds to separate my oldest son from my toddler. This kept them from looking at or talking to each other at bedtime or waking the other in the morning.
I got a smaller pack-n-play for my toddler to sleep in. We set up the dinette bed without the cushions and put the pack-n-play on top to keep it out of the walkway.
Tips For More Than One Toddler
Having a separate space for one toddler to sleep is hard enough, but needing spaces for two is even harder! When I had my little girl, I didn’t think we would be able to go camping again for a long time! I didn’t know how I would be able to get all kids sleeping soundly if they all had to be in the same area together.
My toddler boy likes to talk, play and roll around sometimes before he goes to sleep. I was afraid he and my little girl would keep each other up or wake up their older brother. Plus, there was no way I was going to fit two pack-n-plays in there. I saw no solution so gave up on it for awhile.
When I found an area for my girl to sleep that was separate from her brothers, we were on the road again!
I initially thought there wasn’t enough space in the master to fit anything extra for another toddler to sleep. The only extra space in the room was a TINY walkway on either side of the bed, 19 inches wide to be exact. I thought MAYBE there was some kind of tiny mattress available that would fit in that space. Turns out, I was right! I found a small mattress that almost fits EXACTLY!
My oldest son slept in the bottom bunk and my toddlers slept in the pack-n-play on the dinette sleeper and on this tiny mattress on the floor next to our queen bed. They were all separated and able to go to bed or nap at different times and not wake each other up, mom WIN!
2. Keep it dark
At home, my kids sleep in DARK rooms. When camping, we use curtains or blankets to cover up the windows to block out the light. The camper comes with shades over the windows but it is still pretty bright if the sun is out. We use curtains or blankets to block out the sunlight and it helps our kids sleep longer on our trips.
3. Block out noise
Use a sound machine or other noise maker to help block out surrounding noises. A camper is a small living space for a family and the walls are thinner than a house. A sound machine is helpful in blocking out noises from other family members and any noises from neighboring campsites.
If you have any other suggestions to help toddlers sleep while staying in a camper, I’d love to know in the comments below!