Children to Sleep Away from Home

Getting Children to Sleep Away from Home

4 March 2022
Posted by: Chelsea

There may be many reasons why you might need to get your child to accept sleeping away from home and more importantly, to do so while you’re not present.

Obvious examples might include naps in day-care centres or perhaps needing to leave your child overnight with grandparents due to your work commitments. In such cases, you might encounter a few issues with your child settling.

Here are a few ideas that might help. Here, we are primarily speaking of toddlers, pre-schoolers and perhaps early Primary School levels.

Why problems might arise

Younger children value familiarity for its sense of security. If you remove it, they might well have a negative emotional reaction.

That might happen easily in the case of sleeping somewhere unfamiliar and particularly if you’re not going to be there too. Some parents have even experienced troubles getting their kids to settle and sleep just on holidays and the problems if leaving your child with someone else who has to get them to sleep, such as grandparents, can be more challenging again.

The problem is that when a child goes to sleep, he or she will inevitably feel a little vulnerable if the surroundings are unfamiliar. It’s a deep animal instinct that is perfectly natural.

What you can do to alleviate the problem

The good news is that there are a few things that typically help and they’re all largely within the realms of common sense:

  • if your child is old enough to understand, explain to them beforehand what is going to happen and make it sound exciting and fun. Avoid springing this on them at the last second;
  • unless it’s unavoidable, try to avoid being absent for the first time this happens with a given third party or location. Even if its grandparents or a sibling, it’s always best if the first time it happens, their normal care provider is present for the night;
  • in terms of day-care centre naps, the same can apply. Most centres will be only too happy to accommodate you the first time your child takes a nap with them;
  • try to make their surroundings as familiar as possible. Their usual bed coverings are a good idea and their favourite “cuddle-toys” might be essential;
  • in terms of pre-bedtime meals and snacks, again, try to make sure they’re getting the food they like and know. If they’re a little nervous about sleeping away, that probably wouldn’t be the time for granny or gramps to suddenly spring their “special cooking” on the child;
  • if you need to leave them overnight or at least to settle down without you, try, if possible, to find 10-15 minutes to talk to them on the phone or PC to say goodnight. A video call might be best;
  • certainly, let your child know that they’re going to have a great time but remember to give them some extra fussing when you pick them up. The first few times they’ll welcome that reassurance and it will confirm to them that in future, you’ll come back too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *