There have been a lot of questions and so here’s my best effort at answering how we’ve handled sleep and a toddler while spending more than a month away from home.
Here’s the thing: In my experience sleep away from home mimics pretty nearly sleep at home, which is to say, it’s anyone’s guess how it’s all gonna go down on a given night.
It will likely shock no one reading that we don’t own a travel crib and that therefore we don’t travel with one. We also don’t bring anything in the way of special bedding for Faye. For sure, she sleeps with her own set of blankets and other lovies while at home, but we don’t feel any urgency to tote that stuff with us and I don’t think it makes a lick of difference in how she sleeps. (We did bring a doll, which we promptly left behind at the second stop of our trip. Not to worry: she adopted a new bunny friend while visiting our dear friends this past week.)
On a typical night at home she sleeps soundly in her own crib-turned-toddler-bed for most of the night, but inevitably comes crawling into our bed around 5 o’clock in the morning. Hers are mostly welcome morning snuggles and at any rate, two years in we’ve grown accustomed to them. In general Faye sleeps fairly badly in a travel crib—for forty-eight different reasons, I’m sure—so unless there’s a real bed for her to sleep in all by herself, she tends to spend more time than usual in bed with us when we stay in hotel rooms.
If you’re not used the sensation of a two-year-old’s tiny elbows and knees jamming your ribcage, then this will undoubtedly be something of a shock to the system. If you are used to that particular kind of joy and if you find yourself suddenly in a hotel room with a king-sized bed, well, then you might feel like you’ve won the lottery and you might very well enjoy the best night’s sleep you’ve had in a while. No doubt there are families for whom any kind of co-sleeping is a non-option, in which case, I’m afraid I don’t have much in the way of advice to offer, other than reassurance that in every place we’ve stayed a crib has been at the ready and no one has blinked an eye when we’ve either asked for one or not asked for one.
When deciding between staying in an apartment or home versus hotel, it’s clear that a home offers a nice change of pace, a bit more privacy, and the chance to, say, enjoy a bit of adult conversation in the evening after putting a kid to sleep. But if that’s not an option, I’ll admit that we’ve also found that on nights when we’re staying in a more traditional hotel room, we’ve usually so exhausted ourselves during the day that everyone falling into the bed at the same time feels like the preferred option anyway.
The point is, I’ve found we can really make just about anything work. For myself, I believe in taking the path of least resistance which means that there’s a little bug in the bed next to me more often than not. As we say in France, tant mieux.