Sleeping arrangements for a toddler

Discussion in 'Camping with Kids/Pets' started by athread678, Jul 14, 2020.

  1. athread678

    athread678 Member

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    We just did our first camping test-run this weekend and did a bit of driveway camping. We have 3 kids (DD9, DS5 & DS2). They all did great, but the 2yo really struggled with getting and staying asleep. He's is an awesome sleeper at home, in his toddler bed, alone in his dark room. We thought we'd put him on a bunk end by himself and draw the curtains to simulate him sleeping "alone" like he's use to at home. Unfortunately he played with the curtains, played peek-a-boo, rolled all over the queen bunk and took hours to fall asleep. He was then restless for most of the night, waking and crying often.

    Any ideas or suggestions from parents with other similar aged toddlers? What sleeping arrangements do you all use? Is it just an age thing he'll need to outgrow?
     
  2. nikkid027

    nikkid027 New Member

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    Reading for info! Just purcahsed one today and figuring out sleeping arrangements for a 2yr old and almost 1 yr old!
     
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  3. athread678

    athread678 Member

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    Congrats on the new pup!

    Sadly it doesn’t seem like there are many ideas coming our way. :( We have a small cot that we might try on our next trip and see if it helps by limiting his space. He moved around so much on a queen size bunk (since he is used to a toddler size).
     
  4. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Well-Known Member

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    Here is what we did when my kids were little. First thing is to tire them out during the day with lots of activity, have a night routine with smores or whatever. Bring them inside and read a story and we have a car stereo in our camper and we put in a soothing CD and hung out there for a bit and they were out pretty quickly. We then enjoyed some parent alone time by the fire. If your child is younger - like 1 YO, then we first brought a pack and play and they slept in that and they were used to that since we took it everywhere visiting others and they slept in it. Usually you know when your kids are tired and you can put them down. If they are a bit older, you don't even need to stay in there with them, you just let them know that you are right outside by the fire. After a few trips, they are good and can go to sleep just like a home. Like anything, there can be a little adjustment at first. Being active and getting them physically tired has always helped us.
     
  5. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Every child is different. When my little side kick was a toddler we first started On the bunk, but for safety reasons put her on the collapsed table. ( We discovered her legs sticking out from under the bunk canvas once). She moves like a freight train in bed. So we decided to move her. My little side kick always wanted to be by us, and would stay up to all hours so she didn’t miss out on the excitement. We found around bed time we would get ready for bed give her a nice cuddly blanket and put her on a chair near us outside by the campfire. She ultimately would fall fast asleep and we just left her there until we went to bed. She did so much better that way. Otherwise we would be constantly up fighting to get her to sleep. She would wake up constantly and cry as she wanted desperately to be by us.
    Then again she is always like that at home as well.
    Part of it I think for your son is excited. Like a kid just before Christmas, their excitement is just too high and their body is keeping them awake. The more days you stay the better his body will do to get back on schedule. A white noise machine might help to help muffle the distractive night time noises. especially if he never slept in a tent before. Camping in a tent Or anything without the solid walls, noises can be quite loud, you hear all the bug sounds you never noticed much, you hear adults talking and laughing. If he has new sheets and comforter or sleeping bag it could be because the smells and feel are not familiar Yet. My side kick always had a big cuddly blanket. Every morning it was off her bed and moved to the living room which she cuddles. Every evening it was back to her bed. It was kind of like a security blanket but one she didn’t need To carry 24/7 but It was comfy, soft, and warm and she loved to curl up in it just before bed. So we had to be sure to take it will us. Good luck. It’s always tough trying to figure kids out as they just don’t have the needed way to explain their feelings.
     
  6. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

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    I think the solution to your issue is to wear the little guy out. I noticed a phenomenon as a scout leader. It was hard as heck getting the boys to settle down on Friday night, but easy on Saturday night. We are also noticing this with our four year old granddaughter. The key is how much energy they expend during the day. You can't do anything about the initial excitement on the new experience, but if you do all you can to wear him out, it might make it easier. The last time we went camping with the granddaughter, we arrived early enough at the campground to allow her some activity time. DW took her to the playground, then to the beach while I set up. We let her play as much as she wanted until 8 or so, then we all went to bed together. She still didnt drop like she does after a full day of fresh air and exercise, but it was easier to get her to sleep than previously. Next time, DW is going to try and get her playing outside at home while I'm at work to burn some energy, since we can't leave early.
     
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  7. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

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    Kids and dogs. If you want them to sleep keep them moving all day long. 1255AAB6-3738-4175-A69C-488C50771DAD.jpeg
     
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  8. athread678

    athread678 Member

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    Thanks for the ideas everyone! I really appreciate them. We have another trip planned in a few weeks and we’ll see if we can’t get him exhausted before bed! Thanks again!
     
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  9. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    It will just take some time, sleeping in a new place is difficult for some kids. Especially at that age. A white noise machine may help to initially put them down for the night, or naps. I need one when my daughter was little every night, and that was at home!
     
  10. lilpott

    lilpott Member

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    i would try a sound machine and to make it as dark as possible. I've seen some people put pack and plays on a king bed as well.
     
  11. J Taylor

    J Taylor New Member

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    When our girls were that age we took one of the dinette out and used a pack and play in its place. We had decided that them sleeping was more important than our comfort. We also found(still do with our 4yrold) that night 1 is the worst. I found that if they had room to roam they do, so a smaller bed was better. But that is just what worked beat for us.... unfortunately they are all there own animals!
     
  12. Geniphermarie

    Geniphermarie New Member

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    My son is almost 3, I had him sleep in the middle where the table breaks down and I put a guard on the side so he wouldn't fall off. That situated his head right below mine since i'm sleeping on that end of the PUP. He seemed to like having me there and slept the whole night is his own space (he did take a while to fall asleep and I did have to stay with him till he did) but he slept the whole night comfortably. Good luck!
     
  13. Meng1988

    Meng1988 New Member

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    We just did our first trip with our 5 and 2 year old and it worked out pretty well. Of course, every kid is different so you have to take everything with a grain of salt. But here's what we did...

    We each shared a bed with a kid, I was with the 5 year old, my wife with the 2 year old. We did bed a little later than usual. Normally they are in bed between 7-7:30, but it was still way too bright then so it was more like 8:30. But we all went into the trailer about 7:30 and had some wind-down time. All just laying on the beds and not having any crazy loud play. Just some good family time. Then when it got close to bed time, we brushed our teeth and read a book. Then we said goodnight and went and sat by the campfire.

    The game changer for us was that we gave our kids a dose of melatonin before bed.

    Also important for us was to shift out expectations. They aren't going to go to bed like they do at home. It will take them longer to get to sleep and they will likely play around a little in bed and talk. We let that happen and let them get to sleep on their own time. It took about 45 minutes each night. We also died laughing when our 2 year old's foot randomly popped out of the side/bottom of the bed.
     
  14. Jimbow

    Jimbow Well-Known Member

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    I created a tent inside the tent. Basically put a sheet over the dinette worked.
     
  15. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    Just purchased a 2yr old? ;)
     
  16. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    The camper is new and he has only slept in it once. So, actually he did really good for a 2yr old. Keep doing driveway sleeps in it. Let him sleep in it for naps even. But also give him time to just play inside it - let him do peek-a-boo and such during the day in the driveway. Let him get used to it as an extension of his house. Then when you go, it will be his comfort in the woods, etc. He'll know it like his own room so he won't be nervous or overstimulated by the camper itself.

    P.S. this works for pets too - if they get used to being in the camper at home and as an extension to their home, then they don't stress and worry as much when you go camping. They KNOW that camper is home.
     
  17. huddlewalt

    huddlewalt New Member

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    I find it that if you entertain the kid during the day, later on in the night he will definitely have a much better sleep. So, try to find activities for him during the day, like playing games, reading, watching something or just being outside on the move. But, as you know, every child is different, so I can’t guarantee this is a general thing for every baby. Nevertheless, you should give it a try. I got a very interesting game that captivates my baby, from this online boutique for baby clothes and accessories, and it has definitely changed the sleeping schedule into better. I guess you have to try different things until you find what works in your case. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2021
  18. AndreD

    AndreD Active Member

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    I always ended up cosleeping with them. They always felt safer and quickly fell asleep quickly after being outside all day. Which often left me staring off unable to sleep lol but you do get used to it eventually :s
     

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