This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
If you’re taking a road trip, getting your kids to sleep in the car can make everyone’s life easier.
Traveling any type of long distance with kids is a lot of work. You have to make sure that you’re on top of your game in order to make things as easy as possible for your and your kids. You’re trying to make sure that you don’t totally explode at your kids if they’re not listening or if they’re throwing a tantrum.
One of the simplest ways to help you through a long drive with kids is to get those kids to sleep for large periods of time. By having them sleep during the drive, you don’t have to worry about how to keep them entertained, or who is screaming for what. While kids won’t usually sleep for an entire road trip, you can get them to sleep for long periods of time, and help you through that long drive.
First off, do not try to keep them up extra at night or wake them up in the morning. If you do this, you’re likely to find that your kids are going to scream or whine even more than they usually do. When kids get over-tired, it generally just makes it even worse for them to get to sleep and to keep calm while strapped into the car for a long period of time. You’ll likely find that you hear a lot of screaming if your kids are too tired.
If your child is young enough, try to have your drive cover their normal nap time. This way, you’re not skipping normal sleep time, but rather you’re driving during that time. Your kids will be used to sleeping during this time, and so it will be much more likely that they’ll be able to fall asleep while you’re driving during that time.
A similar strategy is to drive overnight or to leave really early in the morning. Your kids may be excited, but that excitement will quickly wear off as the dark miles pass by. They’ll get right to sleep. The very big downside to this strategy is that you need to make sure you’re not at risk of falling asleep yourself. Be sure that you get plenty of sleep before you make the drive, and don’t push yourself if you can’t keep your eyes open. The safety of you and your child is far more important than trying to stop a screaming baby.
The best strategy is to simply teach your kids to not have to use electronics in the car. If your kids require a tablet or other device in the car, they are far less likely to fall asleep. Their attention will be focused on watching a show or playing a game. In order to teach your kids to go long periods of time without an electronic device, you’re going to have to work on it with them during short drives.
All too often, parents will hand a tablet or phone to their child when they’re going for a short 10 minute drive. If your child can’t go a short period of time without a tablet, they won’t be able to go a long period of time either. They’ll be so accustomed to getting the tablet when they get in that car that they’re going to want it every time they set foot in the car. In order for your child to fall asleep, you want them to have as few distractions as possible. There’s a very good chance that your child will sleep if they’re looking out the window and watching the miles go by.
Teach your kids to sit in the car without the need to be entertained for a short drive. By doing so, you’ll greatly increase your chance that your child will fall asleep during a long drive.