School is almost out for the summer and everyone cannot wait for summer fun! Many children will be heading off to summer camps during these months. For some, it will be day camp and for others it will be sleep away camp, but not matter where they are going the excitement is building!
From gaining independence and confidence to simply making new friends, summer sleep away camps can offer an incredible experience for your child. You can find many articles on "what to pack" for your child when they go away for sleep away camp for the first time, but do not forget to think about how their sleep may be affected during this time. By doing your due diligence in checking out the camp and speaking with the camp directors, will definitely help to make sure your child is READY to go away.
For many children this may be the first time leaving their own room to sleep somewhere else and it can bring a lot of uncertainty. Let's take a look at how you can set your child up for success and prepare for sleeping at camp for the first time.
Ask as many questions as possible. Some questions may be:
What are the sleeping accommodations like?
How many children will be sleeping in the same room?
Can you bring personal items along to help it feel like their own bed/room?
What is their policy on visiting/phone calls?
How do they deal with home-sickness and trouble sleeping?
Do the children go to sleep at the same time each night?
By knowing the answers to these questions, you can provide your child the information they need when it is time to head to camp.
If the camp's rules and regulations permit, you can send the following items with them to help them while away and have some comfort of home.
Their own pillow and sheets/favorite blanket
Travel blackout shades
A white noise machine/music device with headset
Pictures of family
When I spoke with families who have experienced sleep away camps, the same advice was given over and over. The advice of having a few practice sleepovers before the children head to camp was vital in how their child reacted to sleeping at camp. Ask family members to help out by inviting them for a sleepover without you or ask a close friend to test the waters to see how they do at a friend's house for the night. Allow them to get comfortable slowly and talking about the camp before they head off will certainly help!
If you are traveling with the family this summer, learn more by reading our Travel Tips article. http://www.babesandbeyond.com/#!Travelling-With-Children-Some-Helpful-Tips/c1ogi/5599ba960cf28e68712bb1a0
Enjoy your summer!!!
Still need help with some bumps in the road? We offer a FREE 20 minute "Get Acquainted" phone call to discuss your situation. Contact Babes & Beyond to get started and for a personalized sleep plan for your family.