One of our daughters—L, the older one—is a heavy sleeper. The other, R, wakes at the squeak of a mouse. As you can imagine, when the four of us hit the road and spend nights in standard hotel rooms, this mismatch can create some dicey situations around bedtime.
Our solution: We get creative.
Sometimes this means bringing tents to create rooms within the room. Other times it means crafting folding room partitions out of couch cushions.
For at least part of the time on our most recent trip to Oahu (we got home late Tuesday after 10 days away), it meant something else: During our stay at the Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk, we turned a second bathroom in our one-bedroom condo into sleeping quarters for little R.
By day, this room served its usual purpose—because it was close to the front door of our unit, we utilized the luxurious walk-in shower to rinse sand off our feet after days at the beach.
By night, however, we transformed the john into a nursery, complete with stuffed animals on the (closed) toilet seat, a sound machine on the sink and a giant crib on the tile floor in the center of the room.
When R was ready to go to bed, we pushed the crib toward the shower so we could swing the door around, then pulled it back and closed the door part way (to minimize disruptions).
Overall, the strategy worked beautifully. Behind the partially closed door (and with the help of those simulated crashing waves), R was able to sleep soundly while her sister, Powerwoman and I puttered about the rest of the condo. Because the bathroom had a bit of an echo, when R woke up in the middle of the night from the pain of new teeth, we were able to hear her cries without the aid of a monitor.
(In case you’re wondering, L can sleep through anything. She takes after me in that department.)
No, having our baby sleep in the bathroom at a five-star property wasn’t ideal. And I’m sure the marketing gurus at the property will cringe to read about how we improvised to get everybody some much-needed sleep.
The bottom line: It worked.
When you’re on the road with small children, practical trumps fancy-pants every time. The sooner we embrace this credo, the better off all of us will be.
What are some unusual sleeping solutions you’ve tried on the road with your kids?