Tips for getting a young toddler to sleep in a ferry cabin....

(23 Posts)
InmaculadaConcepcion Fri 10-Jun-11 10:04:50

It's only for one night, but the logistics are discombobulating me a tad.

We'll be travelling on the Brittany ferry service between Spain and England.

DD will be 17mo, is small for her age and is NOT a very adaptable sleeper. At home she sleeps overnight in her cot.

Now, DD is apparently to old to be allowed a special cot by the ferry company and these cabins are too small to erect a travel cot.

She's not a great co-sleeper, usually needing to be latched on at the very least to stay settled. And besides, she goes to bed at around 1930 (although it will probably be later for this trip).

DH will probably be holed up in the top bunk passed out on sea-sickness drugs.

I'm more-or-less resigning myself to attempting a night of co-sleeping with DD in the lower bunk, but wondered if anyone had successfully tried any other methods...?


OP’s posts: |
Marne Fri 10-Jun-11 10:10:12

Havn't travelled with a toddler but i have been on the ferry (england-spain) overnight without a cabin. Could you take a bed guard? i use one (for when we sleep in caravans) that folds down very tiny (i think its made by 'jane') or there is a way of making a guard out of sheets, can't remember how but a mn told me so someone maybe able to advise on here. I don't sleep well on boats so if it was me (as long as you are not driving when you get off) i would stay awake.

PurveyorOfBaloney Fri 10-Jun-11 10:11:19

Can you sleep her sideways on the bunk, head towards the wall with some extra pillows either side to stop her rolling too far. Or make her a 'nest' on the floor (beg some extra blankets and cushions to do so) which may be safer than being on a bunk alone.

However, given it is only one night I would resign myself to not really getting much sleep. The excitement might prove too much.

EldonAve Fri 10-Jun-11 10:18:05

Last year we coslept on the way out and baby slept in the buggy on the way back

BriocheDoree Fri 10-Jun-11 13:09:01

Coslept or buggy (back in the days when I had to - they are older now!)
I am also the driver so was always a bit of a nightmare!!

CroissantNeuf Fri 10-Jun-11 13:14:04

Keep her up later, walk around as much as possible before bed to wear her out a bit and then co-sleep. Just don't rely on getting any much sleep and then if it goes OK it will be a bonus.

Also, can't you buy small inflatable readybeds that have a slightly raised bit down either side to stop little ones rolling out? OK, it won't stop her from getting out of it but it might be enough to let her sleep in it without rolling off?

stleger Fri 10-Jun-11 13:27:08

'Top and tail' with her, with her at the inside. My kids (not the best sleepers in the world when small) seemed to sleep well on boats, where they are being 'rocked'.


InmaculadaConcepcion Fri 10-Jun-11 17:01:00

Thanks for all the thoughts!

Ha ha, yes, I think lack of much in the way of sleep for me is most likely going to be the way of it, but I live in hope! And no, I'm not driving, so it's not the end of the world if I don't manage much shut-eye.

Some nice ideas about bed-guards/ready beds etc.
I'm a bit nervous about using pillows, but having said that, I'm not going to leave her unsupervised, so I guess that will be fine.

Buggy isn't a bad idea - she sleeps in it for most of her naps, but it has to be in motion. The rocking of the boat may provide that motion, I might give that a try....

Cheers again, other travellers!

OP’s posts: |
MmeLindor. Sat 11-Jun-11 23:16:03

We did the making a bed under the table thing with DS before buying a Samsonite bubble - smaller than a normal travel cot and very portable. At the time we did a lot of travelling so it was worth it (and you can sell them on very easily).

alienbump Sat 11-Jun-11 23:43:30

We travel with Brittany Ferries every six weeks or so and there should be no problem in booking a cot so long as you have a booking for an infant made (think that's an under four?). Now that my youngest is bigger, but still likes to cuddle up to someone while sailing, I just hoof the matress off the bed and sleep on the floor with her - if you have a four berth cabin booked you can make a double bed up on the floor. Are you sailing on the Pont-Aven? The cabins on there should be plenty big enough for a travel cot, I'm guessing you're in a 4 berth cabin and one of the bottom bunks folds away, making lots of floor space.

InmaculadaConcepcion Sun 12-Jun-11 16:06:15

I think we're in a four-berth cabin, alienbump... and yes, I'm pretty sure it's the Pont Aven.
The ferry company literature said cot not suitable to children over one, but given what you say, we may re-investigate that option. DD is dinky for her age.

We've got a NCessity tent-cot thing, MmLindor <waves> which isn't as big as a normal travel cot (but I've never tried getting DD to sleep in there as yet, although she plays in it fairly happily!). Sounds like it may go in the cabin okay, though. Last time we had a two-berth cabin, so I was anticipating the same again, but DH reckons he's booked a bigger one this time.

Thanks for your input!

OP’s posts: |
belgo Sun 12-Jun-11 16:11:36

We sailed on the Cap Finistre (Britanny Ferries) Spain - England last year, ds was one year and 9 months, and had was given a cot.

MistyB Sun 12-Jun-11 21:46:14

I also think you would be able to get a travel cot into the cabin but I took the mattress of the top bunk and put this on the floor and put DS on the bunk with duvet pivoted 90degrees and tucked in under the matress. Have also co slept on a mattress on the floor. The only annoyance we had was once I had managed to get DS to sleep, there was a very loud safety announcement at which point I nearly battered the speaker off the ceiling with my shoe (not really!! but it was really annoying but amazingly didn't wake DS up!!)

WomanwiththeYellowHat Sun 12-Jun-11 21:59:58

We used to use a pop up cot and I think the mattress on the floor one is a good idea.

We took DD2 at 18 mths last year and she co-slept and it was fine. She was awful on an Irish Ferries one at 15 mths so I think it is partly the luck of the draw. We kept them awake quite late on the boat so they were at least pretty tired and wanted to sleep!

janek Mon 13-Jun-11 10:23:11

when we get an overnight train we take a 3/4 length thermarest and put it on the floor for dd2 (and previously dd1), then use rucksacks and stuff to block up anywhere that she could roll too. but this is essentially the same idea as putting one of the mattresses on the floor.

i presume you've booked all 4 beds if you've got a 4 berth cabin though, otherwise the people you're sharing with are in for a bit of a surprise...

but it would be ridiculous if you couldn't get a cot for a child over 1 - they're the ones that need them. before that they are much more likely to pass out and remain in a normal bed, ime. i would definitely look into it if i were you.

although the buggy is quite a good idea, i find my dd doesn't sleep that well in hers - presumably cos there's only one position and it's nice to chop and change throughout the night.

InmaculadaConcepcion Tue 14-Jun-11 07:03:02

Blimey, hadn't thought about the sharing thing! Eek! I'll find out what exactly DH booked in that regard....

Good point about the buggy. DD always naps in hers, but never for more than 1.5 hours or so.....

OP’s posts: |
belgo Tue 14-Jun-11 08:47:01

If you've booked a four berth cabin, you won't be sharing with anyone else.

I've never heard of strangers sharing cabins.

InmaculadaConcepcion Tue 14-Jun-11 08:52:07

Just checked and you're right, belgo - the whole cabin is ours.

OP’s posts: |
janek Tue 14-Jun-11 17:36:14

that's lucky, cos i have...

we used to book an overnight bunk for my dad when we went to france when we were skint (so the rest of us did not have a bunk) but he needed a good night's sleep because he was driving the next day. he always shared with strange men (grin).

also, dp and i have shared an overnight cabin on a train with another (strange) couple. also, in order for dd2 to travel free on overnight trains (as she is under 4) we need to book every bed in the cabin (or we'd have strangers treading on her) so currently need a 3-bed cabin, but previously managed with a 2-bed one.

InmaculadaConcepcion Tue 14-Jun-11 19:14:03

It's clearly something NOT to be taken for granted, janek! I'll certainly bear it in mind for the future...

OP’s posts: |
janek Tue 14-Jun-11 21:17:36

sorry, didn't mean to go on about it... blush.

keukenprincess Wed 15-Jun-11 01:20:03

Just travelled on the Pont Avon to Santander 6wks ago with my 6mnth old. We had a 4berth cabin & one side had two bunks folded away where the staff erected a sml travel cot. It was roomy enough for one of your own if they dnt allow you to rent one. We asked once onboard & they brought it to us otherwise we wld have used the bottom bunk using special sleep wedges & a few rolled up towels with pillows allround. Good luck.

InmaculadaConcepcion Wed 15-Jun-11 06:43:39

No need to apologise, janek! smile

Thanks for that, keukenprincess. All really handy to know.

OP’s posts: |

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