In our newest member interview we talk to Travelbee Susanne Willekes, the first certified Dutch child sleep coach, who shares her tips for family-friendly ski hotels in Austria. She also tells us more about The Sleep Agency, her sleep coaching business and gives us tips on how to make your kids sleep better.
One of our favorite family friendly ski holiday hotels is Falkensteiners Hotel Cristallo in Katschberg. This place offers everything you could possibly want and need during your holiday! Family rooms, a gorgeous (kids!) spa, great food ánd it is located directly at the slopes. The hotel boasts a cinema, Kids club, full baby equipment and in-house ski rental.
The kids are taken to their lessons right after breakfast so we can have a peaceful cup of coffee before hitting the slopes ourselves; ending the day with a tasty Apérol Spritz while catching up with the kids is the best!
Susanne’s secret hideaway sans enfants is Das Posthotel in Zell am Ziller, a lovely boutique hotel that offers a superb spa (check those beauty treatments!) and organic and sustainable food, amongst many other things. Das Posthotel also welcomes families with children, so if you’re looking for a stylish boutique yet family friendly ski holiday hotel, this is the place for you.
Our favorite holidays are either spent in the mountains or at sea- that’s where we relax most. Sunshine is an absolute must! When booking a location and accommodation we always keep our kids in mind; we want them to be able to run around, play outside and practice sports. Food wise we are rather picky too: it needs to be fresh, healthy and delicious! Simplicity is key, so it could be a homemade pasta, or plain fish straight out of the ocean.
I am always on the lookout for stylish interiors, with a focus on beauty ánd simplicity. Whether we are camping with the kids (at the wonderful Het Betere Boerenbed) which means no electricity, preparing dishes using wood fires and sleeping in tents, or spending time in beautiful Mexico and staying at different places, all unique because of their style and beautiful simple interiors. So I would say we are always looking for a mix of luxury ánd basics!
Family-friendliness is another must; I absolutely detest staying at a place where children are clearly not welcome, as it makes us feel very embarrassed. In terms of green: aren’t we all a bit responsible? So, yes to organic food, waste management and solar panels!
That’s easy: the unconditional and eternal love you both feel for and receive from your kids. The endless cuddles, kisses and family time, the laughs…I think it’s so magical to watch my kids and recognize characteristics of both my husband and myself. Being a mom of three has brought me to the next level with regards to my own development as a person: to stay grounded, realize what life really is about, and the fact that nothing else matters besides my kids’ health and happiness. Motherhood is so enriching!
I would love to take our kids to South Africa, to experience a long safari while crossing several countries. Same goes for the Australian east coast; a road trip is one of my dreams. When the kids are a bit older I’d love to visit New York City.
To be honest, every child and every sleep issue is different and personal, so I’d rather call it my practice! In short: after twelve long and challenging years within sales, marketing, events and pr, I longed for a better balance between motherhood and work because I was constantly feeling guilty and stressed. Moreover, I lacked a sense of fulfilment, of actually helping other people ánd I wanted to pursue a life long dream: to work with babies and kids.
Our eldest son Viggo was a really bad sleeper and the enormous lack of sleep caused a postnatal depression, which had a huge impact on my physical and mental state, my job and relationship. While searching for solutions and guidelines I came across this thing called sleep coaching and that honestly was a life changing moment… This was exactly what I wanted to do! I am an expert on this subject, I have personally seen and felt the impact ánd it would mean I could coach kids and families. To deepen my knowledge I obtained an official degree as a Gentle Sleep Coach in the States (at Kim West) and started my own practice right after Bodhi, our youngest child, was born. As we speak I have coached around 500 families and even more kids and babies!
Basically I coach babies (as of 6 months) and kids up to 6 years of age, and I see it as my mission to help as many parents as I possibly can to deal with these challenging times because it has an impact on so many things, including your self esteem and a sense of failure. With this book I hope to offer parents actual and less expensive (book versus an entire course) help, tools, realistic expectations and practical tips. Plus I want to reach out to as many (new) parents as possible and tell them that a badly sleeping child is not solely their fault! So many children face sleep issues- it’s rather common and solutions doexist. So my book proves to be very important in proclaiming my message.
To be honest, all kids and situations are different! So it’s hard to narrow it down to just a few tips. But these three rules always apply:
And a final tip for when you’re traveling by plane: Take Jetkids’ Bedbox with you to ensure better naps during the flight.
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