Travel + Baby SleepJun 06, 2022
Ahh, remember the days where traveling meant sleeping in, sunshine, strolls on the beach, and breakfast in bed?!?
WELL, THAT’S OVER NOW…
LOL, JUST KIDDING.
However, I would be lying if I didn’t say that traveling is different when you have a young family. It’s just a fact. BUT traveling with kids doesn’t have to be this daunting, sleepless and stressful fiasco. Is the new environment and routine going to throw off your child’s sleep a little? Probably, but going on a little vacation with your family doesn’t have to be a stressful event, just follow these 7 steps to stop stressing and start enjoying your family vacations:
Start them off right. If they’re already not sleeping great, it’s likely that traveling isn’t going to help that. A well-rested child who knows how to sleep initially will adapt much easier to sleeping in a new place.
Have appropriate expectations! Think about it, your child’s routine helps them to feel safe and secure. It is one of the only things in life they can really predict! Traveling can throw a bit of a wrench in the works. If you have a baby, be prepared for some confusion and frustration on their part. If you have a toddler, make sure to prepare them for traveling so it’s not unexpected and overwhelming! This simple step can decrease travel tantrums tenfold because they don’t feel blindsided and out of routine.
Pack your bags efficiently! Having children usually equals way more stuff and unfortunately there is no real way around that. We want to replicate your child’s home sleep environment when traveling, so here are a few things to add to the packing list:
★ Pack n Play / travel cot, or toddler bed.
If they'll be sleeping in a new bed, have them sleep in it a couple of nights before you leave so they can get familiar with it. Bonus tip: use the same sheets you do at home!
★ Blackout blinds OR my personal choice, a SlumberPod.
This handy little contraption was created by mamas, for mamas! The SlumberPod is a bottomless portable privacy pod that completely encloses standard play yards, mini-cribs, and select toddler cots — giving a baby or child their own dark and private sleep space (like at home). Designed with kids’ safety in mind, SlumberPod passes all applicable consumer product safety tests for baby products and was also assessed for CO2 rebreathing by an independent lab and their appointed physician. All safety tests were conducted with the ventilation flaps closed. It is compact, easy to use, and easy to travel with. I have one and it is a GAME CHANGER! We used this for a few weeks when we moved from Washington to Arizona and it was great!
Use code COZYBABYSLEEP$20 for $20 off!
★ Portable white noise machine
This helps keep your bebe sleeping even during those loud family game nights! I love the Rohm portable white noise machine as it’s small, compact, and rechargeable! Linked here.
★ Bring a familiar sleep sack/swaddle and security item (lovey, pacifier etc.)
This keeps everything as comforting and ‘normal’ as possible for them!
Continue with your bed and nap time routines as much as you can. This doesn't have to be complicated; it just means your little one still has their normal wind down routine before their nap or bedtime! Bring a book that you read at home, and sing the same songs!
YOUR CHILD’S ROUTINE HELPS THEM TO FEEL SAFE AND SECURE. IT IS ONE OF THE ONLY THINGS IN LIFE THEY CAN REALLY PREDICT!
Be mindful of awake windows, and try to get one decent nap, especially for younger babies, to avoid over-tiredness at bedtime. Having said this, don’t over stress and let it ruin your trip! Life happens and it’s more important that you enjoy yourself. It’s important to know that some children just have a much harder time napping on the go, and you may need to help them out a lot. This is ok, and won’t ‘mess up their sleep’ when they get back home!
Use daylight to your advantage if you are adjusting to a new time change. This will help to get them in the new time zone (and do the same when you return home).
Get right back on track when you get home! This is really important!! As soon as you’re home go right back to your daily naps and routines. If you have a sleep plan with me, go back to that plan! It’s not a one-time thing! They will either catch right on and be back to normal, or they might take a few days to adjust. Sometimes they’ll even sleep extra once they get home to catch up on lost sleep during their exciting trip.
TO CUT A LONG STORY SHORT…
Start with a good sleeper! It will pay off.
Expect for it to be a little off during your trip. It’s gonna be OK!
Pack the essentials: blackouts/SlumberPod, portable sound machine, sleep sack etc.
Continue doing a little bedtime routine.
Be mindful of wake windows & try to get one good nap in during the day.
Expose to daylight to get into your destination time zone.
Get right back on track when you get home.
Best of luck and happy traveling!
If you’re experiencing a little sleep ‘regression’ or traveling has previously thrown off your child’s sleep…
DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE SLEEP REGRESSION GUIDE HERE.
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