With summer quickly approaching, I am getting many questions about preserving healthy sleep habits for little ones during travel. Before I share my top 5 tips, one thing to keep in mind is that with all transition, it is important to stay patient. Traveling can be a tough adjustment, for both adults and children. It is very exciting for little ones, but all the new sights, sounds and experiences can be overstimulating. Adding to that, your children will likely have disrupted sleep on the travel days with early mornings and missed naps. Plan on it taking 2-3 days for your children to adjust to their new surroundings and schedule while traveling.
Here are the top five things that you can do to help your baby sleep on vacation
1) BEDTIME & ROUTINE: arrive before your children’s bedtime so you can start your vacation off right. You’ll want to preserve their bedtime routine while on vacation, including baths, stories, songs and snuggles. Then put them to bed at their normal time on the first night so they have the best opportunity to get a good first night’s rest.
2) ENVIRONMENT: bring key pieces of your nursery environment with you. Bring a crib sheet, baby sleepy spray, lovies and a travel sound machine or use an app on your phone. Having some of the creature comforts from home can help ease the transition. Also, if the hotel or place where you are staying doesn’t have blackout curtains, consider investing in the GroAnywhere Portal Blackout Blinds.
3) CREATE SPACE: if you can, get a suite or book adjoining rooms. This way you can preserve your children’s bedtime and enjoy yourself after your children go to bed! If that isn’t a reality, put up a bed sheet to create a visual barrier so your children can’t see you. If they see you, they’ll want Mommy and Daddy.
4) NAPS ON THE GO: try to introduce sleep during your normal naptimes if possible or offer naps on the go. While I don’t normally recommend regular naps in the stroller, carrier or in the car, these are a great alternative to no daytime sleep while on vacation.
5) LIVE A LITTLE: vacation is about enjoying yourselves and letting loose! If naps don’t happen one day and a late bedtime another night, it’s ok. They’ll get back on track when they return home.
To get back on the right foot when you return from vacation, immediately transition back into your routine and schedule for both night and daytime sleep. The transition might take a few days, but with consistency, you will get back on track quickly. Bon Voyage!