With March break around the corner, travel plans are under way. A common question I get this time of year is “We’re going away soon. How do I protect my baby’s sleep?” Here are some tips on how to have a great winter break with a well-rested baby.
The perfect thing to bring with you and it takes up zero luggage space. Practicing the same bedtime routine you do with your baby at home will help prepare your child for sleep and give a feeling of security and familiarity to your baby, even if they are unsure of their environment.
If your child has a favourite lovey or blanket that comforts them, don’t forget to pack it! You can also read familiar books, bring along your white noise machine and the same crib sheet from home, so your baby will have that familiar smell. Bring your toddler’s pillowcase and use it on their new bed.
Remember you have a baby in tow so it’s important to plan your trip accordingly. If you are planning a long road trip, timing is key. If your baby can fall asleep easily in the car, leave right at naptime or plan for some nighttime driving. Some babies need that wind down before falling asleep on-the-go, so it may be best to leave 30 minutes prior to nap time to give your baby time to settle. Travelling with a baby will now take longer as you should be planning for necessary stops for feeds and potty breaks.
One thing I’m always telling my clients is that if you are about to experience a big event like a move or travel, it’s always best to put sleep training on hold until the dust has settled. It’s next to impossible to remain consistent during a vacation and we all know that to sleep train successfully we must remain consistent.
Enjoy your trip and get started when you arrive back home. If you have already sleep trained and are worried about keeping your little one on schedule, try not to worry too much. You do want to protect their sleep as much as possible but you don’t want to be trapped inside during every nap. Try and encourage some quiet time and stroller sleep throughout the day if you can’t make it back for naps. Try not to have a late bedtime every night. And most importantly when you get back home, get right back on schedule.
This is a must when booking your accommodations. Try and either book a suite with two bedrooms or even if there is one bedroom make sure the main room has enough space for your pack in play. This way you can protect your little ones bedtime (and not have to go to bed early yourself) and keep the environment nice and quiet. Mom and dad can then sneak off into the bedroom and not hide out in the bathroom with your bottle of wine.
Enjoy your vacation time with your family. Be aware of how much sleep you child needs and try to protect it as much as possible. But also have a great time doing family fun things and know that when you get back home, everything can quickly go back to normal.
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