Once you have children, going on vacation definitely changes things a bit. You don’t just have to worry about catching your flight or avoiding some traffic. Now you have to worry and prepare for yourself, your little one’s AND all of their stuff (and probably your husband too…)
Even though travel changes a lot when you have kids, I still highly recommend taking the vacation. You are making memories that will last a lifetime. There are ways to make the trip a little easier on you and makes everything a little smoother, including their sleep. If you can keep their sleep on track (as best you can), then I bet you won’t be so hesitant to book that next vacation.
A few tidbits of advice for your little one’s sleep while on vacation:
- Try to mimic the sleeping environment as much as you can
- Depending on their age, bring a blanket, a fitted sheet they use at home, a lovey or the same sleep sack they use at home (or all of the above, the more the merrier). Bringing these items gives them that smell and feel that they are used to. It will remind them of their safe space in their bed at home and will make them feel safer and more comfortable in their new temporary environment.
- Keep the environment as dark as you can
- Bring blackout shades to put over the windows or if your little one is still in a crib, a slumber pod is amazing!
- Block out unfamiliar noises
- They are possibly going somewhere they’ve never been before and there could be a lot of noises they aren’t used to. A sound machine can block out those noises if you’re in a city or maybe you’re staying with family and they like to stay up late and make noise. Bringing a sound machine will help block out those noises and keep the same noise they are used to at home.
- Keep the same bedtime routine
- Keeping their bedtime routine the same (as much as you can) will help cue their brain that even though they may not be home, they know what happens next and what is expected of them. I love bringing the same night night books for my kids as this helps the transition for them.
- Familiarity is key
- Get them used to their new sleeping environment. It’s helpful if you are able to spend some time in the room and bed they’ll be sleeping in before bedtime. They will feel more comfortable and safer if they know where they’ll be. If they feel safe, they’ll sleep better at night.
- Keep the schedule as close to your usual schedule as you can
- Try and keep them on the same schedule with their wake-up times, nap times and bedtimes. Obviously you’re going to have some event, party or dinner that interferes with your schedule and you should absolutely go, but that leads me to the next tidbit of advice…
- Be FLEXIBLE
- Cranky babies and kids on vacations are no fun. If you can, get that nap in any way you can, even if the nap is on the go. I know this goes against what you usually do but getting the nap in is more important than having a rough afternoon and not enjoying your vacation. Once you get home you can back on track.
- Have fun and enjoy
- Vacations are a time to make memories with your loved ones and though it may not look the same as it used to, these are life long memories that you’ll all remember and smile back on. You’ll remember the good times you had. Relax and you’ll get back on track when you get home.
There are some wonderful products you can purchase that are so unbelievably helpful when you’re traveling that can help their sleep while you’re away.
My TOP recommendations are:
- Pack and Play
- Or any portable crib. The Graco Pack and Play is what we have always used with our kiddos and it’s amazing. Easy to set up and easy to take down, honestly takes less than a minute.
- Slumber Pod
- This is like a tent to put over the portable crib and it creates a blackout environment. They have a slot for your camera and even for a little fan! I cannot recommend this product enough! It is a bit pricey but we have been using it for years and we have never had any issues. The quality is top notch!
- Hatch Sound Machine
- This sound machine is wonderful. We have the 1st generation Hatch and it has lasted us years. It is easily controlled from an app on your phone so you can change the sound and light and all other settings right from your phone. There is no need to go into their room and risk waking them. They also have a little sound machine you can take on the go for stroller walks or if you’re out and about!!!
Don’t stress over your baby’s sleep while away. Enjoy the vacation and get back on track when you get home!
If you find that you’d like one-on-one support with your little one’s sleep, I’d love to help you out so you feel more relaxed and are able to enjoy your vacation a bit more.