With March Break just days away, many families are packing their bags! Vacations are a fantastic way to
reconnect as a family; but with all those long flights, lengthy car rides, hotel stays, and nights at the in-laws,
let’s make sure sleep on track!
If you are travelling somewhere in a different time zone, I suggest you simply jump into the new time zone and treat it like an ordinary day at home. With a few days of adjustment, things should get on track quite easily. When you return home, simply jump back into your home time zone.
Remember that the best way to ensure your little one will sleep well on the road is to create a familiar sleep environment to what she has at home. Ensure she has a crib or Pack N Play to sleep in when you are staying at a hotel or with friends, if that’s what she is used to at home. Remember to take along her comfort object (if you use one), favourite blankie, a sound machine (if this is what your little one is used to), and even a portable blackout blind to make the sleep space very similar to what’s at home.
Consistency is key to your child’s great sleep, especially when away from home! Continue your normal bedtime routine each night when you are away from home to make bedtime much easier on everyone! Do a bath if you can or, at minimum, simulate one with a warm, damp cloth and a quick wipe down.
A few car naps and stroller snoozes are to be expected when you are on the road. Whenever you can manage it, try to ensure that at least the first nap of the day is in your hotel, in your baby’s crib or pack & play. The first nap sets the tone for the rest of the day, so try not to mess with it! Then, if the second nap needs to be on-the-go, your baby should be well-rested and able to handle this more easily.
I suggest you schedule flights for first thing in the morning when babies are their most-rested and most-contented. If you have a significant layover, you can try to get your little one to nap in a stroller or baby carrier during this time in the airport between flights.
Try to get an early check-in at your hotel so your baby can have an afternoon nap once you arrive. If this is not possible, then go for a stroller or car ride when you reach your destination and let your little one catch some Zs while you enjoy the views! Definitely count on an early bedtime the first night of your vacation!
Enjoy your trip, and sleep well!
If you are experiencing sleep difficulties with your child, please don’t hesitate to contact me. We can schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation where I can offer advice and support, and we can discuss exactly how I can help your little one and your whole family get the amazing, healthy sleep you deserve!
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blogs by: Erin Junker Infant & Toddler Sleep Consultant, and owner of The Happy Sleep Company