There are few things I love more than traveling, but with kids it’s far from easy. My husband and I always joke that we go on trips with the kids and we vacation without them.
One thing is for sure, when your kids are sleeping well, traveling is SO much easier.
My kiddos typically adjust in 1-2 days and then are sleeping just like they do at home.
When everyone in the family is well-rested a family vacation is much more enjoyable. This holiday season, I suggest making an extra effort to honor your child’s sleep needs. It makes for happier babies and in turn happier parents.
Being that the holidays are about to go into full swing, I thought it would be a great time to share my favorite travel tips:
The biggest mistake parents make is that they over-schedule themselves. They try to pack in all the fun and adventure they might normally have had back in their “child-free” days, forgetting an important fact: They have a child now.
Don’t pack in 3 fun-filled activities a day. Nobody is going to have a fun evening if your child is melting down at 5pm.
Don’t forgo the naps.
An occasional car nap or slightly later bedtime probably isn’t going to do too much harm, but if your baby spends a couple of days taking car seat naps here and there and having late bedtimes, she may become so overtired that by the time bedtime rolls around on day two, she has a complete meltdown and seems to “forget” all her sleep skills and just cries the house down.
If that happens, you might start to get very nervous because (a) your baby, who has been happily chatting herself to sleep for weeks, is now crying again, and (b) your mother-in-law is standing outside the door repeatedly asking you if you’re sure the baby is okay. You may start to give into this pressure and bend your expectations for your baby’s sleep. It’s easy to see how you could revert back to your own familiar ways in no time if you gave into this pressure and fear.
Be patient. Your baby is adjusting too.
It’s very normal for babies and toddlers to test the boundaries around sleep when they are somewhere new. Just because the rule is the rule at home, that does not necessarily mean the rule is the same at Grandma’s house. This may mean that your baby cries for some time at bedtime or has a night waking or two. The best way to handle it is to not do too much different than you would if the regression happened at home. You can go in every five minutes or so to offer a bit of reassurance, but other than that, don’t bend your rules. If you hang on tight to your consistency, within the first night or two, your child will be used to the new environment and will be sleeping well again.
Make sure you bring your child’s sleeping toy and/or blanket!
Bringing your babies favorite lovey or blanket is going make drifting off to sleep in an unfamiliar place much easier. They will feel more comfortable and secure with the familiarity of a toy or blanket.
If you’re not a bedsharing family, don’t start now.
Another big mistake parents make is to bed share with their baby or toddler while traveling. Even it’s it is only for a few nights, if your baby decides this is her new preferred location, you could find yourself starting all over again when you get home.
It’s not easy to travel with kids. I promise, it will be a million times easier if everyone is getting the sleep they need.
If your child struggles with bedtime and night wakings make a change and teach them to be AMAZING sleepers.
I’ve helped hundreds of families and they always tell me they wish they’d reached out to me sooner.
Book a FREE call with me now!
I’d love to help you teach your kiddos to be great sleepers.