Summer holiday top 5 Sleep Tips for holiday travel
When you are looking to plan a family holiday, the schedule is usually the last thing considered. I would ask you to look at this as the main point. An important factor to consider is how your travel plans will affect your child’s sleep routine. Can you make this possible with as little impact on their sleep as possible? By doing this you will find you have a much more enjoyable vacation because you organized your trip in a way that has to ensure as little disruption as possible to your little one’s sleep schedule.
By helping ensure they get the rest they need, it will ensure they are happy, healthy, and alert during your trip—which will let’s face it, it’s bound to make the whole holiday a more enjoyable experience for everyone!
So, here are some tips to help ensure your baby gets the sleep they require during your travels:
Tip 1: Don’t over-schedule
This is usually the biggest mistake parents make. They try to pack in all the fun and adventure they were able to enjoy when they were “child-free” and just a couple days. You need to remember the fact that when you travel with a baby or young child it is not possible nor advisable for you to plan to do a lot of things in one day. Try spacing it out, doing only one outing or maybe even just one event a day.
It will make it much more enjoyable if it is at a slower pace, which will allow you to schedule regular naps and early bedtimes, just like you would at home.
Tip 2: Be consistent with naps and bedtime
Lets be honest, having the occasional nap while in the car seat or even a later-than-usual bedtime will most probably won’t do anyone too much harm, however if you find that your child’s naps are getting to be all over the place, on top of them going to bed much later than usual for several days in a row, then you will start to notice your child becoming so overtired and cranky making everything less fun and much tougher for everyone.
Tip 3: Patience with your child as they acclimatize to the new environment
Even if currently at home your child is the best sleeper in the world, you need to be aware that when they are in a strange environment thing’s maybe a very different story. It is quite normal for children especially babies and toddlers to test the boundaries around sleep because they are somewhere new.
This is simply the same as at home. They need to know that the rules at home apply everywhere. They don’t automatically know nor understand that the same rules apply in other places.
What you might find is that when your child is in a strange place, they may cry for a while at bedtime or wake up at odd times during the night. What I advise to be the best way to handle this kind of behavior, is to simply react in the same manner & way you would at home. By hanging on tight to your consistency, most find that within the first night or two, your child will have become used to their new environment and will once again be sleeping well. If your child is over the age of 2 years old, it is great to have a conversation with them. Discuss how sleep will look different by explaining it is going to be a different room, different bed, etc while you are traveling, however, the same sleep rules will apply. Meaning that when you get back home it will go back to their usual routine and setting without any issues.
Tip 4. Make sure you bring your child’s sleeping toy and/or blanket
This is simple – make sure that If your child has a treasured comforting item then it is packed. This simple thing will go a long way in helping them feel safe and secure in the new bed. Meaning that falling asleep in a strange environment is easier for them.
Tip 5. Keep your sleep environment the same as at home
A big mistake parents often make while holidaying is to start sharing a bed with their baby or toddler. They feel that while traveling it is easier to do this when though they do not do this at home. This can be really hard on children, especially young ones. So be carefully as even though it may be only for a few nights, your young child may decide that this way is their new preferred way. Meaning that upon your return home, it will likely be difficult on your child when they need to go back to their crib or own bed.
The great news is, nowadays most hotels have a crib you can have use of for free or rent during your stay. With many options available now you can take your portable playpen along and use that as a crib. Then for children aged 2 years and older, I recommend getting a small blow-up mattress that you take with you as this becomes their own special travel bed that they get to sleep in when you travel.
Hopefully, these few tips have helped you think and plan your holiday with greater success so there is no need for disturb everyone sleep during this time. I can also help with creating a personalized travel sleep program which will be created around the best times to have your child sleep and survive those time zone difference which occurs during holidays.
If you do find this has happened, I can help you get back on track with a simple DIY sleep program. Happy holidays and enjoy your time as a family creating great memories.