Traveling with Baby for the Holidays
Make the Most Out of Your Trip
Taking your little one on a trip is no walk in the park. In fact, going on “vacation” can often be more exhausting for you. Why? Well, accommodating your little one’s sleep routine while traveling can be challenging… But there are a few things you can do!
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📍 Best Laid Plans
It’s always best to start travel off with a well-rested baby. Before you leave, you really want to try and protect your little one’s sleep, so you don’t start off with a tired baby. The days leading up to leaving can get a little crazy with packing and last minute things, but really try and build them around your little’s naps. Now that we are packing for more than ourselves, we might need to starting planning a little further in advance.
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📍 Plan Travel Around Nap Times
Whether you’re flying or driving, if you can leave at a time when your little one can also take a nap, this is ideal. Some kind of nap is better than no nap at all. Ya know, to take the edge off.
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📍 Sleeping Quarters
If you haven’t already shared a hotel room with a baby, let’s be clear that this can be one of the most challenging situations — especially if you’re not currently room-sharing at home. The most ideal situation is to having separate living area or attached room. While this is not always doable, think about using a walk-in closet or even a well-ventilated bathroom. And when separate sleeping spaces aren’t possible, try to provide some kind of divider or a decent distance between the baby’s crib and your bed.
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📍 Re-Create Your Baby’s Sleep Space
Remember those sleep associations? Well, your baby’s sleeping space is actually one of them too! Bring things that are familiar to your little one’s sleep — your white noise machine, crib sheet, swaddle, pacifiers, and even bedtime routine books and music. Keeping things as much the “same” will help with sleeping in a new place.
… And if you’re bringing a pack n play, and your little one has never slept in one, give some practice in it a few nights before you leave. And when you get to your destination, have it be the first thing you set up and have your little one hang out in there with her bedtime books or lovies while you’re in the room unpacking.
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📍 Maintain your Bedtime Routine
Our little ones thrive on routine, remember? So think about what you do before your little one goes down for sleep, and do the same thing while you are away. Maybe it’s diaper change, book, and a song… whatever you keep doing it. This will be their sense of structure and security that sleep is around the corner. The more consistent you are while you are away, the easier (not easy) transition you are likely to have.
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📍 Get That Morning Nap In
Now in the ideal world, we would offer all naps as they are at home to not mess anything up. BUT, let’s face it, you are on vacation and that’s not quite realistic or fun. And if you have a good thing going at home before you leave, being a little more flexible on vacation is not going to mess with things too much.
The best thing to do is try and have an easy morning and let your little one get that morning nap in, so you can start the day with a well rested baby. And then the the other naps can be on the go — in the stroller, in a carrier, or by the pool. With a good morning nap, your little one will be more likely to take that on-the-go nap. Otherwise you may run the risk of an overtired and cranky baby that will have more difficulty on-the-go.
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Upon return if sleeping has gotten off (which it easily can), get right back to your daily/nightly sleep and activity routines and be super CONSISTENT. There may be some new sleep associations that came about from the trip, and if that’s the case, just go back to what you were doing before and sleep will come back around within a week of being home. But you need to be consistent!
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Last But Not Least…
And of course if you get back home and you need a little extra help, I’m always here for ya! So if you want a little help, go here to schedule a FREE 15-minute call with me, and we can chat about it!
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Oh, one more thing!
Every other week I share 5 things on how you and your little can get the most out of their first 5 years of life in my newsletter — The Healthy Little Note.
If you have little ones, I’m sure you’ll love it!
You can check out the most recent issue here.
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