It’s that time of year again.
Families gather together to eat, laugh, argue (it’s not always a hallmark holiday, right?), and catch up on each other’s lives. If you’re lucky enough to live near your family this fun may not interfere much with your every day routines. But if spending a memory-making holiday with grandparents, siblings, dear friends and other loved ones means traveling for a few or many miles, look out! Changes in time zones, climates, housing, and schedules can really throw sleep off, especially for babies and children.
In this 3 part blog series, let’s talk about keeping your family’s sleep on track when traveling.
First, the packing
Now that my children are older and I have the benefit of 20/20 hindsight (and their increased independence) I can say without reservation that packing lightly with babies and children is better!! Less stuff equals less stress, especially in airports. That said, it IS worth packing a few extra tools to help you’re child sleep better away from home
Sound Machine: If you use one at home this creates familiarity and an easy way to recreate your bedtime routine (link to blog post on bedtime routines here?). Also, if you’re staying with family or friends or even in a hotel, unfamiliar noises (yappy dogs, late night guffawing, touch down cheering) can startle your child awake. A sound machine may just be the trick that keeps them sleeping through the night!
Night Light: I learned to pack this one the hard way - over and over and over again! What hotel room comes with dimmer switches?! Does your mother still have nightlights around the house?! Pack a simple, inexpensive night light and save yourself from stumbling around a pitch black room to find your toothbrush without waking your baby up. You’ll skip a lot of bedtime drama with your toddler or young child who may be afraid of the dark, too!
Familiar Objects: This may seem obvious, but packing familiar objects your child relies on at bedtime is a must. Does she have favorite jammies? Does he always sleep in a sleep sack? Are there books that you read every night before bed? put them in the suitcase - NOW! Maintaining your regular routines before naps and bedtime as much as possible will help your child relax in an unfamiliar setting. And a calm relaxed state is the first step to good sleep.