We are quickly coming into the Holiday Season. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, outside of Summer this is the biggest traveling time of the year. So I thought it would be the perfect time to talk about traveling with our little ones.
You may have thought how am I going to survive with my little one in tow? Mainly because they still need their naps and night time sleep. Someone, please HELP US!
Here are my top recommendations to help set your mind at ease and contribute to making your trip a memorable and an enjoyable one:
1. Plan Accommodations – If it is possible, try to book a hotel/motel that has a suite, separate living area or a large closet/bathroom. Your little one has become accustomed to sleep in their own space, so when we bring back room-sharing this can be the start of a tough night. If you are going to be staying with relatives try to see if a separate room can be organized for your little one, of if room sharing is the only way, try to place your little one’s (bed/crib/pack and play), as far away from your bed as possible.
2. Recreate Your Little One’s Bedroom – Try to replicate your baby’s room as much as possible. Bring their sound machine, lovie or special blanket or toy, pacifiers (and backups), sleep sacks/swaddles + spares and even their own sheets. If you are planning on using a pack-n-play; try setting it up in your little one’s room a week before leaving and practice their night sleep in it. In doing this we are helping set them up for success while traveling.
3. Maintain Your Bedtime Routine -While you are away, try to keep to your little one’s nighttime routine as much as possible. Whatever this involves at night time – do this while traveling. This familiar routine that your little has become accustomed to cues your child’s brain that bedtime is coming. Being consistent is KEY.
4. Try and Get One Good Nap a Day – While we are away on holiday, we try to pack in as many sights, activities and family/friends as possible. As that is the whole reason why we are getting together for the holidays. But now with a little one in tow, these activities can turn unpleasant with a cranky, overtired, hyperactive baby. If your child is still taking two naps per day, try to get out in the morning and out for lunch, but home in the afternoon to allow for a good solid two sleep cycle rest or 1 1/2 hours at least. This will help reduce their sleep debt and allow everyone to enjoy the rest of the day. If you happen to be out all day I suggest taking a darker swaddle to place over the stroller and a portable white noise machine, this way your little one can take a good sleep in the stroller and be rested while still out and about. *Always be careful of making sure that the swaddle is breathable and that any extra blankets or sweaters do not become a choking/breathing hazard for our little one.*
5. It’s Okay if The Rules Get Broken – At the end of the day you should enjoy this time with family and friends, you are traveling on holiday, so please enjoy and make the most of your time away. As they say ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.’ Once you are home, go right back to your routine. Get back on top of it. Be 110% consistent. Typically within 3-5 days you will have your great sleeper back again. If you don’t have a great routine, then this is a perfect time to contact me for a great routine and your own personalized plan.