A baby on the beach with family on vacation

July 13, 2023

Baby Sleep & Travel

Let’s talk vacay! Yay! 

Looking to hit the road with babe in tow but dreading the imminent sleep challenges and disruption? 

No worries, the following tips will help smooth out sleep difficulties and free up energy to enjoy quality time, well spent.

  • Be patient with yourself and baby – Do your best to radiate calmness as much as possible. Breathe and try not to stress about being out of your normal routine. Children will adjust to their new environment, even if it seems to take a couple of days or so. When the trip is over and everyone is back home, you’ll be surprised how quickly little ones will settle right back into their usual groove. 
  • Time Zone Changes

1. If there is a minor time zone change, one that is only an hour difference from home, keep baby on their usual home schedule. For example, if they normally sleep at 7pm at home and 7pm at your destination is actually 8pm, then put baby to sleep at 8pm destination time. 

2. If there is a substantial difference in time zones – adjust baby gradually to the destination’s timeframe by pushing baby’s routines (feeds/naps/bedtime) early or later each day in 15-30 min increments each day.

  • Natural Light Exposure – Take baby outside during the day at your destination to help adjust and regulate their internal clock
  •  Create an Environment that Encourages Sleep – 
  1. Ensure a safe sleep environment (1 crib, pack and play, bassinet with a firm mattress and fitted sheet only, per baby. No blankets, pillows, or additional items such as bumper cushions in the sleep space – it is important to use mattresses and sheets that are intended for the specific brand/model of pack and play or crib/bassinet mattress) A lot of hotels offer a free bassinet/crib with reservations, be sure to inquire.
  2. For young infants that are napping 2 or more times a day, shoot for at least 1 nap laid down in a safe sleep space per day. Naps on the go can be inevitable and just part of the vacation experience. Give yourself grace for stroller, baby carrier, and very short car seat naps
  3. Make the sleep space as dark as possible, good options for portable blackout curtains can be as simple as black trash bags and painter’s tape.
  4. Bring a portable sound machine
  5. Adjust room temperature to 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit
  6. Enter your email on the home page to check out my full sleep environment checklist!
  • Stick to Bedtime Routine – Keep the order of bedtime operations from home, for example if your routine is milk, bath, pajamas/sleepsack, book, sing a song and laid to sleep then do the exact same abroad. Children will recognize the routine for when sleep is on the way.

Each kid is different so strategy success will vary from child to child. Don’t be afraid to listen closely and switch to something else to find the best fit for your little one. Do the best that you can to relax and soak up as much fun and enjoyment as possible because whatever happens on vacation can stay on vacation.

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