Family travel adventures can be an exciting yet daunting time of bonding and exploration. If you are worried about how to maintain an established routine and promote better sleeping habits while you travel, then we have some great advice to share. Here are 10 travel tips to help your young family travel well and maintain a functional sleep schedule during your vacations.
#1: When is it best to travel with a baby?
Instead of completely disrupting your baby’s carefully plotted schedules to jet off on vacation, plan your travels around their daytime naps or bedtime schedules. If possible, book your flights or plan a lengthy car trip at night. This way, your children are more likely to sleep during the actual journey and not miss out on much-needed rest before your vacation even begins.
#2: Plan a family friendly itinerary.
Spontaneous vacations may sound delightful, but when you are a parent of young children, you may need to carefully consider your itinerary and how to best accommodate your children and their sleep requirements. Work around your child’s nap times and ensure that your itinerary does not clash with their scheduled naps or bedtime routines.
#3: Pack your children’s sleep aids and soothers.
Do not forget to pack your child’s favorite blanket, swaddle or pacifier before you travel. Bringing familiar objects from your home may help to promote better sleep while on vacation. Your baby will be less distracted by the new environment and more inclined to sleep surrounded by their favorite items.
#4: Book accommodations that promote sleep.
If you are heading out to a big family gathering far from home, it may be better to book a quiet retreat as opposed to moving in with a house full of extended family. Your child may require a quiet space to help them sleep better. A home full of people and endless distractions could deter them from their nap times and undo the good work that your sleep training has already accomplished at home.
#5: Ensure a familiar sleep environment.
If your little one is accustomed to sleeping in their own crib or room, be sure to mimic this while on vacation. Find out if your accommodation has baby-friendly furniture available or invest in a camping cot that you can easily set up to create a safe sleep zone for your little one. Keep things as routine as possible to help achieve better sleep.
#6: Stick to regular bedtimes.
It may seem like a good idea to forgo your normal family routines while on holiday. However, for a baby who is still learning to adjust to a regular schedule, a break with routine may have negative repercussions on their sleep cycles. Stick to set bedtimes as far as possible to help your little ones maintain a good sleep schedule, even when on vacation.
#7: Opt for more sleep, not less sleep.
Children can easily become overstimulated while on vacation. Busy daytime activities with fun in the sun can quickly wear them out. Your baby may need an extra nap, or an earlier bedtime to be fully functional during the day and sleep better at night. Opt for more sleep and not less to ensure a happier little person on holiday.
#8: Stick to your sleep training techniques.
If your baby is used to falling asleep on their own, now is not the time to lull them to sleep or introduce an unnecessary sleep aid while on vacation. Stick to what has worked at home so that you do not establish unhealthy sleeping patterns that will be difficult to undo once you return home.
#9: Have the difficult conversations.
If travelling together with others, be prepared to sit them down and discuss the importance of your little one’s routines. Your relatives or friends may not understand your stringent routine or stance on sleep training. You may miss out on exploring some of the tourist destinations to better accommodate your little one’s need for sleep. Be sure to talk to your travel buddies about their expectations and the importance of your sleep training.
#10: Don’t be too hard on yourself.
You are on vacation and things may not always go the way you plan it. Your child may be totally overwhelmed, or on the contrary, they may be completely at peace to enjoy pleasurable sleep while on vacation. Either way, take each day in your stride and offer the best support that you can to your growing family. Soon enough you will be back to your old schedule at home and can reinforce the sleep training that you know works best.
Need advice to help make sleep a priority in your home? Contact us at Blissful Dreamer for a consultation.