Taking a family vacation is a great opportunity for making sweet memories together. Unfortunately, vacations also feel like the time when well-thought-out schedules get thrown off, including baby sleep schedules. If you’ve tried traveling with your baby before and found it impossible to get them to sleep as they do at home, we can help. Keep reading to get tips for helping your baby sleep better on vacation.
Keep Key Elements Consistent
You’ve trained your baby to fall asleep in a specific environment at home. While you can’t perfectly replicate that environment while on vacation, you can provide some of the same essential elements. Bring along their favorite merino wool sleep sack for the hotel crib, pack their sound machine or find similar sounds to play on another device, and don’t forget the extras like a stuffed animal or night light.
Along with these familiar items, you must keep your bedtime routine consistent. If you always give a bath or read a book before bedtime, do so while traveling. You may find this difficult if you’re traveling overnight on a train or plane, but work in as many similarities as you can, and you may have a better chance of helping your baby fall asleep.
Don’t Forget Naps
If you’re in a new place with lots to see, you may be tempted to skip or delay your baby’s naptime. While this can work in the moment, and the baby will stay awake and excited to keep exploring, it can lead to over-exhaustion later, making it harder for them to fall and stay asleep. You can try to accommodate your tourism and their nap schedule with a stroller or carrying device that allows the baby to sleep while you explore, but this type of sleep isn’t as deep or as good of quality as sleeping in a bed.
The best practice to keep your baby napping and sleeping well is to take them back to your accommodations and let them nap as they would at home. While you may feel disappointed that you’ve lost some exploration time, the rest of your day and night will go smoother because of the good quality nap. And since travel can also be exhausting for adults, you’ll probably find yourself grateful for a chance to lay down too.
Your baby is accustomed to a certain amount of physical activity and play when they’re at home, and those activities help tire them out, so they sleep well later. While the environment is different, you can help them safely explore and play while you’re on vacation, so they’re tired for their naps and bedtime later. Bring along their favorite toys and make use of the new environment. The more your child uses their brain and body like they’re accustomed to, the better they’ll sleep.
There are many tips for helping your baby sleep better on vacation, but the three most important are consistent elements, good quality naps, and plenty of activity. Following these tips can help your baby sleep well even when they’re away from home.