As you plan for summertime getaways, it's important to keep your baby's or toddler's sleeping patterns in check. Here are some tips to ease fussiness and make traveling easier for your entire family.
If your child has familiar things (and smells) around him, he is more likely to sleep a little better. Take the crib sheet from the crib with you, don’t wash it—take it straight from the crib. Take the pajamas your child wore the night before, again don’t wash, you want these things to smell the same as they did at home, making it easier for your child to feel comfortable in a new environment. Take your child's favorite stuffed animals or lovies. Again, this will make your child feel more comfortable in a new sleep space.
Stick to Routines
Keep your nap and nighttime routines as consistent as possible. What you do at home is what you want to do while you’re away, especially at night. If your child’s routine is the same as it is at home, your child will feel more comfortable and relaxed since the routine is familiar. She will find it easier to fall asleep at the beginning of the night.
Ease Jet Lag
If you'll be flying and changing multiple time zones, start adjusting your child's daily schedule before you leave. Put your child to bed 30 minutes earlier every other day before your trip. And, wake him 30 minutes earlier than usual. If you're only traveling through one or two time zones or going away for a weekend, there's no need to adjust your child's schedule. He will adapt to going to bed an hour or two earlier or later than usual.
Break Bad Habits
Your child may pick up a few bad sleeping habits while you travel. Whether your child's sleep routine is off track due to having to nap in a stroller vs. her crib or having to be held by you at the night to fall asleep, you should have her back on track in two to three days once you return home—just make sure to start her normal sleep routine as soon as you return.
Tips courtesy of SnoozeShade and children's sleep consultant Rebecca Michi.