Ready to travel? It’s vacation time and you are very much looking forward to some rest, relaxation and some quality family time. Traveling with little ones can sometimes be more stressful than relaxing, especially when our children become overtired. Here are some helpful tips on how to protect your child’s sleep when traveling:
- Make sure your child’s “sleep tank” has some reserves! Try to ensure that your child is well rested prior to your travel date. A well rested child is much more efficient at handling disruptions that are inevitable whilst traveling.
- Try to plan car trips around your child’s naps. If your child is still on two naps a day and you have a long car ride ahead, it is best to allow your child to take their morning nap and then leave an hour or so prior to the afternoon nap. This way they can be rested from the morning and it will increase the likelihood of having them fall asleep in the car and allow them to take their usual afternoon nap.
- Pack the comforts of home. It is best to bring your child’s favorite and usual sleep items. This would include any lovies or blankets that they sleep with, crib sheets, white noise machines and bedtime story books.
- Recreate that optimal sleep environment. If your child sleeps in their own room in a crib at home, then you want to mimic that environment and maintain as much consistency to protect their sleep when traveling. Have your child sleep in a crib or pack and play using all of their familiar items. This may sound crazy, however I recommend bringing garbage bags and painters tape so that you can get the room nice and dark.
When booking your hotel rooms, if possible opt for a suite or family-type accommodation that will allow your child to have a room to sleep in while you can still enjoy a meal or a glass of wine and not have to hide in the bathroom to have a conversation!
As soon as you get back home, as long as you get right back on their usual schedule, routine and healthy sleep habits, your child will settle back to normal in no time!