Tips for Getting Your Baby to Sleep on Holiday
With the summer holidays fast approaching, you might be planning a trip for some well-earned R&R.
A trip away can be a daunting prospect when you have little ones.
Wondering what to pack
How sleep will be once you’re there
Should you follow your usual routine
Should you throw caution to the wind?
So many questions!
In this post, I’m going to give you some simple sleep tips to make your trip as stress-free as possible. We’ll cover what to pack, your schedule, and if you should stick to a routine.
So let's dive in.
Essential Baby Tools To Pack For Holiday?
I’m a big fan of a sleep bag. They are great for maintaining your little one’s temperature throughout the night, reducing the risk of them waking because they are cold in the early hours when their body temperature naturally drops to its lowest. They are also super simple to roll up and pack.
If you’re travelling to a hot country be sure to get one that is a light tog and not too hot. I’ve bought these in the past and they have been great.
I always take our baby monitor.
We also take our Gro clock because it works wonders in helping my oldest know when it is time to wake up and gives her some familiarity.
I’m a fan of white noise, it is especially useful when in a new environment that can be noisy or have different sounds. If you have a compact unit like this then you can easily pack it and control it from your phone. If you’ve got a limited luggage allowance then you can play it through youtube or Spotify on a tablet. There are so many free tracks/playlists to choose from. Remember to have the unit close to the source of the noise and away from your little one.
Blackout blinds – lots of accommodations have very good blinds that make the room nice and dark. You can check this before you travel, if they don’t then you can pack a portable blackout blind. I use this one at home during the summer and it’s great. Remember that if 10 is pitch black, you want the room to be about 8.
Should I Stick To My Babies Routine While On Holiday?
Kids thrive on routine. Knowing what is coming helps to manage their expectations and regulate their emotions. So, I am a fan of sticking with the routine even while away – as much as is possible while you’re on holiday. Don’t overthink it, this is as simple as doing the same things in the same order before bedtime. Maybe in your house that is having a bath, brushing teeth, reading a story, or singing a song then putting them into their sleep bag and bed.
It is a big ask to have a busy day and pop them into bed expecting them to just drop off to sleep without any of their usual sleep cues.
Should I Stick To My Babies Schedule While On Holiday
This is probably the question that comes up the most. Can you forget about your usual schedule and how will that affect sleep?
I get it, you’re on holiday and you want to enjoy it as much as possible. If you have a good sleeper, then having a few days off from their usual schedule won’t be a problem. However, you do need to be aware that if they are getting less sleep than they need, then there are more chances of them waking overnight and early in the morning. Unfortunately, having a lie-in because of a late night only really starts to happen when they are four years plus.
If they are not getting enough sleep their temperament will be impacted, FACT. For me, it is about weighing up if it is worth having a grumpy, short-tempered little one or a well-rested child that can enjoy the activities we have planned. I’d rather have a well-rested, fun, and happy child during the day and get them into bed as close to their bedtime as possible. But, if you are going to have some late nights then there are a few things that can make it go smoother.
If your little one is on a nap schedule, which is usually capped so that you can fit them all in, allow them to sleep for longer for the lunch nap or afternoon nap. Having a later wake up from this sleep will allow you to push their bedtime later.
If they have recently given up their naps then encourage them to have one. However, remember that if they wake after 2/2:30pm (and are 2 years +) then they won’t be ready for bed before 8/9pm as they need enough time for sleep pressure to build up. Not sure how many naps they should be having for their age, download my free sleep needs guide here.
One of the most important things to remember is that this is your holiday too, so try not to overthink things. Once you’re home and back in your normal routine things will slip back into place. And if they don't, well then I'm here to help figure out how we can get sleep back on track.
So, in conclusion. Pack the essentials, follow your usual bedtime routine, even if not following your usual schedule, try to strike a balance between extra naps, late nights, and early bedtimes, and lie back and have a bloody brilliant time!
Comment to let me know how your holiday goes 🏖️