How to manage your child’s sleep while traveling for the holidays

How to manage your child’s sleep while traveling for the holidays

If you've ever gone anywhere, you know how disruptive travel can be to a child's sleep. From naps that just don't happen, to cribs and beds that aren't's never easy to adjust to time away from home. But travel—particularly at this time of year—is a necessity for many families. So, to help you out, we've put together some great sleep tips. Take these with you while you're planning for your trip, once you're at your destination, and when you return home. They'll help you ease the hiccup that is travel!

Building up to travel:

Don’t over-pack, but don’t under-pack either

Bring along baby’s blanket, lovie and sleeping clothes. Anything that smells familiar and reminds them of their home environment will help ease the transition to a new surrounding. If you're traveling by car, you may want to consider bringing your own Pack n' Play, a white noise machine, and monitor. 

Travel day has arrived!:

If you're driving, plan around naps

This will depend on age, because at some point you need to just get in the car and get going, but for younger babes taking multiple naps… hop in the car right when they would normally go down for a nap. Often-times babes will sleep better from the motion in the car, and this might buy you a couple hours of quiet before babe wakes up and wants to play, or eat, or wants to get out!

Once you’re there:

Try to maintain your home schedule as best you can

Changes in the routine are the quickest way to end up with an overtired child. Even if you had a great sleeper before, over-tiredness will almost undoubtedly cause any bad sleep habits you’ve worked on to re-emerge.

If your child is tired and cranky, you’re going to have a lousy time. By sticking to the schedule and keeping babe well-rested, the time you spend with friends and family will be fun, happy and relaxed.

Don’t skip naps, or push bedtime to later

As tempting as it may be to let your child skip a nap (if he/she is still taking them), or let bedtime fall back an hour or two, resist the temptation and stick to the schedule you’ve kept at home.  

Create your child’s own space within yours

If you must share a room with your little one, try to create babe’s own space within yours. So, use furniture to your advantage. Create a partition in the room, get creative…whatever it takes so that babe can’t see you from their Pack&Play/crib.

And don’t bring them into bed with you if you can avoid it. It will be much harder to return to independent sleep once home, if you weren’t doing this before you left. 

Once you’re back home:

Get right back to the same routine before you left

Bounce back into your old routine like you never left. If babe knew a good solid routine and schedule before-hand, there’s comfort in the familiar, and it will make returning home that much easier.

Some might argue… we’re on vacation and we’re going to have fun! TOTALLY! DO IT!! But sometimes, when you deviate from schedule too much, the wheels fall off (and that's often when I hear of problems occurring). You can maintain (and get back into) great sleep habits with a little advance planning. 

If you need some sleep help, I’d be happy to guide you from a space of exhaustion and possible frustration to knowing EXACTLY what to do in all sleep situations (travel included). You'll feel so much better rested!

Happy trails/travels!


Charleen McDaniel

Happy Baby Sleep Consulting 

To book a FREE Sleep Evaluation call, click on the link below:

Covered Goods, Inc.
Covered Goods, Inc.


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