Traveling is one of the great joys in life, but when you have a baby or toddler, it can be hectic and possibly chaotic. Your baby does not understand the concept of vacationing. All they know is they are in a strange environment.
When traveling, the hardest thing for newer parents is maintaining their baby's sleep schedule. It is challenging enough to reset your routine; you don't want to do it for the baby. How can you enjoy your vacation and help your child maintain a typical sleep schedule?
Maintain a Regular Bedtime Routine
The best thing you can do for your little one is to keep everything as close to normal as possible. If your child is used to going to bed at 8:00 pm, put them down at that time or as close to it as possible.
When on vacation, you may not be at the hotel by bedtime because you are touring the area. While it is best to get your child down at their preferred bedtime, you also want to give them time to wind down from the day. If you can't get your little one to bed at their bedtime every day, that is OK; try to stick to the schedule most of the time.
React as if You Were Home
What do you do at home when your baby gets fussy because they are tired? Most parents lay their little ones down for a nap. You can and should do the same.
The worst thing you can do is try and force your child to stay awake in the hopes they'll sleep through the night. Keeping a tired child awake is a surefire way to create chaos and frustration.
React to situations the same way you would if you were at home. While the environment has changed, your actions can stay the same. Continuity helps your little one adapt.
Try & Stick To Your Nap Schedule
Babies usually take several naps throughout the day; toddlers will take one or two. When on vacation, it is best to stick to nap schedules.
While vacationing is fun and exciting, it can be stressful for a baby or toddler. They are unfamiliar with the environment and likely need access to things that make them comfortable.
Limit the amount of change your child has to endure. Stick to schedules as much as possible so they still have something comfortable and familiar.
Bring Their Bedtime Essentials
To make bedtime easier for your little one, bring items they are familiar with. Perhaps your baby or toddler has a favorite blanket or stuffed animal. What about pajamas or a bedtime storybook?
Familiar objects help the child make connections with wanted behaviors. Their bed might be different, but their blankie and stuffy are the same, so they understand that mommy and daddy want them to go to sleep.
You can and should plan for sleeping trouble. Use a sleep supplement or aid, like Wellements Sleepy Time Spray, to make the transition easier.
Schedule Travel for Mornings
The best thing you can do for the entire family is to schedule morning travel. Traveling in the morning means everyone can have a good night's rest, especially the baby. An overtired baby is cranky and fussy, and they make for the worst travel companions.
You deserve your vacation. Travel should be fun and exciting, but when you have a little one, especially a baby, you must take precautions to ensure they get adequate sleep. The above steps can help. You can also check out Wellement's blog for tips and parenting advice.