Getting ready for a trip can be exciting, but it’s also pretty stressful! Add in a young child or baby and that stress level is bound to sky rocket!
“What do we need? Where will she sleep? What will we do if we forget something important?”
Personally, I lose sleep the week of any trip we go on from staying up all night creating lists so that we have everything we need. I drive my husband insane but I’m a planner and it’s what I do!
So, I’m here to help you plan your next trip so that it goes as smooth as possible!
First things first, I want you to wrap your head around the idea that it won’t go perfect. And that’s ok! Maybe your toddler will get a sudden bout of motion sickness on the plane and your husband will have to buy a new shirt in Atlanta during your layover. Or maybe your baby will skip all naps that day. (Speaking from personal experiences here)! The best thing you can do is mentally prepare and move on once something out of the ordinary happens!
If you are traveling by plane, it’s best to plan for an early flight. If the flight ends up being during nap time, do what you can to get your baby to sleep on the plane. Don’t worry about breaking any “rules” that you’ve set for yourself and your family. Now is the time to be a rebel and just get through this flight! If your baby is sleep trained, it’s ok to feed them to sleep while you’re flying. And don’t forget to bring an extra change of clothes (for everyone in the family, including Dad!).
If you are traveling by car, plan during nap time for shorter trips and plan for early morning or through the night for the longer rides. You’ll want to look for places to stop along the way to get your baby out into the sunshine for a bit after their naps. Try to blackout their section of the car and use your portable sound machine!
At your destination
The hard part is over and you’ve finally arrived at your destination! Now, it’s time to set up your child’s sleep space! Here are some tips for doing so:
1.) Do your very best to create a separate space for them
· If you’re staying at a family member’s house, ask them for another room for your baby ahead of time. This can be an office or large laundry room.
· If you’re in a hotel, try to get a room with a separate living area. If that isn’t possible, use a closet or the bathroom for your child’s “room”.
· The SlumberPod is a great tool for creating a separate space! You can use my code for $20 off!
2.) Recreate their room at home
Bring the sound machine, portable blackout shades or SlumberPod and anything else they use at home! You’ll want to make sure they you are recreating their space at home as close as possible!
3.) Try for one good nap each day
You don’t need to obsess over your child’s schedule while you’re away, especially if you’ve laid a good foundation for sleep! But, I do recommend trying for a one good nap a day and then being flexible for the rest!
4.) Don’t change up the bedtime routine
Whatever the routine is at home, follow it as close as possible while you’re away
5.) Do your best to avoid practices that you don’t want to bring home with you
Little ones have a way of remembering everything! So, while you say “you can sleep with me but just while we’re on vacation”, your child will not see it this way. I have worked with many families who had great sleepers before going on a trip then co-slept while they were away and needed a full plan with me to get back to how things were before.
Relax and enjoy your time away! If your child’s sleep falls off track a bit, you can always resort back to your original sleep plan when you return home! If your child is a tough sleeper to begin with, I would recommend getting them on a good routine before you head on your vacation!