Wondering how to get your baby to sleep while traveling out and away from home? Getting a baby to nap during outings, trips, and vacations can be nerve-racking. With the warm weather and summer approaching, everyone wants to know how to take their baby out without worrying about sleep time. Here are some of my best tips to help your baby sleep while traveling.
1. Bring something familiar from home.
This will help your baby settle to sleep easier. A favorite blanket, stuffed animal, a portable white noise machine. Anything that reminds your baby of sleep. Having a familiar item will put your baby at ease and help them fall asleep faster.
2. Don’t stress about outdoor naps.
If you are vacationing, the last thing you want to worry about is returning to your hotel at naptime. Bring a breathable blanket or cloth and drape it over the stroller to filter out light and distraction. Even the stroller shade works well. Walk around, enjoy yourself, and let your baby drift off to la-la land. Now is a great time to start if you have never done this. Hand your baby a “lovey” and practice. Some babies fall asleep easily in strollers, while others get uneasy and need some practice time.
3. Bring a pack ‘n play or travel cot.
I recommend babies have their own sleep space, even while away from home. Bring your pack-and-play, or if you will stay at a hotel, call ahead and ask if they provide one. Follow your same bedtime routine at night, and just lay your baby down as you would at home. This brings me to my next point . . .
4. Don’t start any new bad sleep habits.
My general “rule” for traveling with a baby is don’t start any new sleep habits just because you are away from home. If you don’t bed share at home, there’s no reason to start that habit while on a family vacation. And that goes for the bedtime routine, too. Don’t start now if you don’t nurse or rock your baby to sleep at home. Follow the same bedtime routine you have at home. It may take a little more effort to get your baby to sleep in a new environment, but the effort is worth it compared to the work you must do to break a new habit formed while vacationing.
Good luck, safe travels, and happy sleep!