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 constantly worrying about sleep time. Here are some of my best travel and vacation tips.
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 will 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 going back 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. If you have never done this, now is a great time to start. Hand your baby a “lovey” and just practice. Some babies fall asleep easily in strollers, while others get uneasy and just need some practice time.
3. Bring a pack ‘n play or travel cot.
I always recommend that a baby has their own sleep space even while away from home. Bring your pack ‘n play, or if you will be staying at a hotel, call ahead and ask if they provide one. At night follow your same bedtime routine, 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 vacation. And that goes for the bedtime routine, too. If you don’t nurse or rock your baby to sleep at home, don’t start now. 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 will have to do to break a new habit formed while vacationing.
Good luck, safe travels, and happy sleep!