Jayne Havens is a certified sleep consultant and the founder of Snooze Fest by Jayne Havens and Center for Pediatric Sleep Management. As a leader in the industry, Jayne advocates for healthy sleep hygiene for children of all ages, and she is committed to supporting families at the highest level. Jayne launched her comprehensive sleep consultant certification course so she could train and mentor others to work in this emerging industry.
The most frequent question that I get asked by my clients is, “how do we keep sleep on track when we travel?” This is tricky and it’s a bit of a balancing act. You want to try and remain on schedule as much as possible while still enjoying your destination and making the most out of your trip. Here are my tips for traveling with little ones:
Try to mimic your little one’s sleep environment as much as possible. If your baby is used to sleeping in a crib, it may be worth it to rent a full sized crib rather than using the hotel’s pack n play. I always suggest packing crib sheets from home as well as favorite bedtime books, your sound machine, sleep sacks, pacifiers, stuffed animals etc.
Pack some black trash bags and painters tape to black out any windows without blackout curtains.
If it isn’t possible to be back in the hotel room for naps, then try to remain on schedule with stroller or carrier naps throughout the day. An overtired baby is not a happy baby!
If there is a time change, try and stay on your own time zone to avoid jet lag if it’s just a short trip. If you trip is longer than 3-4 days it will likely make more sense to switch to the time zone of your travel destination.
Most importantly, cut yourself and your little one some slack. Travel can be stressful on young children. Children thrive on routine and any departure from their routine can cause hiccups with sleep. Give extra snuggles and provide extra comfort at bedtime to make your trip a good experience for the entire family!