Traveling together with a child is no child’s play. Whether it is a flight delay or a jet lag, a flat tire or a poor accommodation, an unsleeping and crying baby can make it worse than it all actually is. Every parent understands the importance of a good sleep health for their child on a trip- it just makes everyone’s job easier and the traveling more pleasant. We have therefore come up with 8 of the best toddler travel sleeping solutions that can make your overall trip less stressful and much more memorable.
#01 Naps are important
Naps are a crucial part of a child’s growth years. Not only do they help maintain a good physical and mental health but also provide a much-needed break for parents. A lot of parents may want to keep their babies awake till they reach their hotel rooms where they can safely be placed in their allotted cribs. Parents must however be flexible with their baby’s napping routine and sneak in naps for them even while they are in the stroller. Babies who are well accustomed to napping in their portable baby car seats can benefit if the car seat is taken along in the trip.
#02 Try to maintain the usual sleep schedule
Developing a sleep schedule and following it strictly is hard. Parents should therefore try not to disrupt the sleep schedule followed by their young ones at home. Make sure that the baby falls asleep and wakes up around the same time, even while travelling. Take your child through the regular bedtime rituals you follow at home such as singing lullabies, reading a book, giving them a warm bath, etc. Parents should carry a set of body wipes for babies for instances when a bath is not the option. Always try to get to your destination before the usual bedtime of your baby to ensure that they get a restful night of sleep.
#03 Familiarize the sleeping environment
Babies, just like adults, have a tough time falling asleep when they experience a change in their regular sleeping environment. It is therefore important to make the new sleeping environment as familiar as possible by recreating the warmth and comfort of the one at home. Carry the usual crib sheet, stuff toys and other similar things that the baby is accustomed to have around it while it sleeps. Make sure that the sleeping environment is dark enough so as to not create any sleep disruptions. Check is the rooms have proper curtains that block any external noise and light.
#04 Bifurcate the room
A great way to ensure proper toddler travel sleeping is to choose a room that is big enough to accommodate a separate space for your child to sleep in. No matter how much time you spend with your baby throughout the day, it is better to provide a different sleeping place to the child in the night. Establishing some kind of visual barrier between the baby and the yourself makes it easier for the baby to doze off and provides you some time for yourself.
#05 Let them run free
It is common for new parents to prevent their children from moving about on their own due to the obvious risks of getting hurt or getting lost. Parents should however allow some amount of space for the children to play and jump around in the airport, train station, hotel room, etc., so that they use up all their energy. The idea here is to have your baby tired enough to allow them to smoothly descend into sleep when they are laid down after bedtime.
#06 Remember to carry the essentials
You can identify how smart a traveler is by the things they pack and the ones that they leave behind. Parents travelling with babies should never forget to pack essentials such comfortable pillows, baby bath tub chair, sleep masks, sheets, snacks, bassinet, etc. Inflatable pillows are not only easy to carry but also prove very useful for the babies to rest their legs upon. Read more about bedding accessories that help you and your baby achieve a good night’s sleep. Pack the appropriate clothes that provide the right comfort by keeping the climate of your destination in mind.
#07 Mind the meals
Have your babies well-fed to ensure proper toddler travel sleep. Take along a good stock of baby food with you if your baby is above the age of six months because you never know how much would be enough. Bottled breastmilk and other milk items such as yoghurt can prove very beneficial for the sleep health of the baby. Other favorable food items that you can take along are fruit purees, cereals, granola bars, etc. Keep them away from caffeinated drinks, dark chocolate and other such items that can disrupt their sleep health.
#08 Keep calm
Keep in mind that sometimes the best thing that parents can do is take a deep breath and relax a little bit. It is better to accept things like they are and remember that it will take some time for their babies to get adjusted to the environment of their destination. Parents may even try to get some nap time for themselves during the time when their babies are asleep. Having unrealistic expectation about sleep timings during a trip can lead to frustration and an overall poor experience and bad sleep quality. Parents should therefore practice building patience and never hesitate to ask from help from their partner. If you need to chat with a baby sleep consultant, they can give you tips on what you can do to help your baby get into a good sleep routine.
If this is your first trip with your baby, chances are that possibility of more such trips happening in the future will depend a lot on how this one goes. We hope that toddler travel sleeping solutions we have provided above help you achieve a trouble-free and memorable sleeping experience.