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Whether you are at home or away, getting your baby to sleep can be a challenge. I for one, have spent many hours of my life rocking my babies to sleep, telling them stories or walking up and down the street with the pram. Most parents will find their own methods and techniques when they are at home, but do these also work when you travel?
Travelling with a baby can be a wonderful experience. It offers your little one many sensory experiences and can be very stimulating. However, it can also be very disruptive to baby’s routine! In this blog post I will give you my six tips for how to get your baby to sleep while travelling.
How to get baby to sleep while travelling
Will my baby sleep on the flight? Will she be comfortable sleeping in a travel cot? Will she get overtired and scream the place down? Many parents worry about their baby’s sleep routine when they travel, heck- some families DON’T travel because of fear of disrupting their baby’s sleep routine!
But fear not! Baby’s are actually pretty adaptable! As long as they have a few of their home comforts and some stability (singing the same song, being cuddled by the same person), they should be just fine. Here are my six tips.
#1 Stick to baby’s bed and nap times where possible
I know, I know- this can be easier said than done! But where possible, my advice is to try to get your baby to sleep when they would usually sleep.
We are often out and about in the daytime the my little one would like to have a snooze. When I know that her usual nap time is approaching I will put her in the baby carrier and gently sway from side to side whilst stroking her hair. With my toddler, we put her in the pram and try not to do anything too stimulating. This usually does the trick.
At night time we try to put the baby to bed at her usual bed time. We usually book Airbnb accommodation so that we can put the baby to bed in her own room and then enjoy some adult time in the evening. If you choose to stay in a hotel room then you will be sat there in the dark watching baby sleep!
If you try to maintain your baby’s usual sleep schedule as much as possible you will limit meltdowns and tantrums from an overtired baby!
#2 Take a bath together
A bath isn’t something that you will always get when travelling. However, we try to find accommodation that has a bathtub, so that we can safely wash our little ones. Yes, my kids are also very used to showers (even the baby!), but these don’t quite have the same calming effect!
At home, I would not usually get in the bath with my baby. However, when we travel we do not have all of our usual baby gear, such as bath seats and bath mats, so I usually take a soak with her. My baby loves this. We have lots of skin to skin contact and cuddles and she usually comes out happy and relaxed…. ready for a good nights sleep!
All in all, travelling doesn’t have to make sleep difficult for your baby. With the right techniques, you can have a happy, well rested baby, even when you are on holiday! If you’re looking for more tips and advice, I recommend Emma’s Diary Baby Sleep Advice as a great resource.
#3 Don’t forget to pack a book
Reading to your baby before bed time can really help her to relax, especially is she is in an unfamiliar environment. We always pack a couple of soft back books in our luggage. Their light and easy to transport.
My baby loves the story ‘What the Ladybird heard on holiday’. This has a holiday theme and is a fun story to read! You can find What the Ladybird heard on holiday on Amazon.
#4 Have lots of cuddles
When we travel I find myself having more baby cuddles than I usually would at home. Travelling can be a tiring and daunting experience for babies, and they often need a little extra comfort.
Having lots of baby cuddles can help your little one to feel safe and secure and therefore to sleep easily.
#5 Sing a song
My baby loves having a song sung to her t help her to relax. And my toddler even helps- she sigs to the baby too! Sometimes we sing the classic nursery rhymes, such as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and other times we make up songs about the places that we travel to.
#6 Take baby’s usual bedding with you
We use a baby sleeping bag for our little one and we take this with us everywhere we go. She now knows that her sleeping bag means bed time- she even starts to close her eyes before I finish zipping it up sometimes!
Sleeping bags come in a variety of togs, so if you are travelling to a warm place you can easily buy a lighter version of what you usually use for your holiday. There are some great baby sleeping bags on Amazon.
Until your baby is six months old, the safest place for your baby to sleep is in their own cot, in the same room as you, whether it’s during the night or at nap time in the day.