Block out that light!
Sunlight will be one of your biggest hurdles for sleep. If you’re staying in a hotel choose one with black out curtains, or with a small enough window that you’ll be able to block out the light fairly easy with a travel blockout blind. If there’s any light above the curtains, grab some spare cushions or roll up some towels and place them above the rail. If you don’t have a travel blockout, even a black sheet with some pegs to pin over the curtains can really make a difference.
If the window is too big or you’re all in one room, you might want to get a safe blackout cover for their travel cot ie. Snooze Shade which is made from breathable mesh material and still blocks out 94% of the light, so that you don’t have to sit in the dark after they go to bed! Use our discount code BABYSLEEPCODE to save 10%.
For toddlers who aren’t usually room sharing, you might want to set up some type of visual barrier between their cot and your bed - or be prepared for them to get up bright and early when they realize you’re right there. Think, excited meerkat peering up at you at 5am.
If your baby's still young and naps well in the car, you can aim to travel during their nap time. If they’re not a great car sleeper, call the hotel to see if you can arrive for an early check in so your child can still have a decent nap when they get there. Or travel after their longest nap so they’re not arriving overtired.
If you're travelling at night, you might find your baby can still fall asleep well around their usual bedtime in the car. If they wake, just try to find ways to help keep them calm until you arrive, and it’s ok if they wake for awhile when you get there. Once you have everything set up, just offer a top up feed if they want one and then settle them back to sleep in their cot.
Make their sleep space feel familiar.
Bring their sleep associations with you so that you can help make this new place feel as familiar as possible, and give them the best chance of settling easily.
So pack their white noise machine, sleeping bag, pjs, lovey/comforter (if they have one), bedtime books, and even a travel bath tub. And if they sleep in a bassinet or cot at home make sure you bring a travel cot for safe sleeping.
If they've never slept in their travel cot before, you might want to have a couple of practice naps at home. Or sleep with their travel cot sheet for a few nights before you leave, so it smells like you.
At bedtime try to replicate a shorter version of your usual bedtime routine. This might be a quick bath or shower, pjs on, book, cuddle, white noise on and into their cot. If you're staying with family you might want to give your child some extra wind-down time in a quiet room. Try not to let it feel rushed, a slightly later bedtime is better than trying to rush through it. And have confidence that your little one will sleep as well as they do at home. You want to project calm and confidence so they feel safe to fall asleep.
When you can, aim to stick fairly close to their usual day routine to help ensure they’re still primed for sleep overnight. If they’re not great sleepers on the go, then you opt for at least one decent nap a day back at your accomodation to make sure they’re not miserable by the evening.
To help them have great naps on the go, you can aim to have these supervised in a pram, car or carrier. Bring some travel white noise to play, try to block out visual distractions if possible, and keep moving until they fall asleep. Make sure they're not going to get too hot, and there's plenty of airflow especially in the pram. If you feel them start to stir halfway through the nap - get moving/jiggling again. If they’re in a pram, rolling the wheels back and forth over a bump can help them to resettle.
But don’t stress if a nap goes wrong here and there, they will be ok! If you have a couple of days in a row that you know you’ll be out and naps might run short, try to plan a day where you can have a couple of decent naps at your accommodation so they have a chance to reset and get on top of any built up overtiredness.
Try not to introduce new habits that you don’t want to keep.
At bedtime or overnight, you might find your child needs a little more soothing or your presence before they fall asleep. The key is being there to help soothe, ie. your toddler might need an extra check in and cuddle, but don’t feel like you suddenly need to start forcing them to sleep by trying to rock, feed or hold them. If they’re confident at falling asleep at home, you can still let them be in charge of initiating sleep while away.
Don’t let others' opinions impact how you parent.
If your baby cries more than usual during sleep times, or takes longer to settle. Don’t stress about it. The most important thing is you stay calm and should never feel embarrassed or pressured to do anything different than what feels right for your family.
And most importantly, enjoy your time away!!!
Don’t stress about sleep hiccups while you’re away, some things might go wrong but it’s easy to get them back on track when you get home. Babies pick up on your mood really easily, if you’re enjoying yourself they’ll find it much easier to as well.
It may take them a day or two to adjust to the new setting, but rest assured if they sleep well at home, they will be able to sleep well while away.
Going away on holidays soon and wan't to get sleep on track before your trip? Check out our sleep consult packages here and get sleep on track in as little as 7 days.