Thanksgiving is next week, which means traveling with kids is sure to be on the minds of many! Travel alone can be stressful so toss a baby into the mix, and things can feel chaotic. But don’t worry! Mother and founder/CEO of Let Mommy Sleep Denise Stern has offered excellent tips to prepare your family for travel this holiday season.
Let Mommy Sleep is the country’s leading Baby Nurse and Postpartum Care service based in Washington, DC. Licensed nurses and caregivers offer evidence-based education to new families, along with overnight care to newborns. Such a helpful service to new parents!
Alright, back to those tips! If you have any tips, please share.
- Practice at home! Many times babies are not used to sleeping in a travel bed or pack-n-play.Put baby in travel bed or pack-n-play for naptime at home in weeks leading up to the trip.
- Keep sleep routine as close to home as possible to help baby feel safe and secure. If weather permits, dress baby in pajamas/sleepsack/swaddle blanket that he/she is accustomed to. If renting a full-sized travel crib from a hotel, bring bedsheets and breathable bumper from baby’s crib at home to recreate familiar sleep environment. Sing the same bedtime songs you sing at home and read favorite books.
- Try to stay on baby’s time. If possible, try to keep naptimes and bedtimes as close to the same schedule as at home. When traveling across time zones, gradually adjust baby’s bedtime. Some parents like to travel at night so baby can sleep and wake up in destination refreshed. This can lead to an exhausting first day of the trip. If you can “tag-team” with your partner by alternating napping and caring for baby during the first day, then traveling at night could be a possibility.
- Once at the destination, do not rely on carseats for safe sleep. While it is tempting to let a sleeping baby spend the night ina carseat or stroller, carseatscan sometimes cause breathing problems in babies. Follow the recommendations of the American Association of Pediatrics and the “Back to Sleep” campaign by creating a safe sleep environment and putting baby on back for sleeping.
- Slow it down – You’re on Baby’s Time! Don’t expect to have a jam-packed site seeing schedule. All the new sights, sounds, and experiences are very stimulating and exciting for baby. Baby could get fussy if overstimulated and too exhausted. Remember that sleep begets sleep. Keeping baby awake longer than his/her bodies need may work for one night or one nap, but fighting against baby’s natural rhythms leads to meltdown. While it is nice to have alone time with your partner, caring for a baby can be even more exhausting than usual when traveling. We like to remind parents to not stay up too late too!
Happy Holidays & Safe Travels!