by Rebecca Michi
Traveling can be disruptive to your baby's natural sleep schedule, and we all know what that means - a cranky baby. Check out these helpful tips from Rebecca Michi, children's sleep consultant for SnoozeShade, a blackout pram and stroller cover.
Try to keep the sleep environment as consistent as possible.
If your child has familiar things (and smells) around them, they are more likely to sleep a little better. Take the crib sheet from the crib with you, don’t wash it. We want it straight from the crib. Take the pajamas your child wore the night before, again don’t wash them. We want these things to smell the same as at home. Making it easier for your child to feel comfortable in the new environment.
Take any stuffed animals or lovies your child has. Again, this will make your child feel more comfortable in the sleep space.
Keep your nap and night routines as consistent as possible. What you do at home is what you want to do when you’re away, especially at nighttime. If your child’s routine is the same as at home, your child will feel more comfortable and relaxed during the routine as it’s familiar. They will find it easier to fall asleep at the beginning of the night.
This is one of the things that worry families the most when they travel. When it comes to jet lag you just need to take it slow. You can start adjusting your child’s daily schedule before you leave. Getting them to bed at night and up around 30 minutes early every other day will get you off to a great start.
Is it worth adjusting your child’s schedule? Are you traveling through one or two time zones? Only traveling for a weekend? If that’s the case, you don’t have to adjust your child’s schedule. They can either go to bed an hour or two early or late. No need to deal with getting back on track when you return.
Feeding during take off and landing.
Planes are not like they were 20 years ago. There isn’t as much of an issue with cabin pressure when coming into land and during take off. The cabin pressure is kept the same and your child shouldn’t have an issue with pain. If your child is sleeping when it comes to take off and/or landing don’t wake them to feed them. They’ll be fine.
The chances are that your child will pick up a few bad sleep habits when you travel. Maybe they are not used to napping in their crib as you have been out and about and they only want to nap in the stroller. Or, you stayed with family or friends and were not able to have your child cry at all through the night and they are now used to being held whilst they fall asleep.
Don’t worry it’s fine. What is important is that you start to get back on track as soon as you get back home. The longer your child is in a bad habit the harder it will be to break so you do want to get back on track right away. It usually takes 2 to 3 day/nights to get back on track.