It’s no joke. Spring break and summer vacation are quickly approaching! States are beginning to lift restrictions, and everyone is beginning to make travel plans. Figuring out your child’s sleep can be very tricky without the right tools. Here are 5 things to have and do when traveling with little one’s.
#1 PLAN TO PROVIDE YOUR OWN BLACKOUT SOLUTIONS
If you are staying in a hotel, they are usually pretty good about providing pretty good blackout curtains. We stayed in this one hotel once that looked like it was the middle of the night at 2pm when the curtains were closed. It was a wonderland. If you’re staying somewhere like a VRBO or AirBnB, then you might want to check out pictures and plan ahead.
A cheap, simple solution is a black, plastic tablecloth and painter’s tape. Typically a tablecloth costs about $1 at Walmart, and tape usually costs $2-3. Use painter’s tape because it won’t leave behind a sticky residue. When you get to your destination, just tape the tablecloths over the windows and voila! Instant blackout.
An amazing (and my personal favorite) solution is a SlumberPod. This is a literal tent that goes over your pack n play, bassinet, or toddler cot. We use it almost weekly when we go to my in-law’s house. This tent is breathable, has pockets for a fan and monitor, and completely blackout the area. It’s so easy to set up and use, and it fits in your carry on bag. It’s a must have for summer travel. Click here to get yours and don’t forget to use the code THEBESTREST20 for $20 off!
#2 PLAN A CAR NAP
This is my favorite trick. Now that we’re on one nap, it’s a lot easier, but when my daughter was younger, we’d try to leave right before a nap time. This way we could be sure to get at least a little time to drive in peace and actually made a good head start in our drive before having to stop and tend to her.
Be sure to pack your portable sound machine and window shades! I recommend the Yogasleep Hushh sound machine. You can use a car seat canopy or nursing cover over your car seat to block out some light. Just be sure it does not interfere with the car seat buckles or go between the seat and the car and that your little one has good airflow.
#3 DO NOT FORGET COMFORT ITEMS FROM HOME
Oh my gosh whatever you do, do NOT forget about the loveys, blankets, sheets, etc. Have you ever gone somewhere and then realized you forgot (or even worse, lost) your little one’s lovey? We have, and it is NOT fun. That can definitely mess up sleep. You don't want to be making a trip to Wal-Mart to grab a lovey and blankey to hold you over until you get home.
Bring crib/pack n play sheets from home to sleep on because when you do that, you’re little one will be comforted with the scent of home. It makes this new, unfamiliar place seen a little less intimidating.
**Do not use crib sized sheets on a pack n play mattress. No matter how much you tuck it under, it is simply not safe and poses a risk of suffocation.
#4 TRY TO GET ONE GOOD NAP IN EACH DAY
I’m not naive enough to think that you can reasonably be back to your hotel/rental for every single nap. Vacations are meant for fun and doing all the things together during the day. That’s not really possible if you’re tied to the bed all day. Plan to get one good nap each day. I suggest aiming for the longer nap. This will help limit tantrums and overtiredness because even though your little one may sleep on the go, no sleep is as good as in their own bed.
#5 BE FLEXIBLE AND REMEMBER NOT TO START ANY HABITS YOU WILL HAVE TO BREAK
Vacations are supposed to be fun. Don’t be like me as a new mom and be so strict to your schedule and routine that you don’t allow yourself to have fun. It’s okay to live your life. Have fun and make the most of your time. You don’t want to look back in a year or two and think “Sheesh! I hated that trip.”
Let your schedule and routine slide a little when you want. Don’t go crazy. Try to stick to it as much as you can, but the main thing to remember is to have fun and make memories.
#6 DON’T FORGET SNACKS (this one is from my husband)
Chris - “Always bring plenty of snacks to keep everyone happy and entertained.” I concur.
Where are you headed this spring/summer break? Any big trips planned?