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Summer Travelling Tips

Summer Travelling Tips For Your Little Ones


Christmas, New Years and summertime – who doesn’t get excited around this time of year? However, if you’re anything like me, when it comes to travelling with little ones it can send you into a bit of panic about the change of environment, time change difference, the impact it might have on their schedule, and therefore their overall sleep (and yours!) To help out during this time of travel, here are a few tips to help your little ones adapt quicker so you can all enjoy your holiday time!
 
  1. Replicate your home environment
The first step in helping your baby or child adjust to a new or different environment is to try to recreate their home sleeping environment as much as possible. Even though your little one will likely be in a different cot or portacot, take a cot sheet from home and don’t wash it before you go – this way it will still have the familiar smells that your baby is used to and it will help them settle and transition a little easier. Also, be sure to take their same swaddle or sleeping bag which they are used to, along with any lovey, toys etc from their cot. This will give them the sense of security and familiarity that they are used to at home.

Travel
 
  1. Be consistent with your bedtime routine and rituals
Just because you are on holiday, doesn’t mean you can let slide the all important bedtime routine. Babies and toddlers thrive on routine, so it’s best to stick to this where you can. Of course little variations don’t matter, but if you can stick to a similar routine, and in the same order as you would do at home, this will give your little one the security and familiarity they’re used to in preparing them for bedtime. If you find on the first night or two they may protest and fight bedtime a little, try to give them the time to adjust on their own or use the same settling technique you would at home.
 
  1. Stick to your sleep rules
This one is particularly important for toddlers and older children. You may find your child thinks that by being on holiday, it is time to test the boundaries a bit more and you may find them sneaking out of bed to come see the family, friends, grandparents etc. Although cute, if you let this happen, they may then think they can do this when they return back home. So try to manage your child’s expectations before you go on holiday and explain that the rules from home will still apply even when going away.
 
  1. Arrange for your little one to have their own room (if possible)
If you will be staying in a hotel, try to book a room with an extra bedroom or adjoining bedroom so your little one/s can be sleeping separately to you. If this is not possible either in a hotel, or the house/bach where you are staying, try getting a barrier of some sort (even by hanging a bed sheet) so it forms a divider between you and your child. This way, they won’t know you are right there and it won’t give them an incentive to wake for some night time attention, or early morning cuddles!
 
  1. Invest in portable blinds
If you have a dark room at home for your child, and you are worried about the curtains or blinds where you will be staying, invest in some portable blackout blinds. This will take away any concerns of too much light pouring through the windows, especially in the evenings and early mornings. As a cheap alternative, you can always take some black garbage bags to stick to the windows!
 
  1. Use white noise
A different environment will most likely bring new surrounding noises from neighbours, barking dogs, passing cars etc. In this situation, try some white noise. There are plenty of free apps you can download onto your iPhone or iPad if you don’t want to spend the money on a white noise machine. The other alternative, which I love, is to use a fan – this makes a great natural white noise and is perfect for this time of year with the warm weather as well.
 
  1. Stick to your schedule as best you can
Where possible, stick to your child’s schedule of naps and bedtime as best you can. If it’s not possible to take a nap in their cot, plan a walk in their stroller or plan a car trip around a naptime so they can still get in their much-needed rest. Otherwise on days where a nap might be missed, or a nap is much shorter than usual, always opt for an earlier bedtime so your child doesn’t get overtired.
 
  1. Try get onto the new clock time as soon as you can (if travelling to a different time zone)
If you are lucky enough to be travelling overseas, the best thing you can do is try to get into the new time zone as quickly as you can (within reason of course). On the first morning you are there, get your little one up and expose them to the daylight to help their bodies adjust quicker. Move meal times and naps to the new time, and you’ll find you and your little ones will adjust quicker than you anticipated.
 
I hope these tips help. If you would like some more specific advice for your situation, feel free to contact me at sleep@sweetdreams.co.nz.

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