It’s the long weekend and holidays are here! If you already have a perfectly sleeping baby, you may fear that a trip may derail all the progress you and your baby have made for getting into a good schedule and sleeping well.
The good news is that you do not have to cancel all travel plans and confine yourself to the house for the rest of your child’s life. It is possible to have children who travel really well, you just have to keep these few things in mind:
- Don’t overschedule yourselves – The biggest mistake parents make is that they over-schedule themselves. They try to pack in all the fun and adventure they might normally have had back in their “child-free” days, forgetting an important fact: that they have a child now.
- Try not to skip naps/ have late bedtimes – An occasional car nap or slightly later bedtime probably isn’t going to do too much harm, but if your baby spends a couple of days taking car seat naps here and there and having late bedtimes, she may become so overtired that by the time bedtime rolls around on day two, she may have a complete meltdown and seem to “forgotten” all her sleep skills.
- Don’t feel pressured to give in – If that happens, you might start to get very nervous because (a) your baby, who has been sleeping perfectly for weeks, is now crying again, and (b) you worry that your baby’s cries may start getting some unfriendly neighbours knocking on your hotel room door. You may start to give into this pressure and bend your expectations for your baby’s sleep.
- Bring your baby’s favourite sleep prop – Make sure you bring your child’s favourite sleeping toy and/or blanket!
- Don’t bedshare – Another big mistake parents make is to bed share with their baby or toddler while traveling. Bed sharing is a big no-no! Even it’s it is only for a few nights, if your baby decides this is her new preferred location, you could find yourself starting all over again when you get home. Most hotels have a cot you can use or rent, or take your playpen along and use that for your baby’s sleep.
- Give your child some space – If your child is eight months or older, my advice is to make some sort of a private space for your baby to sleep. This could be anywhere in the room where you can build some sort of a partition between you and your baby, so that if she has a wake up in the middle of the night she doesn’t get too excited to see her two favourite people and think it’s play time! Of course, getting an extra bedroom for your child is great if that’s an option for you.
It’s very normal for babies and toddlers to test the boundaries when they are somewhere new, they may think that the rules at home does not necessarily mean the rule is the same when somewhere new! Your baby may cry during bedtime or have a night waking or two as they adjust to the new environment, and the best way to handle this is to do the same as what you would do at home when a regression happens. You can go in every five minutes or so to offer a bit of reassurance, but other than that, don’t bend your rules. If you hang on tight to your consistency, within the first night or two, your child will start adapting to the new environment and start sleeping well again.
Follow the tips above, and I’m sure everyone will have a great time at the holidays! Wishing all Muslims a Selamat Hari Raya J
Have your baby “regressed” after a long tripg and you don’t know what to do? Contact me and we’ll set up a consultation and go through this step by step together. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at +60123542010.