1. Assists for naps as needed. Yes, hold, rock, sway, wear, ect. your baby in order to get some sleep for your little one during all of the busy holiday activities. You're not creating bad habits but rather ensuring that your little one doesn't end up overtired and cranky for the entirety of your trip!
2. Aim for one, solid crib nap in a separate room with white noise and blackout curtains, IF POSSIBLE. You know that sleep environment is one of the key players when it comes to getting good rest. Upon arriving at your destination, setup your little one's sleep environment so you know that it's ready to go when your little one is in need of some shut eye. I highly recommend using a Slumberpod while traveling, but don't under estimate the power of tape (ducktape, painter's tape, or whatever you can find) and a spare blanket/sheet/towel over the window in order to make the room as dark as possible. Portable sound machines are also great to have on hand. Need help finding one? Check out my favorite on Amazon.
3. Remember to do a mini bedtime routine to help prepare your little one for sleep. This will tell their brain it’s time to sleep even though they are in a new, unfamiliar environment. Keep the routine short, no longer than 5 minutes, and include the key elements of the bedtime routine: sleep sack, white noise, dark environment.
4. It’s okay to let naps go longer or even an extra nap to help ensure your little one isn’t overtired with all the fun festivities occurring. Yes, it's going to be tough to release the power of the clock during your travels, but please listen: Being off schedule for a few days is not going to ruin your good sleep foundation. This time is about making memories so if your little one goes down for a late nap: it's okay! Toddler skips their nap: Again, it's okay! When you return home there will be an adjustment period regardless so don't let being off schedule ruin family time that you so greatly deserve.
5. ENJOY the holidays and CAPTURE the memories. It's true what they say, the days are long but the years are short!
Returning home from traveling can seem just as daunting as traveling itself when thinking about returning to your routine. Sometimes returning from vacation brings even more sleep challenges for our kids, such a tantrums, overtired, etc. Here are a few ways to help everyone get back on schedule and sleeping well again.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
𝟏. 𝐄𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐭𝐛𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐬. Just like most things in parenting, mindset is key. It is normal for kids to have some setbacks after traveling and it may take them a few days to a week to adjust back to their normal routine. There may be some middle of the night wake-ups or early mornings, but remember to breathe, return to the basics of what works for independent sleep with your child, and everything will fall back into place. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
𝟐. 𝐀𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰 𝟐𝟒-𝟒𝟖 𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫. This may mean keeping your schedules empty and staying home. Allowing a period of quiet will give everyone a chance to slowly adjust back to a normal routine and also leaves room for good naps and earlier bedtimes for those overtired kids. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
𝟑. 𝐑𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐜𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐞. Kids thrive on routine, as it gives them a way to predict the events of the day and there is nothing that throws off routine more than a vacation away from home. Communicating with your kids, even your itty bitties, can help them adjust back to the normal routine of home life. Allowing extra time and support to complete tasks during the day, i.e. helping them clean up before nap or reading an extra book, will help your child acclimate quicker to the rules of home. *Remember to avoid anything extra at bedtime as this may create bad nighttime habits.⠀⠀⠀
Serenity Sleepers is committed to helping families develop peaceful sleepers using only the safest, healthiest and most gentle approaches that are based on the proper sleep science. Our methods are unique and individualized taking a variety of approaches to help that individual child and family, as there is no one size fits all or cookie cutter approach to my methods.