How to get your baby to sleep better on vacation? Follow these 5 tips to help your baby sleep on vacation and for stress-free family holiday.
Vacations are supposed to be a fun, relaxing time. But, if your baby is not sleeping well, it can seem like not much of a vacation at all. After taking multiple trips with baby, here are my tips for getting baby to sleep on vacation.
The biggest tip I have is to try mimic your baby’s normal routine and sleep environment as much as possible. You likely do this for yourself without much thought.
You book a room with a bed, wash your face, grab a glass of water, get in comfy pjs, make sure you have a pillow and enough blankets, and wind down with your favorite book. It is helpful for your baby to be consistent too!
1. Consistent Schedule
While you are on vacation, try and stick to your baby’s nap and bedtime schedule as much as possible. An overtired baby won’t sleep well!
Even if it means you have to leave an event early, try and schedule your days around nap time and bedtime.
Remember that the baby stage is only a short season. You will eventually get to go to those late shows again! But for now, try and schedule at least one good nap and be home early for bed. Keeping the same schedule will help baby (and yourself) sleep better at night.
2. Bedtime Routine
Even when you are on vacation, you should keep your baby’s bedtime routine consistent. You can read more about the importance of a bedtime routine here. A bedtime routine signals to baby that it is time to wind down and get ready for bed.
For us, this means giving our baby a bath, lotion & pjs, and a quick bed time story. We try and stay at a hotel or vacation rental house that has a bath tub. Or when baby was smaller we gave a bath in the sink.
If this is part of your bedtime routine, consider staying at a place that has a bath tub or bring your own if possible. Also, be sure to pack a few books or anything else you may need to signal baby that its time for bed.
Our favorite travel bath tub: Mommy’s Helper Inflatable Bath Tub
3. Sleep Props
Try to mimic your baby’s home sleep environment as much as possible. If you use black out shades, consider bringing some make-shift shades with black garbage bags.
Also, consider getting a travel-sized sound machine or downloading an app to play similar sounds if your baby normally sleeps with white noise. Additionally, if your baby uses a swaddle or sleep sack make sure you bring one along and set the room to a comfortable temperature.
TIP: If your monitor doesn’t have a temperature sensor (or you don’t want to bring your monitor along), bring an indoor/outdoor electronic thermometer. You can place the “outdoor” sensor in baby’s room to monitor the temperature.
This is our favorite travel sound machine (that we use at home, too!): Rohm Portable White Noise Machine
4. Where Baby Sleeps
If your baby is used to sleeping in his own crib or his own room, also do this on vacation if possible.
We learned very early on that sharing a room with our baby on vacation was not optimal. He is used to sleeping in his own room.
Therefore, we always try and book a vacation rental home or a hotel suite so that our baby can have his own room. We also always bring along a portable crib or rent a full-sized one when possible.
This is our favorite option for a travel crib: Cosco Playard
5. Have Grace
Finally, have grace and be patient with your baby while on vacation. Even following all of the above advice, know that your baby just might not sleep as well on vacation as they do at home.
There is a lot going on, and even with your best efforts they simply are not at home. If your baby normally sleeps through the night, know that they might wake up once or twice and may need an extra cuddle to fall back asleep. Vacations are not the time for sleep training 🙂 I often have to remind myself!
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