The adventure of parenthood is always evolving and sometimes you just need to get out and about with your little one. Whether you're visiting grandparents, taking a road trip by car, or even boarding a plane for a vacation, traveling with your baby can be an exciting endeavor. But one thing remains constant: sleep is invaluable for your baby, no matter where you are. This article will give you insight into how to maintain or encourage your little one's sleep while traveling.
Let me start with the following: every baby is unique. What works for one person doesn't always work for another. As a mother of four children, I have experienced this up close! Never use tips like these as a holy grail, but rather as guidance and inspiration. Always trust your maternal instincts and read your baby's signals so you can slowly discover what works for your baby. That said, I'd like to share a few helpful tips with you.
1. Bring the comforts of home
Babies thrive best when they feel safe and secure. Whether you stay in a hotel room, with family or friends, or in a holiday home; try to bring some familiar items. Think of the favorite blanket, a stuffed animal and the usual lullaby. This can help your baby feel comfortable in a new environment. The more familiar faces, sounds, smells and visual stimuli, the easier your child can relax and fall asleep.
2. Stick to a known bedtime routine
If you have a fixed sleep ritual at home, try to stick to it as much as possible - even when you're on the road! For example, consider de-stimulating before going to sleep, feeding, cuddling, reading a story or singing or humming a quiet lullaby. Following the familiar ritual can help your baby relax and prepare for sleep. There's a good chance that your little one will fall asleep faster!
3. Timing is important
Try to tailor your travel plans to your baby's sleep needs. If your baby usually sleeps at certain times, try to plan your trip so that you can take advantage of those natural sleep cycles. This may mean starting the car or boarding the plane just before your baby normally takes a nap, so that your baby can fall asleep peacefully on the way. The movement and sound of a vehicle provide a constant stimulus that often makes babies drowsy. Use that to your advantage!
4. Create a comfortable sleeping environment
Maybe you stay in a hotel, at a campsite or with friends or family. Whatever the location, always provide a sleeping environment that is safe and comfortable. Always check in advance that the crib or travel cot is completely complete and tidy and, if necessary, use extra bedding to soften the environment. It can help a lot to use the same bedding as at home, because then the bed feels and smells the same as always. As much as possible, choose a dark and quiet space, where your baby experiences as few stimuli as possible.
5. Don't forget to rest
Traveling with a baby can be tiring, so make sure you as a parent get enough rest. Schedule breaks during long car rides so that both you and your baby have the opportunity to relax and refuel. When your baby takes a nap, one of the parents can sleep with you! This way, as a parent you are well rested and you can take turns if you have to drive far, for example.
6. Flexibility is key
Traveling with a baby cannot be 100% planned. Therefore, be flexible and prepared to make adjustments to your travel plans and routines as necessary. The most important thing is that you can enjoy time with your little one, even when you're on the go. It sounds very cliché and sappy, but it's really true: before you know it, your little baby will be a lot bigger and you will certainly long for the time with that little one in your arms.
Therefore, try to collect as many memories as possible, because traveling with your baby can be a wonderful experience! With the above sleep tips in mind, you can help your little one sleep comfortably wherever you go. Remember that you as a parent are the expert when it comes to your baby's needs. So trust your intuition and enjoy every moment of every special journey you take together.
Ik ben Frederieke, getrouwd met Ewoud en mama van 4 kindjes. Na op veel plekken gewoond te hebben, ben ik gesetteld in Nieuwkoop. Ik werkte in de commercie tot mijn vierde kindje geboren werd. Fedde was een huilbaby en vanuit deze wanhoop heb ik de producten van Fedde&Kees bedacht. Ik gooide mijn leven om en begon met ondernemen. Sinds 2018 help ik andere ouders naar een betere slaap!