Travel tips to help avoid baby and toddler sleep disturbances

It’s true that travel can upset sleep but don’t fear travelling with a baby - there are some tips that can help.

Tips to help your baby sleep on holiday

Parents’ guide to travelling with baby or toddler sleep well away from home

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Holidays are fun - or at least they are supposed to be. Parties, family get-togethers, maybe a trip away to see the grandparents or even a foreign holiday? And if it means a few late nights - well, that’s fine isn’t it; it’s all part of the experience.

But unfortunately with young babies, travelling can send their usual sleep patterns all over the place and when you return it can be tough going getting things back to how it was.

So here are a few tips

1. Nap-time:
Regular naps can go out the window with travelling so wherever possible, try and time a baby’s nap to coincide with the car or plane journey to avoid them getting overtired. If they are not used to napping in the car, then hold off on the journey until after the nap at home.

2. Late nights, early starts: Later than normal bedtimes are often part of the travelling experience - it’s not the end of the world if your child isn’t tucked up at 7 like normal. But be prepared that they may be out of sorts the following day. And just because they go to bed late doesn’t necessarily mean they will sleep in!

3. Different children, different rules: Some babies and toddlers are fine with a change in sleep pattern; others are less flexible. So it’s up to parents to decide on how well their child is likely to cope with the changes and act accordingly – chat through possible options, but don’t be hard on yourself if they don’t play ball with your plans! 

4. Where to sleep: If you are using a travel cot, remember they are not always as comfortable as the baby’s cot at home and, for that reason, they may not be happy to spend the night in it. If you decided to co-sleep away from home, be aware of safer sleep advice and remember that after the holiday is over, your little darling may not be too keen to return to their cot!

5. Time zones can play havoc with everyone’s sleep. Instead of expecting you child to adjust to a new time zone, change the day gradually. You could stay up later or get up earlier than usual by a few hours and before too long you’ll all feel the benefit after a few days.

6. Keep things familiar: If your baby or toddler usually likes a bath, feed, and story book before bed then there is no reason why you can’t stick to this on holiday, even if it is a bit later than usual. Pack what you can of the comforts they enjoy at home – most can be transferred to any setting.

Travel tips to help avoid baby and toddler sleep disturbances