10 Sleep Tips for Travel with Tots
Can’t get your little one to sleep when you’re away from home? Here are tips for your own toddlers and teddy bears from Dr. Rebecca Kempton, M.D. a certified infant and toddler sleep consultant.
1. Travel during sleep time but try to be at your destination by the usual bedtime.
2. Think ahead about sleeping conditions. Many hotel suites have a pull-out sofa or crib.
“Extra sleeping space makes for a more relaxed time for everyone,” says Dr. Kempton.
3. Buy, rent or reserve the beds you’ll need or ask family members to borrow a crib for you. Call a hotel in advance. Portable options for car travel include travel beds or sleeping bags.
4. Do practice runs. If you take your own travel bed, allow the child to sleep in it a few nights before you leave home, to get used to it.
5. Take along sleep accessories. Dr. Kempton suggests a white noise app, favorite stuffed animal and/or familiar sheets.
6. Re-create bedtime routines such as the regular bath, books or songs.
7. Squeeze in naps as much as possible. Take advantage of a midday siesta yourself too.
8. Anticipate time differences. Move schedules into the new time zone as soon as possible or, if you’re traveling for just a few days, it’s sometimes easier to stay on your home time, the doctor observes.
9. Break some rules and have fun. Don’t stress out about sleep habits on vacation.
10. Get back on track as soon as you get home. Don’t bring home bad habits such as staying up late to eat popcorn at Grandma’s. “It might take a few days and a few tears,” Dr. Kempton warns.
See Janet Groene's easy recipes for healthful, homemade travel snacks, gorp and trail mix at Create A Gorp.