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Do you want more sleep?   Yes! I need more sleep.

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  1. Laura says

    Our son is 13 months and so far we’ve done 4 plane trips and a few road trips with him (which often prove harder, because he hates the car! He is a city kid ;). We usually stay in apartments (AirBnb.com, etc) because that is generally a more affordable option for getting 2 bedrooms, and a lot more space, and though we rent pack & plays, we always travel w/our sound machine…no blackout blinds yet, but that would be a smart purchase b/c we always end up taping towels to windows! Our son, whom we sleep-trained around 5 months (he was a TERRIBLE sleeper before that), does great at night almost anywhere we go, though if he doesn’t nap well he wakes up at 5:30am instead of his usual 7.

    Naps are always a struggle–I actually just (finally) nap-trained him a week ago, so things are getting better now, but till then I rocked him to sleep for every nap. While traveling, we have found it’s essential to have a reliable backup in case he rejects his crib. For us, it’s the Ergo baby carrier. It means I have to walk around w/him on me for an hour, but we’ve learned to use that to our advantage to get in some extra (quiet) sightseeing or beach-strolling time. Tiring, but good exercise at least–and it helps keep him rested.

  2. Katharine says

    We are going to be doing a couple cross-country flight vacations this summer, so this article is helpful. But my baby is 11.5 months old and still taking 3 naps, which is great for me but possibly restrictive for vacations. Thanks to all the great info I got from your site, she sleeps 11-12 hours at night and then generally 3 x 1.25 hour naps in the day (or sometimes one is 1 hr 40 min and the last is only 40min) and each nap starts 2 hours after waking up. She is a very active baby and does not seem to be able to stay up longer than 2 hours without getting cranky, especially in the morning. Now she’s started walking and is being ultra cranky even with 3 naps. Is it alright for her to still be taking 3 naps when all these people are talking only 1-2 at this age? Or should we be trying to get her down to 2 and would they necessarily get longer? I’d hate to lose that extra hour if she only took 2 1-hour naps rather than 3;) Thanks for the help!

  3. Monica says

    For babies, it’s also worth asking what the hotel has on hand. At one hotel we stayed at, they had portable swings. It was great when my little one was you her. Right now I’m pushing him in the strler and hoping for a good vacation nap.

  4. Emily DeJeu says

    @ Lori — So you’re saying that it’s better if the first “sleep” in the new place is at night, instead of during a nap? Interesting insight! I hadn’t though of that, but it makes sense. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Lori says

    This is a great article! However, you left one thing out. The best way to get a little one to nap away from home is to first have him sleep there at night. My husband and I travel several times a year to visit family and for religious conventions. Our son (now 25 months) is not what I would call highly adaptable. If possible, we try to travel at naptime so he sleeps in the car and his first sleep at the hotel or MIL’s is at bedtime. I bring the sheets from his crib for the pack n’play, but that may be too soft for younger baby. It’s also best if he has his own room, but that’s not always possible. As for darkening the room, I just tape up black trash bags if needed.

  6. Emily DeJeu says

    @ mary beth einhorn — thanks for helping Laurie out with this!

    @ CJ — not crazy at all! I have three kids, 5 and under, and we don’t do a lot of traveling because of the kids. I figure we’ll save our money and take nice trips when the kids are old enough to enjoy it. At this stage, though, a vacation would be a ton of work; easier to stay home and do little day trips 🙂

    So I think you’re very normal! It gets much easier to travel as your kids get older; they need less “stuff”, and they’re better able to adapt to new places.

  7. CJ says

    My toddler (18 months old) still has never been on a vacation cuz i am too scared ot take her for fear of lots of disruption – we have things silent in the house while she sleeps as well. very OTT i know, but we are also waiting for when she is in a big bed so we dont have to buy a portacot! tell me im crazy??

  8. Laurie says

    Thanks Mary Beth. That looks interesting and he is still under the weight limit.