Do you remember what it was like to go on vacation before you had kids? You would just pack your necessities in one small travel suitcase, hope to sit next to your soul mate on the plane, and spend your vacation leisurely- just how it’s meant to be! Well, to say that things have taken a huge turn after you had kids is a big understatement.
There was a time when I just travel with my ear covers and used to get a good nap on the flight. But now things are different. Recently, I took my 5 months son to New York for our yearly family get-together. It was only a two-hour flight from Chicago but as usual, I was so tensed up not only about the flight but the whole idea of being away from home.
It was not before long when I realized that the secret to great vacationing with a child is to make sure that their usual sleep schedule is not interrupted. As a new parent, I did my own research online, looked for travel and sleep resources and tried to make my DIY travel list.
Trust me when I tell you that before you board that bus or plane, you need to arm yourself with these 7 baby sleep hacks to make sure your baby sleeps while on vacation.
Bring your Child Partition with you
DIY child partitions or travel cribs are very common nowadays. To the child, the partition is simply their little playroom with the toys and snuggly surface they need for a nap, anytime.
The best thing with these baby cribs is that they are portable, so bring them along during vacation and your child might not even notice that he is away from home. If you do not have an extra room to place the baby’s crib, some roof hooks and curtains can come in handy if you and your kid want to enjoy a little privacy.
Bring their favorite shuteye time buddy
With time, your kid gets accustomed not only to the surroundings at home but also his sleep buddies. It goes without saying that if you don’t really want to interrupt your child’s shuteye during vacation, you will have to at least bring the things that help him get to sleep. If their blanket, favorite toy, or baby sleep sound machine is their nap buddy, leaving it at home is a bad idea.
Cover those windows up
Did you know that kids are more likely to stay awake when they are surrounded by too much light? Now you know! If your vacation guest room doesn’t have curtains, preferably heavy ones, you need to think about getting proper window blinds. You can purchase travel blinds for as little as $50 but if you are handy fellow, a roll of clothing or aluminum foil & a little tape for as little as $5 would sure come in handy. If you would like to go a little overboard with the budget to make sure that the vacation guest room feels better than home for your little one, explore a good sleep resource for some handful options.
You can also use a travel-muslin to sun-shield your baby during the flight or in the car. It will also be of use when you want to wipe off something or cover up during breastfeeding.
Pack all your baby essentials in one bag
When traveling with a baby, you could find yourself frantically packing and repacking several diaper bags with things you might not end up using. Make sure you separate the essentials and leave everything you might not need for the trip. This way, you will only have a small bag with only the essentials you need to change diapers and feed your child.
Avoid spending a lot of time in crowded carousels
If your child slept the entire flight, hanging out at the carousel will most probably wake him up and leave him awake for hours on end. Ensure you label your luggage to spot it from afar. This way, you will not have to spend too much time here.
He is already sleeping, right? Keep him on the bed!
One thing you might notice about your kids while on vacation is that their bodies are very instinctual. Their bodies already know that they are away from their usual comfortable beds. For this reason, they will keep rolling over until they find a bed spot reminiscent of the safe haven back at home. If your child is older than 8 months, make sure you roll up some soft bed sheets, towels, or just foam/inflatable child pillows and stuff them under a tucked in sheet to keep your child from falling off the bed.
Think what could go wrong and just sort it before!
Even if it is a long distance or short, before you go, you should write a list of everything that could go wrong, from a kind of sickness while travel or forgetting the most essential things and jot down how you’d cope. Thinking of the situations in advance can leave you mentally prepared – just in case!
For most of the new parents travelling with a baby is a complete new adventure. Navigating the airport, carrying the baby and going alone a destination is an experience and with each new tour comes a full exploration and learning. So, these are some travel hacks which are useful for baby travel.