Parents often cancel or postpone vacations because they are afraid that it will affect their baby’s sleep pattern. The last thing you want is to spend your vacation exhausted from trying to get your baby to sleep every night. The good news is that there are several ways to help your baby adjust to the change in environment and get a good night’s sleep.
There are several ways to help your baby fall asleep anywhere. Each baby is unique so it is best to use a combination of methods so that you can figure out which ones work. Here are some of the best tips to get your baby to sleep anywhere:
1. Practice with Different Sleep Environments
Babies can quickly get used to their environment and once they are accustomed to it, any change will result in anxiety and distress. The good news is that babies learn to adapt to their environment so introduce changes to their environment early on so that they get used to sleeping in different environments. A simple way to introduce environmental change is to download white noise audio tracks and keep them playing in the background. Cycle through different forms of white noise including static, wind, waves, rain and nature sounds. You can also plan overnight trips to grandma’s place on a regular basis as this will help your baby learn to sleep anywhere.
2. Stick to a regular bedtime routine
When your baby is 6-8 weeks old, you can start working on a regular bedtime routine. A predictable and regular bedtime routine is relaxing and it will help soothe your baby and improve sleep. When starting a new routine, stick to one that is at least an hour as your baby needs time to adjust to it. Start your baby’s bedtime routine with a warm, relaxing bath followed by a gentle massage and swaddle. Turn the lights down low and then nurse your baby. About 15 minutes before sleep, rock your baby to sleep while singing a lullaby. Put your baby into his crib while he is drowsy but not asleep. Consistency is key so make sure that you stick to the bedtime routine for a few weeks before you try to tweak it in order to create the perfect bedtime routine for your little one.
3. Pack blanky when traveling
Babies have a highly developed sense of smell and they form very strong associations between scents and the experiences that are attached to them. You may have bought a beautiful, soft new traveling blanket for your vacation with baby but your little one will still prefer her tattered old blanky. Carry her blanky while traveling to help her adjust to a new environment. Put her blanky down in her crib and follow her regular bedtime routine to cue a state of sleep. Don’t wash blanky just before traveling but instead wash it at least a day prior to travel so that it still has familiar scents.
4. Stay active during the day
Newborns wake up every few hours for a feed but after about 3 months, they get used to sleeping for 6-8 hours at night. If your baby has been napping throughout the day, he will find it tougher to fall asleep in a new environment at night. Stay active throughout the day and limit nap time so that by the end of the day, he’s ready for bed. You can also play active games with your baby during the early hours of the evening. Dangle a soft rattle over him so that he keeps trying to grab it. This will not only help him stay active but also improve his motor skills.
5. Set the mood for daytime naps
A short daytime nap will help your baby get some rest without disrupting his sleep at night. Our bodies produce the hormone melatonin which promotes sleep. Melatonin release is influenced by light which is why it is important to close the curtains and keep the room as dark as possible during daytime naps. Ideally, you should do this before you feed, burp and put your baby down for his afternoon nap. This will give him enough time to get sleepy after his feed. There are several other DIY sleep solutions that you can use to improve your child’s sleeping patterns.
When vacationing with baby, always call ahead and find out about the facilities at the hotel or resort where you will be staying. Keep in mind that your baby’s sleep habits will also affect yours. Inadequate sleep is likely to lead to a low mood and elevated levels of stress which will impact your experience. Stress also affects digestion which is why it is important that you and your family get a good night’s sleep during your vacation.
Author’s Bio: Anita Fernandes has been writing extensively on health and wellness for over a decade. She has expertise in nutrition, fitness, public health, and weight loss and has contributed content to a variety of leading digital health publishers. Anita has a unique perspective on healthy living and lifestyle, as she has battled and overcome stress-related eating disorders and obesity. She shares her experiences in an effort to help others overcome the physical and mental health problems that can sometimes seem insurmountable.