- Don’t overschedule yourself!
When you travel, so many people want to see your whole family, and naturally, you’ll have a lot of places to go. As a result, your little one misses their nap, goes to bed abnormally late and is sleeping in an unfamiliar environment. A few days of that and they’re hysterical at bedtime and you’re frustrated and confused. Then, you start to second guess yourself and get very uncomfortable because, after all, you’re a guest. Next thing you know, you’re rocking, feeding, holding, or doing whatever you need to do to get your little one down… and you’re right where you started before you had successful, independent sleeper.
You have to remember that sleep is just as important as everything else you have planned over the holidays. You wouldn’t drag your child around without feeding them all day, right? Therefore, honor your child’s sleep schedule the same way. I say this within reason, of course! If your little one catches a nap on the way to an activity or falls asleep in the stroller, it’s certainly not the end of the world. Even a little later bedtime one night is not going to be blow your progress. But, keep in mind, doing this daily can quickly derail all of your hard work and cause major sleep protest.
2. Sleep environment is important!
Keep your sleep environment as close to it is at home as possible. This is especially true for older babies into the eight, 10 to 12-month age range. If your little one is used to sleeping in their own room, you’re going to need to create an independent sleep space. Obviously, your likely room sharing, but that doesn’t make it impossible. Personally, I love Slumber Pod! Their products are “must have!” And, you can get a discount at checkout with code: BollingerSleep20! But, if one of their great products aren’t in the cards, you can create a separate sleep space by putting the pack-n-play in the bathroom or closet, or creating a room divider. Check out my products page for suggestions. The point is, you don’t your child waking in the night to see his/her two favorite people laying right next to them in bed. That will likely be “game over,” right?
3. Honor your sleep expectations!
If you expect your child to fall asleep independently and sleep through the night at home, then don’t shift that expectation when you travel.
Also, expect the first night to be unnerving. This is true for both you and your child. Thus, it’s okay to bend your rules a little bit. Maybe sit at the door for the first night or two just to reassure your little one that everything is fine. On the other hand, you can do a few extra check-ins, offer comfort, and support him/her through a situation where they’re uncomfortable. That’s just supportive parenting! However, don’t bring your baby to bed or start nursing to sleep. These are the things you’ve worked really hard to eliminate and should not be reintroduced just because you’re traveling.
The good news is, if you do and everything falls apart, because that’s reality, it’s not the end of the world! We know your child has good, independent sleep skills, so dust off your plan when you get home and get back on track. You can also reach out to me for a 30-minute trouble shooting call. Remember, you’re never alone! Together, we’ll remind your little one that he/she knows how to do this, they just forgot a little bit!
I hope your holiday travels are safe and that you have a wonderful season. Sleep well!