Around Christmas, many of us will spend some time away from home, which could involve sleeping away from home. For some, this can fill you with worry, especially if they don’t sleep particularly well at home.
As a parent, you know how important it is for your child to get a good night’s sleep. However, traveling with a baby can be a challenge, especially when it comes to sleeping arrangements. Whether you’re staying with family or in a hotel, it can be difficult to recreate the familiar environment of home when sleeping away from home.
Here are some tips to help your baby sleep somewhere that isn’t home. However the biggest tip is to try not to make everything perfect. When you are away from home, their sleep is likely to be different (sometimes it is better!) The most important thing is that you do not let it overshadow making those memories whilst you are away.
- Bring familiar items: Pack your child’s favourite blanket, stuffed animal, or anything else that they associate with sleep. Familiar scents and textures can help your baby feel more secure and relaxed in a new environment. If you can, take a sheet they have slept on, or a sleeping bag that has been used. Don’t forget the monitor if you use one.
- Stick to the routine: Try to stick to your child’s usual sleep schedule as much as possible. If they usually have a bath or a story before bed, make sure to keep those routines in place. A routine can help a little one feel secure.
- Create a sleep-friendly environment: If you can, try to recreate your baby’s sleeping environment as closely as possible. If they sleep in a dark room at home, bring blackout curtains. Take your white noise machine. If they have a Gro-clock, don’t forget it (I have made this mistake too many times!) Books from home can also help with familiarity.
- If you bed-share, make sure you check out the Lullaby Trust’s guide for safe sleeping, especially if the setup is different.
- Use white noise if you don’t at the moment: White noise can be a great way to help your baby sleep. It can drown out unfamiliar noises and create a calming environment. You can use a white noise app or bring a portable white noise machine with you.
- Be patient: Remember that it may take your baby a few nights to adjust to a new sleeping environment.
- If you have an older child who is a little anxious, build in some relaxation time. The breathing star is a great one to start with. Ask them to lie on their bed and imagine them making a star with their body. They can then imagine going round the points of the star taking deep breaths up and back down again. RelaxKids have some great relaxation techniques.
By following these tips, you can help your baby sleep soundly even when you’re away from home. However, if it is a bit tricky, please do not worry or let it overshadow your trip. Do the best you can and then focus on getting their sleep back to normal once you are home.
For more information about how I can help you all get more rest, book in a free 15 minute call