With Thanksgiving just around the corner, many families are gearing up for a holiday adventure. Traveling with little ones can be challenging, especially when it comes to maintaining their sleep routines. We've got you covered with some essential tips to ensure your baby or toddler enjoys a good night's sleep during your Thanksgiving getaway.
Respect Sleep Needs.
With older children, it may be easier to disrupt their sleep patterns, but they will reach a point where their bodies demand rest. To avoid crankiness and tantrums, honor their sleep needs. Not sure how much your little one needs? Read about sleep averages here!
Create a Friendly Sleep Environment
Try to provide a separate sleeping space for your child, even if it's just another bed or a travel crib. This will help establish a familiar sleep environment and make the transition back home easier.
Balance Flexibility with Routine.
While it's important to be flexible and enjoy your vacation, try to stick to your child's sleep schedule most of the time. If you know a nap will be missed, consider adjusting bedtime accordingly. If they stay up later, extend their afternoon nap. Think about the 80/20 rule; staying consistent 80% of the time and being flexible 20%.
Naps on the Go.
If you're traveling by car, plan your journey so that your child can nap during the ride. This can help them catch up on sleep while you make progress on the road. By planning I mean to take all you need with you, for example, their love, a portable white noise machine, even reading a book or singing a song if you do that at home.
Stick to Meal Times.
As much as possible, maintain your child's regular meal schedule. If you're driving, take breaks for feeding, and then continue your journey. Consistency with meals can help keep their sleep patterns intact.
Pack Sleep Essentials.
Bring along any sleep aids your child relies on, such as a security object, a favorite blanket, a white noise machine, or portable blackout curtains. Familiar items can provide comfort in an unfamiliar environment.
Keep your child's bedtime routine as close to your home routine as possible. This might include a warm bath, a bottle or nursing session, a bedtime story, or some soothing lullabies.
When you return home, some parents worry about "retraining" their child to sleep. While it's not necessary, it is essential to reintroduce the sleep rules and routines you had before the trip. Consistency is key.
The most important tip...
Stop worrying about the perfect schedule, and have fun together as a family.
These tips will help ensure that your baby or toddler gets the sleep they need during your Thanksgiving travels. After all, a well-rested child (and parent) makes for a happier and more enjoyable holiday experience. Safe travels and sweet dreams! 😴🍁✈️