The Blog

Holiday Travel and Your Child's Sleep

Hi! I’m Dana Obleman, creator of The Sleep Sense Program. This week’s question comes from Meagan, who writes:

My husband and I have tried your sleep methods since last Tuesday and I am happy to say that for the first time in eight months I have had a full night’s sleep. However, we are going on holidays in a month’s time and we do not want to lose the routine or the schedule we have. Rohan will be sleeping in the same hotel room as us and not in his own bed like he does at home. We would really appreciate your advice.

Traveling is a common road block and it can really derail the progress parents have made. There are a few things you need to keep in mind when you travel and probably the most important thing is to be careful that you do not over-schedule yourselves.

I know it is hard when there is so much to see and do when you are on a holiday, but you really need to put your baby’s sleeping needs first. Do not do things like skipping naps, or pushing bed time really late. Once or twice will not be the end of the world, but if it’s everyday, and he is only getting car seat naps or the occasional stroller nap and a late bedtime, he can become so over tired that he just totally forgets how to do this himself.

He may work himself into such a state that he cries a lot and parents are sensitive to the fact that they are in a hotel — they do not want to wake up the neighbors! It is easy to revert back into the old familiar patterns and within a few nights, you can undo all the progress you have made.

Parents should try to honor the child’s schedule. Keep your routines pretty consistent as well; if he has a bedtime routine, you want to keep that the same. Since you are all going to be in the same hotel room, remember that most hotels will rent you or loan you a portable crib.

He should definitely be in his own crib if he is used to that at home. You might even want to consider finding a hotel room that has a suite option. My kids go to bed at 7:00 and I always think “What am I going to do in a hotel room when my kids are all in bed at 7:00? I will just have to sit in the dark.” Getting a two-room suite is a good idea because at least he can go to bed at 7:00 when he needs to, and you and your husband can still do things together.

The general rule in this situation is that you will just have to put him in his own space and be as quiet as you can and hope that he gets some sleep.

I hope this helps keep you on track through your holidays.

Enjoy yourselves and sleep well!

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Dana’s Sleep Blog

Straight talk about sleep, parenting,
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My blog is a great place to find opinions, advice, the occasional rant, and some great videos about sleep.

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