When you’re away from home, it’s so easy for your usual routine to go a little astray. And usually, that’s fine. Hopefully you’re flexible enough for that to mean bedtime is a little later than usual, but your little ones still know that its bedtime and their routine isn’t really affected. Timings aren’t as important as making sure you stick to the order of events after all. But when it comes to naps, things can be a little more complicated. Chances are when you’re on vacation you’re out and about a lot more than you usually are at home. So naps are likely to be disrupted more than usual too. And for some babies, this can be bad news! Sleep breeds sleep and an over tired baby who hasn’t napped well is not going to sleep well at night either. So here are my top tips for helping baby nap on vacation…
Stick to your schedule as closely as you can
And by this I mean, your day to day schedule. So if baby usually naps at 11am, try to make sure this happens while you’re away too. As already mentioned, timings can be a little out here but essentially the routine needs to be the same, so if he usually naps in his bed and won’t nap while you’re out (in the stroller for example) then try to plan activities that allow you to pop home for a breather.
If you stick to your schedule as closely as possible, your baby is less likely to feel the disruption that vacations can bring so its really worth giving this a go.
Help baby nap while you’re out and about
Its not always possible to nap in a bed while you’re away. Sometimes you’re out for the day and in these circumstances you need to make the best of it. So take as many props as you can that will ensure your baby has the best (and most timely) nap as possible. I recommend a good stroller that your baby can lie back in and be comfortable in, and a good sunshade too. The SnoozeShade is perfect here because it provides shade from the sun and blocks out all distractions too.
Help baby nap better in the travel cot
Travel cots aren’t always built with comfort in mind (or so it seems!) so you might want to do all you can to make it a little more appealing for nap time. Add blankets from home that are more familiar so that your baby has a few home comforts, and don’t forget lovies or favourite toys too. Black out blinds are also a good idea to take with you to create a dim room too.
Prepare your baby before you go
Some babies need to be eased into new situations slowly, and if this is the case for you then its not a bad idea to start the preparations sooner rather than later. Start by encouraging her to take naps in her stroller at home (if you know that is going to be the case while you’re away) and help her to become accustomed to this new way of napping before you leave. That way, when you get there it won’t be unreasonable for you to expect her to nap in her stroller when you need her to. Likewise, get her to ‘practise’ sleeping in her travel cot for a few naps too so that the bed is as familiar as possible.
Try to create a home from home
Some babies are true creatures of comfort so having familiar things around them while on vacation is essential for helping them to sleep well. So if you usually signal nap time with a certain story, then definitely do pack that book when you go away! And don’t forget favourite toys, blankets and songs too. The more you can create a home from home, the better baby will nap.
At the end of the day, benign vacation is different. Even adults take a day or two to get used to being away from home and so its no surprise that babies can be unsettled too. Allow for this. Don’t stress and stay calm. A few days of interrupted sleep can and will be rectified when you get home.