Summer Travel Sleep Tips
Stick to your baby’s regular schedule/routine as much as possible. Even though you’re out and about, protect your baby’s nap time. While naps on the run aren’t ideal because they’re not as restorative, they’re better than skipping the nap. Plan for your baby to nap in the car, on the plane, or in a comfy stroller. Babies and young toddlers often do best in a familiar travel crib. Dr. Carr recommends the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light. Before your trip, have your baby sleep in it at home to break it in. “It opens like an umbrella,” Dr. Carr says. Assembling it is almost a one-step process. For hotel rooms, even just going to Grandma’s house or for longish mommy’s group meet-ups, The Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light can help babies and toddlers get in a real nap. It’s only 11 pounds to lug around and much easier to set up/dissemble than a Pack ‘n Play.
Turn to the dark side. Little ones sleep best in a dark environment, especially in new, potentially stimulating locales. Temporary blackout shades like Redi Shades can make any hotel or guest room sleep-friendly, no matter what time zone you’re in. “They’re accordion black construction paper with adhesive on the end,” Dr. Carr says. You can cut them or overlap them to make them fit any window size.
You can also use a black bed sheet with tools for hanging, like safety pins and non-marking painter’s tape or a few black trash bags taped directly to the windows. They work as well as the most deluxe curtains, Dr. Carr says. For portable stroller napping, check out the Snoozeshade. Dark and breathable at the same time, it creates a perfect cocoon for your little caterpillar when you’re on a roll.
Get everyone onboard with the plan. Before you set off on your summer adventure, make sure everyone agrees or at least is aware of your priorities regarding sleep. If you’ve decided to head back to the hotel for a midday rest at Disney so that your 10 month old can get a good nap in before a jam-packed afternoon and the evening fireworks, for example, explain to your 6 year-old why this plan equals more fun for everyone later in the day.