It’s no coincidence that I have had about 15 past clients message me with sudden sleep issues this month. Right after the holidays means most likely things went off track and it will take time some time to get back on the road to self-settling and uninterrupted sleep!
We recently went on a week vacation with my then turning one year old. We were there for 7 nights, no time difference and I had no intention of veering from our schedule once there. I still wanted her to nap in the room during nap times. The first challenge was the morning nap as she literally just stood and cried for 30minutes! Perhaps it was the new environment, fear of missing out since her sister and nanny went out, but that is what happened. I’ll admit, it’s tough! Nobody wants to see a crying baby, but I stayed firm because I knew that she would need to get used to napping here, we are going to be here for a week. After 30minutes, she laid down and slept and we had no issues with naps for the rest of our time there.
As I shared in my stories, our real issue during the trip was the early morning wake up. Due to room sharing with my eldest, I couldn’t leave her be to resettle when she woke early so we had no choice but to start her day, sometimes as early as 5am! it was tough on me since I was the one who had to wake early and bring her out for a walk. Getting back on track when we got back home was a breeze. She woke a bit early for 2 days in a row but stayed calmly and quietly in bed until about 6am. By the third day, she was waking later.
Below are my top tips for travelling with a sleep trained baby:
1. Try and get the naps in when you can so bring a stroller or carrier if your baby still naps. Even in your arms if there’s nowhere else! Don’t forget to bring a portable crib or make sure your baby will have one there. Baby will still need their own sleep space.
2. If you keep your baby up late, expect overtiredness and crankiness so do try and get to bed within a reasonable timeframe depending how naps go. If you can’t, then just prepare for a cranky baby! It’s not the end of the world and you can get back on track when you can.
3. When traveling to a different time zone, try and adapt to the new times the next day after arrival. Watch for sleepy cues if your baby is jetlagged.
4. Try not to fall into bad habits. when things do go off track, if will be much easier to get on course if you are consistent. When you get back home, take some time to work on sleep. Expect there to be some resistance, but should get back to normal in no time!