Navigating Your Child’s Sleep During Summer Travel

by | Jun 29, 2023

Summer has finally arrived! If your family is anything like mine, you’re eagerly anticipating fun-filled weekends at the cottage or family trips. 

However, one question may linger in your mind – “How will my child’s sleep schedule survive the summer adventures?” Don’t worry, as a seasoned mom and a sleep consultant, I’ve been there and got you covered with my tried-and-tested tips.

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Navigating your child's sleep during summer getaways or while travelling

Recreate Their Sleep Environment while Travelling

Bringing a piece of home on your trip can significantly aid your child’s sleep. Here are a few of my travel essentials:

  • Portable blackout blinds or garbage bags: These help ensure a dark room, just like at home.
  • Sound machine: The familiar white noise can help drown out the unfamiliar sounds. This one is my favourite.
  • Unwashed pyjamas and sleep sack: The scent of home can bring comfort to your child’s new sleep environment.

Hot tip: if room sharing, I highly recommend a SlumberPod, which is a portable, blackout sleep nook that you can put on top of a pack ‘n play or mini crib. Use code SLUMBERANDSHINE for a discount!

Time Travel Wisely & Take Advantage of On-The-Go Naps

Try aligning travel times with naps. My son often dozes off during car rides, making travel a breeze while ensuring he gets the rest he needs. I usually put him in the car or stroller 10 minutes before his scheduled naptime. This gives him time to wind down and fall asleep before becoming overtired.

Even if your child’s on-the-go nap is shorter than usual, don’t panic! Travel naps often last for just one sleep cycle, and you can always offer more sleep at the next sleep opportunity or move up bedtime if needed.

Expect & Navigate Sleep Disruptions while Travelling

Yes, it’s a vacation, and routines may shift. That’s okay! If you find yourself with a completely skipped nap or a very late bedtime, expect some sleep disruption(s) in the next 24 hours. This may include uncharacteristic protesting at nap or bedtime, a night waking, or an unusually early morning. If this happens, avoid assisting your child to sleep and resume their usual schedule the following day.

Stay Positive

Vacations are a break from the norm, and it’s okay if your child’s sleep schedule veers off track. Stay positive and remember, any sleep disruptions can be navigated with patience and consistency.

Ease Back into Home Routine

Once home, give your child a few days to readjust to their regular routine. With consistency, they’ll bounce back in no time.

Above all, remember that vacations are all about relaxation and memory-making. A little planning and a positive attitude will ensure everyone enjoys a restful, rejuvenating summer holiday. Happy traveling!

Note: this blog post includes affiliate links. If you click on them, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. 

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