Guest blog by Emily Whalley
COVID hit us hard! We have waited a long time for this Summer and its finally on its way, which will see lots of us jetting off or driving off for a well-deserved break.
I am Emily a holistic sleep coach and Mother of two boys from Fox and the Moon Sleep and I have put my top tips together to help you have a stress-free time away!
- Be prepared
- Most airports allow you to pre-order milk and nappies and collect when you are airside which saves so much luggage space.
- Take a light, weight foldable stroller and a baby carrier. It’s a sure-fire way to help your baby nap and calm if they are dysregulated and overtired, the closeness, contact and warmth from you should see them asleep in no time, it still works for my 2.5-year-old!
- Go with the Flow
I know this is annoying and clichéd, but this is SO important, our babies and children are not robots, we need to help them adjust to the climate, the change in environment and everything in-between. We desperately try to control and micromanage our babies sleep, and I get it, it’s hard not to but if you just let go a little you will be surprised at how quickly they adapt. If there is a massive difference in time between your holiday destination and at home then exposing your child to daylight or to dark and quiet when you arrive, depending on the time will help their circadian rhythm (body clock) adjust a little quicker.
- Make their sleep environment familiar
If your baby sleeps with a comforter then make sure you take that a long with you, I always bring my children’s pillowcases away, even now they are a little older, as something that’s familiar and smells like home is a good way to transition them to their new sleep environment. Taking their bottom sheet if they are in a crib or cot works just as well! If you use a sound soother like Wooshh or a sleep aid like Zed at home, it is super easy to take those familiar items away with you too.
- All naps are good naps
Whether your child is serial contact napper or a baby who will only sleep in their cot, do not fret! This is something I come across all the time in practice – parents telling me “My baby will only sleep on me/the pram”. It’s fine! All naps, no matter where they are or how long they last for count. You’re likely to be out and about more on holiday and it is absolutely fine to let your baby nap in a carrier or their pram. This will not hinder their night-time sleep. The Rockit Rocker is a great little gadget for those naps in the pram where baby needs some motion, but you need a cocktail!
- Wake windows
Wake windows aren’t an exact science, they are more anecdotal based advice. They work for some, but not all. However, on holiday, with the time difference they can really help with some forward planning, especially if you want to have a meal out and have a bit of a later evening. For example, you could add an extra nap in before you go and make bedtime later, or simply get them ready for bed, do your bedtime routine and transfer to their pram while you eat.
0-3 Months = Around an hour
3-6 Months = 1.5 – 2.5 hours
6-9 Months = 3 – 3.5 hours
9-12 Months = 3 – 4 hours
12 – 18 months = 4- 5 hours
18 – 24 Months = 5-6 hours
24 Months and above = 6+ hours
This should give you a rough guide of when your child will be ready for another nap or for bedtime and should make your days run a little smoother!
For more baby sleep tips and advice you can find me at Fox and the Moon or @foxandthemoon_sleep on Instagram
Good luck and enjoy your travels!