It’s that time again. Time for a glorious, hopefully sunny holiday that may just be a little less relaxing a time than it was before babies! Maybe! But with my own holiday a few weeks away I wanted to share some of my top tips for your baby’s sleep whilst travelling, away and returning…
Adjusting to different time zones
If you’re going somewhere with a time difference of a couple of hours then a good recommendation would be to get onto local times and stick more or less with your normal routine. So during our holiday to Ibiza last year with a 1 hour time difference we did an 8am – 8pm day for our little one rather than 7am – 7pm.
If you’re going further for longer it could be worth doing some adjusting in the run-up like you would do a clock-change. So, adjusting your bedtime by 15 minutes per day in the days before you travel which will help them adjust a little quicker to the new time zone once there.
Long distance/jet lag
If you are going somewhere with a big time difference then there will usually be some jet lag symptoms and disturbance to sleep. This will usually pass within a few days but there are some things you can do to help:
Keep your baby hydrated before and during the flight. A bottle, breast or dummy to suck on during take-off and landing can really help too.
Upon arrival, try to get onto local times and into some kind of rhythm, even if it’s not your exact routine. Aiming to eat and sleep at the right times in the new time zone.
Go outside and spend as much time in daylight over the first few days. Some exercise and natural light will help to re-set the body clock
During the night you want it as dark as possible, take a travel black-out blind with you in case the accommodation is lacking in this area. If your baby is awake for a duration in the night, keep it as dark and sleepy an environment as possible rather than getting up and turning lights on.
Try and avoid super long naps and wake little ones up if they nap too long to avoid too much awake time at night
Avoid caffeine after 2pm if you are breastfeeding
Keep a consistent bedtime routine which will help your little one to feel secure in what’s happening. And bring as much familiarity from home – slept-in cot sheet, sleeping bag, favourite book, comforter, etc.