Traveling with an Infant. I wrote all about this 2 months ago. I gave you my detailed account of how great of a traveler my daughter was at 3 months old. Well, 2 months later, she is still a great traveler, but a much different one.
Here is my travel update with a 5 month old.
What did we learn?
1. DO NOT Skip Out On Naps
Emily has not been the best napper. She is a great night sleeper, sleeping roughly 11-12 hours, but daytime naps are almost nonexistent. However, on vacation, she suddenly needed those naps & if she hadn't taken them, was a disaster at night because she was so overtired from all of the stimulus. Even with the hustle & bustle of being on vacation, we made sure she got at least one good nap & maybe one short nap in her car seat or in the baby bjorn. It is possible to get out and do things on vacation - just be aware of your kids sleep needs.
2. Try to keep baby on their home time schedule
This was by far the hardest part of travel. Our trip this time around meant that we would be two hours later than our normal time zone. This meant that her 7:00-7:30 p.m. bed time was now a 9:00 - 9:30 p.m. & her morning wake-up time was around 8:00 a.m. or 9:00 a.m. on vacation. It was important for us to make sure we stuck to those times or planned around those time to give her optimal sleep time. This is very important for helping her adjust to the new time zone. But it also meant we could enjoy a nice dinner out because we weren't rushing home to get her into bed.
3. Recreate Their Room
Recreating her room meant having her sleep necessities:
1. Sound Machine
2. Zipadee Zip
3. Dark Room
We made sure the space she was sleeping in was as dark as we could get it. We ended up nailing a blanket to the wall - above the window. I wish I would have taken a picture, it looked ridiculous. Now, we were staying at my in-laws house, so please don't go around nailing blankets into walls saying you read on a mom blog that this was a good idea. I am sure there are other super creative, non destructive, ways to get a room pitch black.
Sound machine. Not only did this recreate her sleep space like at home, but really helped to drown out all the noise going on in the house. We had 7 adults and 2 babies under one roof- it was bound to get loud.
Finally, her Zipadee Zip. Not only does this help her sleep, but makes her feel comfortable in a room that looks much different than her own room at home.
4. Be Patient
Oh, how this is important. You know how you feel when you have traveled all day and just want to rest your mind and relax? Your kid feels the same way. They are tired, out of sorts, & feeding off of your emotions. Be patient with them. The first two nights on vacation it took me two hours to rock Emily to sleep. Why? She was overstimulated & hadn't slept or napped well. We weren't in her room or her rocking chair going to sleep. We were in a new space. She needed to get used to that. Be patient when you schedule to do something fun but your kid needs a nap. They are trying their hardest to adjust. Be patient when they fall asleep in the car or stroller on your way to do something fun & exciting. I promise everyone will be so much happier if baby naps.
5. Keep Their Bedtime Routine
If you are anything like me your child's bedtime routine is the EXACT same every night. No deviation. For us its:
2. Bath time
3. 1 or 2 books
4. One last feeding
5. Rock to sleep
Emily was expecting this even though we were on vacation. I made sure to bring all the necessary bath toys to help keep her routine intact. This routine made her feel more comfortable and remind her that it meant bedtime. It makes her life and your life as a parent, much easier.
Until next time, much love,