14 Tips to Help Your Baby Sleep Better on Vacation


Summer is fast approaching or maybe even already here for some of us. Summer is known for its long days, vacations, road trips, and outdoor adventures. Summer is fun! And sleep is not. For many families, it is a struggle to figure out how to balance the fun of summer with the need of sleep. Babies, toddlers, teens, and adults alike function best when they are getting the sleep they need. Today I am sharing some of my favorite sleep tips to use while traveling, and I have recruited some other experienced moms and professionals to share their top tips as well! And all of the mentioned products are completely 100% un-sponsored. They really are just our favorites. Enjoy!

Marietta Paxson: Mom to three (three and under), AMFT and owner of Little Dreamers

1. I am a type A mom. That means my routine at home provides me comfort and safety. That also means when we travel I get anxious and worried because I lose the protection of my routine. If you are a mom like me, the greatest piece of advice I can give you is to relax and go with the flow. Remember that your consistency from day to day at home has helped your children to be well rested and to feel secure, safe, and in control. Those things do not just disappear the second they take a shorter nap or go to bed slightly later. Remind yourself that your vacation is the exception, be flexible, enjoy this time together without the worries and hustle and bustle of life. It will be okay. Your children will probably become tired and grumpy at some point on your trip, and you will recognize that they need sleep and you will find a way to get them some sleep. I also feel the need to say that this advice is strictly for our type A moms. If it is not hard for you to be flexible and spontaneous, please keep reading for tips specifically for you!

2. Tin foil and painter’s tape will be your best friend on your trip. Having a dark room while sleeping for naps and early mornings can make a big difference on vacation, where it probably wouldn’t matter at home. Tin foil and painters tape is the easiest and cheapest way to achieve a dark room. And let’s not forget, it is also damage free which is kind of a big deal when you are staying on someone else’s property!

3. When traveling, it can be hard for your baby to fall asleep, especially for naps. I often tell clients that when traveling it is okay to help your baby fall asleep. You may decide to let your baby suck on the binky when it is close to a nap time or perhaps nurse him to sleep. Whatever you do to help you baby fall asleep on vacation is okay! My only word of warning is that you also understand that whatever you do to help your child fall asleep on vacation will then have to be undone once you return home. It will be like sleep training all over again. However, this time it will go much quicker because your child already knows how to do and just needs to be reminded. Also, just because you helped your baby fall asleep out and about for his nap does not mean you need to help him fall asleep at night when he has his normal nighttime routine and sleep gear. Do the least amount needed so you have to undo the least amount possible!

4. Finally if you are planning on doing naps on the go (in the stroller or carrier: more tips on this below) then I would suggest purchasing a portable sound machine. It will help drown out any unexpected or expected loud noises. And if your children are anything like my children, they will sleep through anything BUT the sound of my voice! The noise machine helps me be able to talk when my children are sleeping. I recommend this one!

Camilia Lund: Mom to adorable Peter, Professional Photographer and World Traveler

1. When Peter was 7 months, we went to Costa Rica. Traveling at that age was easier. Our flight left early, like 6 am, so we had to be at the airport way early. We woke Peter up at 3:30 am, went to the airport, and once we were on the plane, he was so ready for his nap. I use a Covered Goods nursing cover because it covers me completely and helps him zone out to fall asleep because he can’t see what’s going on around him. Planes have natural white noise, which can make sleeping on a plane super easy.

2, Try to keep your baby on his regular nap and bedtime schedule. We had a rental car and timed our outings in the car with naps. Other times, we would use a carrier for nap time. This worked great for a morning hike or walk around the city. We also planned our trip so that after dinner, we just stayed in our hotel so our baby could sleep. It worked out well for us, and we were so ready to relax anyway.

3. We recognized that sometimes our baby would not be able to have his naps at the exact same time every day. I recommend keeping an eye on their cues, noticing when they are tired and then providing a place to fall asleep. We would quickly put him in the Ergobaby carrier, and he would fall asleep easily when he was tired. I would occasionally put him in that while breastfeeding, so we could continue our travels without stopping to nurse. It's easier than it sounds! The Ergobaby was also great for the plane ride. I would put the Ergobaby on