Planning on taking the plunge and visiting warmer climbs with your brood this summer season? Worried about how the heat or change of routine may impact on your little dreamers sleep? Fear not. Our sleep expert Jenna Wilson of Little Dreams Consulting shares her top sleep tips when travelling abroad with little ones, to make it a holiday to remember (for all the right reasons).
Top Sleep Tips for Tiny Travellers
- An easy win is to try and book flights around nap/bedtimes so that your little one/s will hopefully be asleep on the plane. Or, if that's not possible, plan your trip to the airport around their nap time, even if it means arriving a little earlier than you usually would.
- Have plenty of snacks at the ready - just in case the queues to check in are long and where possible try and check in at home online.
During the Flight
- Have everything prepared and easily accessible for the flight. Some things to consider are: nightwear, your child's regular comforter (plus a spare if you can - just in case it gets lost during the journey/holiday!)blankets, snacks/food/milk, entertainment for little ones according to their age (stickers, books, magnets, colouring, downloaded programmes etc), something to suck/drink for landing and take-off.
Whilst Away (Daytime)
- Try not to over-plan your days – this can lead to tired and emotional little ones, which isn’t fun for anyone.
- Naps on the go are totally fine. Try and have as many naps in the cot as possible in the cot where possible as well. Using something like a snoozeshade over the pram or pushchair can be helpful for daytime naps. It will help keep out the heat and ensure that the surroundings are less stimulating for little ones.
- If you are flying long haul and worried about jet lag, then try and get out in the daylight as soon as possible after you arrive, since this is the best way to regulate your body clocks.
Whilst Away (Bedtime)
- Try and make your little one's sleep environment as close to it is at home as you can. For example, don’t forget to pack your white noise machine, a portable black out blind is a must have, any regular comforter/soft toys, blanket etc.
- If they are still struggling in their new environment, do exactly what you would do at home plus offer a little extra reassurance/comfort where needed and they will soon be back to settling well.
- If you don’t bed share with your baby or toddler at home, and do not plan to, try not to do it whilst travelling. Even if it is only for a few nights, if your little one decides this is their new preferred location, you could find yourself starting all over again when you get home. Most hotels have a cot you can use, so make sure you check in advance or take your own if necessary.
- If they sleep in a separate room at home and this isn’t possible on holiday, try and create some space between them and yourself with a divider or curtain, so that if they do wake up, they aren’t too excited by seeing you!
- If children are sharing, bear in mind that there may be a few extra shenanigans the first couple of nights, after all this is all new and exciting for them. Remain consistent and maybe think of some rewards for good bedtime behaviour and they will be back to settling well in no time!
- Don’t beat yourself up if rules are relaxed a little and they stay up later than usual - you are on holiday after all!
- If some of the ‘rules’ were relaxed during the holiday, once you are back home, go back to your normal sleep routine and stay consistent for a few days so little ones know nothing has changed at home.
The best advice of course is to enjoy your holiday! Create family memories and most importantly, relax. You deserve it. Parenting is a privilege but it’s certainly no walk in the park.
If you feel like you need a little extra help with your little one’s sleep once you are back home, you can book in a free 15-minute no obligation call ( or an appointment) with Jenna or a member of her team by calling her on 07572 309404 or email Jenna@littledreamsconsulting.com.
For all those holiday must-haves, be sure to check out our travel essentials for little nomads. From the best backpacks to stylish swimwear to be seen in, and all those beachy favourites to keep little water babies happy and entertained all summer long.
About Jenna and Little Dreams Consulting
Jenna Wilson set up the multi award winning Little Dreams Consulting 5 years ago, following ten years working in Childcare Law. She has trained with Sleep Sense™ and The Sleep Charity (UK) and has attended a multitude of courses with the NSPCC and The Lullaby Trust.
The little Dreams Consulting family is growing and is looking for franchisees across the UK to join their successful team of sleep experts. To find out more, pop them an email at email@example.com for a (no obligation) chat.