Getting littles ones to sleep on nights away from home can be a challenge. With different sleeping environments, being constantly on the move, and perhaps a hotter climate, it can turn your child’s night-time routine into a bit of a nightmare.
Here, Naturalmat’s resident sleep expert, Christabel Majendie, gives her top 5 travel tips for babies and toddlers.
- Maintain the same bedtime routine as you do at home, so your child knows it is time for sleep. A good routine could include having a bath or shower, a bedtime story, cuddles and lights off will make them feel they are at home, which will comfort them and help them on their way to a good night’s sleep.
- Take a few familiar things from home to help settle your child in the unfamiliar sleeping environment such as teddies, blankets, a small pillow – you will also want these if you are travelling long haul as the flight can sometimes be the hardest part of travel, and if you are without toys to entertain it could cause them to become restless.
- If there is a change in time zone think how you will manage this. If only a few days, you might want to keep your child on the same time as back home. For longer period, adjusting to the time zone will take a few days but you can start adjusting a few days before you leave by putting your child to bed and waking them up 15 minutes early/ later (depending on the time zone) each day until you depart.
- To help with adjusting to time zones, set mealtimes fixed around the new time zones rather than having irregular eating patterns. This will also help with your child’s digestive system, having unbalanced eating patterns can cause them to feel sluggish or slightly unwell, so it’s best to try and adjust as soon as possible.
- In addition, get your child out in the natural daylight for at least an hour in the morning to help the brain adjust to the new day/ night cycle. And remember it is normal for your child’s sleep to be unsettled with changes of environment and changes in time zones so allow them time to adjust. You can also try adding a comfortable, natural mattress topper to your child’s travel cot with the Naturalmat Travel mat that’s filled with temperature regulating organic lambswool in a quilted cotton cover.