How do I manage my child’s sleep on holiday?

the daddy sleep consultant - getting your child through fireworks night

Holiday and sleep. It’s something so many parents worry about when they should be excited for their time away. 

We are going to give you some tips for making sure your little ones sleep as well on holiday as they do at home (or certainly not worse hopefully!). You need to free up worrying to give you time to pack everything but the kitchen sink! When you have kids, long gone are the days when you can throw together a suitcase the night before.

So here are our tips to help with your child’s sleep whilst on holiday.

Bedtime Routine

The first recommendation is one not to get too hung up on if it isn’t possible, but try to keep their bedtime routine as close to their normal one at home.

It can be simple things such as the same bubble bath, bath toys, reading familiar stories etc. And even if they are going to bed later, if you can carry out the same routine steps, try to do so rather than rush it through.

Even if their bedtime is different, the familiar steps will let them know that they are expected to go to bed for night sleep now.

If you are going out for dinner and want them to sleep in the pram, then do their bedtime routine before putting them into their pram in their pyjamas. It will also help when you transfer them to their sleep space when you are back at your accomodation.

Home from home

Kids love consistency and familiarity so try and keep as much from home as you can. It will be tempting to take a nice clean sleeping bag or cot sheet with you, but it’s best to take one that has been used before. They will smell familiar which can provide comfort in new surroundings. 

Likewise, if you use white noise at home, it may be helpful to continue with that so there’s a sense of feeling like at home.

On the flip side, if you don’t use white noise at home, don’t be afraid to use it when you are away. You may be in the room with them on holiday, or there may be external sounds you can’t control, like a band playing in the nearby bar. And white noise is all about blocking out sounds that can wake your child.

You can use YouTube for white noise if you don’t want to buy/take a machine with you.

Blackout room

Light is the biggest disrupter for waking up sleeping adults and little ones. Whenever we work with clients we always recommend blackout blinds for all rooms tots sleep in. Travel blackout blinds are reasonably cost efficient and can be all you need to keep little ones asleep until morning. 

We have used these Tommee Tippee Travel Blinds in the past and they are easy to transport with you, and are very effective for even bigger, non-standard window shapes due to the length of them and suction method. Would highly recommend.

Naps on the go

If your baby or toddler is used to having their day naps in their cot in a dark room they may struggle to get as much day sleep as they are used to with all of the light and stimulation outside.

Even then, some babies are just too nosey and stimulated by the outside world.

One great product for helping with naps on the go is Snoozeshade – it’s indispensable for us on holiday. It’s an air-permeable pram cover that protects against UV rays and reduces light and noise. Use code DADDY10 for 10% off.

Back to basics if needed

If you are on holiday for a week or more and struggling with day sleep, it might be worth considering taking a few hours out one day to get some sleep in your accomodation.

Sometimes a refreshed day can be all your little one needs to get them back on track and everyone feeling more refreshed and energised. You might even be able to have a wee Siesta too!

Treats and sugar

Holiday are all about treats! And your little ones should enjoy them too, but try to keep sugar to a minimum towards the late afternoon. Some children react more to sugar than others but we know from our own children, too much sugar before bed leads to three hyper little boya. 

Most importantly though, remember to enjoy yourself! All sleep routines can be re-implemented when home.

Follow us on Instagram for more infant sleep tips.

And if you want to get your sleep sorted BEFORE you go on holiday to enjoy your break even more, then our Online Sleep Plan will get your sleep improved in just a few nights.



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