The whole point of your vacation is to get away from your usual routine, but you’ve got a small child who can’t go without naps. You know how vital napping is to their development, but does that mean your family can’t have wonderful experiences until baby can last the day?
Nope! Maintaining a nap schedule and enjoying your vacation are certainly possible. Here’s how…
1. Stick to your usual nap schedule
Your baby has grown to depend on that nap schedule. Even if he could go without sleep, his body will begin to wind down because that’s the routine. So it’s important that you prioritize sleep and get him in a place that’s primed for napping around those times. Don’t plan activities during nap time and try to be near a comfortable, dark, and noise-free place.
2. Prepare early for strange sleep conditions
If you have a child that has become accustomed to sleeping in one place (like his crib, every day), it might be tough to give a nap in a new environment (like a plane, car ride or hotel room). You can prepare ahead of time for this by letting your baby nap in the portable crib during the two weeks before the trip.
3. Bring whatever he needs for sleep
Be sure not to ask your baby to accept too many changes at once. Whatever you do, do not forget any sleep aids, like stuffed animals, favorite blankets or your baby’s swaddle or Zipadee-Zip. Your child might be ok with one or two changes to his environment, but you’ll be in for trouble if you forget his favorite items.
4. Take turns nap-sitting
If your child is still napping a lot (taking two or three naps a day), you’ll want to take turns with your spouse so you don’t both miss the entire vacation. When one person heads back to the room for a nap, the other can continue with their day. A great idea for families is to bring grandparents along on the trip. They usually love the time with the kids and wouldn’t mind giving a nap or two.
5. Bedtimes as usual
Napping and night sleeping go hand-in-hand. If babies don’t nap well, they don’t sleep at night well either, and vice versa. You can support a healthy nap schedule by making sure your baby goes to bed in a comfortable place each night on time.
6. Don’t try to sleep train
Vacationing would be a terrible time to sleep train your child. That sort of change usually requires a couple weeks of absolute consistency to make the new system work. If you try to sleep train on vacation, you’ll just make everyone miserable.
7. Accept that it won’t be perfect
Your child’s napping won’t be as perfect as it would be at home. You just have to accept that. There’s usually too much going on and too much to do on vacation. If your child is getting a reasonable amount of sleep, accept that you’ve done your best and enjoy your vacation.
Written by Stephanie Parker from Sleepingbaby.com, inventors of the Zipadee-Zip
The motto for Sleeping Baby, makers of the Zipadee-Zip, is: "Inspiring Dreams One Night at A time," and that, in a nutshell, is how it all started…with one little dream that has since become the Parker family's reality. When Brett and Stephanie Parker's daughter, Charlotte, was born, the feeling that welled up inside of them was indescribable; they never realized until first looking into those baby blues of hers that they were even capable of that kind of love.
When it was time to transition baby from swaddling, the Parkers tried every sleep sack on the market and everyswaddle weaning trick they could find for nearly two weeks and nothing worked to get baby Charlotte to fall and stay asleep.
Stephanie became determined to restore sleep and sanity to their household and set out to find a solution that would soothe Charlotte's startle reflex and provide her the cozy womb-like environment she loved so much but still give her the freedom to roll over and wiggle around in her crib safely. Out of sheer desperation and exhaustion, the Zipadee-Zip was born. The first Zipadee-Zip(R) Stephanie put together on her little sewing machine worked like magic!
To date tens of thousands of Zipadee-Zips have been sold and all from word-of-mouth marketing. It is so rewarding for the Parkers to see other parents and babies getting the sleep they both need and deserve!
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