How to Get your Baby to Sleep When You’re Traveling

An expert solves your biggest baby sleep emergencies.

How to Get your Baby to Sleep When You’re Traveling

*We’ve partnered with Earth Mama Angel Baby Organics to make your travel with baby easier this holiday season.

There’s nothing more exciting than traveling with baby... until it’s time to put that baby to bed. Yes, Paris, Rome, Hawaii, even New Jersey (hello, Grandma!) sound fabulous in theory but , well what about the crib? The time difference? The overstimulation? OMG, this won't be a vacation... it will be a nightmare, because she won’t sleep. You begin to rethink the vacation, because now she thrives on the perfect routine. You’re scared you’ll mess up that sleep schedule you worked so hard to establish. You begin to worry how she will adapt, and how you will survive. So what do you do?

Below are 7 easy tips on how to get your baby to sleep when you're traveling.

Sleep Emergency #1: I can’t figure out when to fly to make it easiest on my baby’s sleep schedule.

Solution: I recommend flying during your baby’s scheduled nap times. Your baby will generally sleep better on the plane if it’s scheduled during their biological sleep times (aka “sleep sweet spot”). If you can't hit the perfect sleep sweet spot when purchasing your tickets and your baby misses his regularly scheduled nap, expect that first night to be a little rough with the sleep. Try to implement an early bedtime to accommodate for the loss of sleep during the day.

Sleep Emergency #2: She’s a creature of habit, and I’m not sure how she’ll handle a new sleeping space.

Solution: While you can’t replicate her exact sleep space, you can replicate her sleep routine. Create a routine you can take on the road, and start practicing it a few days or even weeks before leaving. A relaxing bath (even in the hotel sink!), followed by a rubdown with calming baby lotion, can help her get in sleep mode, no matter where you’re located. Use products with organic lavender, which is naturally soothing, like these from Earth Mama. You can even put a baby-safe lavender plush in her travel crib. If you start now, she’ll start to associate the smell with sleep, and the lavender will be a prompt when you’re on the road.

Sleep Emergency #3: Your hotel room (or Grandma’s extra room right off the kitchen) isn't as soundproof as promised.

Solution: If you’re in a hotel, let the front desk know you have a baby and ask to be moved. Otherwise, try a white noise machine or app to mask outside sounds. Place it where the noise is amplified to block it out.

Sleep Emergency #4: Your baby's overtired and can’t calm down.

Solution: Sometimes mama cuddles are the best way to soothe baby. Find a quiet spot away from the chaos for a quick nursing or feeding session, and reassure him that even though you’re not at home, the best part of home (you!) is right there.

Sleep Emergency #5: Your kids have to share a room.

Solution: Make it a vacation adventure! If your children are old enough, bring a sleeping bag or set up some blankets on the floor and tell them it’s a special vacation treat. If your child is younger than 3, request (or bring) bed rails to be placed on the ends of the bed to protect them from rolling off.

Sleep Emergency #6: Grandma (or another family member) wants to pinch those chunky cheeks and bounce your little one on her lap, but it’s overstimulating right before bedtime.

Solution: Ask your family member to move the stimulation to earlier in the day, and instead, have them participate in the bedtime routine. Let them be a part of the bath or read a book. That way they are still spending time with them and bonding in a positive way. A win-win for everyone.

Sleep Emergency #7: Your destination will require a time change.

Solution: For the first few days, make sure that your baby gets at least 15 to 20 minutes of daylight exposure, ideally mid-morning and late afternoon. This will support their little body’s internal sleep clock (Circadian Rhythm) to adapt to the time zone you’re currently in. Bonus: You can also use this tip for daylight savings time!

Above all else, remember to keep a sense of humor. Don’t go into this vacation with a concrete plan. Go with the flow. When you’re traveling, you’re going on an adventure to discover new things and new lands. So make it memorable.

Photography by Ana Schechter for Well Rounded.

*This post was sponsored by Earth Mama Angel Baby Organics. Get the Sleep Little One gift set here!

Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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