How To Keep Sleep Intact While On A Holiday

Posted December 27, 2010

Dear Kitty,

 I’m concerned about an upcoming trip to visit my parents for two weeks.  My child is finally a good sleeper at home.  We’ve done sleep training and at 6 months, she now sleeps between 11 and 12 hours at night.  Naps are still a struggle, but we are working on that. She may need to sleep in our room with us and I’m afraid we’ll end up with her back in our bed.

Any advice you have will be appreciated.

 -Worried Mom


Hello W. M.,


Many parents share your concern as a trip approaches.  It’s easy to feel like the spotlight will be on you and how well your child behaves, sleeps and eats, etc.  Your goal can be to recreate as many aspects of her bedtime and overnight routines as you can – that is those that are portable.  If you have time, get her used to sleeping in a playpen (Pac N Play type) while she is still at home.  Take it with you on your trip with the same sheets you’ve used at home.  Now you’ve reduced one variable already.

 Take along (or buy) a portable white noise machine (Toys R Us) and use it at home before you go and on your trip.  Another variable reduced! 

 Take along a few comfort items she may use now in her crib to help her self-calm. 

 Most important: put her to bed on time and in the same way you do at home: awake and not overtired; tell her “It’s nighttime, I love you, I’ll see you in the morning” and leave the room promptly and close the door. 

 You may need to inform loving relatives that she sleeps best once she has gotten herself to sleep, and if they hear her in the night not to worry – she will be working on settling herself back to sleep.

 Initially, she may need to cry a bit to get herself to sleep in these new surroundings.  But with your help and consistency this should soon get better.

 Last resort?  If you have no choice but to bring her into bed with you for the duration of the trip, know that it will only take a few nights of sleep training to get her back on track.

 Cheers, Kitty

Note to Readers: I would love to hear your comments, stories and observations.  However, I am unable to respond to questions in this particular format.  Please see email questions on my website.

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