Traveling with tots comes with a whole list of grievances, from backseat whining to overstuffed carry-ons. But what many parents dread the most is the disruption of sleep schedules and patterns. So we asked the child development experts at Seedlings Group for a packing list of items that will help wee ones get their zzz’s en route.
1. Contractor trash bags and duct tape. For DIY blackout shades.
2. A portable bedrail. Because piling pillows on the floor isn’t the best safeguard.
3. A baby travel pillow. To support wobbly necks during long naps on the road.
4. A white noise machine. Great for room sharing and noisy hotels. Sound machines that are used at home also serve as helpful sleep cues in new environments.
5. Your car seat. The best bet for keeping an active toddler still (and sleeping) on the plane. Check the base for the FAA approved sticker, to make sure it will fit in the airplane seat.
6. A dirty crib sheet. Well, maybe not a dirty one. But you might consider stripping your child’s bedding and tossing it in the suitcase. Children love predictability and consistency, so try to mimic whatever sleeptime environment and routine you have at home. Regardless of the time zone, when your child sees his sleep sack or hears the familiar sounds of his white noise machine accompanied by your nightly lullaby, his body will be much more likely to accept that it’s the right time (and place) to sleep.