Whether you’re planning to visit Grandma or go on a beach vacation, one of the questions on a new parent’s mind of where baby will sleep and in what. We offer several solutions for portable sleep arrangements as well as other products that will make traveling with your new baby easier.
- If you’re traveling by air, don’t kick off your trip with a fussy flier; pick a time when your child is most likely to be asleep. Book a flight that coincides with nap-time or for longer distances, consider taking a red-eye. If you’re traveling by car and your baby will sleep in the car, leave just before nap-time or bed-time and drive through the night if you can, taking turns at the wheel so the other can sleep is one way to maximize sleep.
- If you’re flying, be prepared to nurse or offer a pacifier, bottle or sippy cup during take-off or landing to help prevent the excruciating inner ear pain that small children can experience.
Making the Bed
- If you’re staying at a hotel, look at their website or TripAdvisor.com for traveler photos of similar rooms to see what the set-up will be like and how much space you’ll have.
- Bring your own bedding. Babies sleep better in familiar surroundings, so it helps to bring along a familiar-smelling bed & bedding. The new Phil & Teds Nest Bed is great for the frequent traveler because it is lightweight & packable. Intended for babies under 6 months, this versatile travel bed also acts as a travel bag, giving you extra functionality for your money.
- Don’t forget your child’s favorite blanket and/or lovey.
Portable Bed Solutions
- Most hotels can supply you with a crib but the quality varies greatly and some will charge an additional fee per night. If you plan to travel a few times with your child before they can sleep in their own bed, buying and bringing your own portable bed will be a good investment.
- The benefit of bringing your own portable bed is that you can get your child accustomed to the bed while you’re still home in order to make the transition easier.
- If you’re staying at someone’s home who you haven’t visited before, ask them where you’ll be sleeping. If your baby sleeps in his own room at home, ask if it’s possible for baby to sleep in their own room near yours, like a home office. If you’ll be sharing a room with baby, ask if there will be room for your portable crib. Often, guest rooms are the smallest bedroom in a home.
- For crawlers or younger, try the BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light, which can double as an infant playpen. The Travel Crib Light is incredibly easy to assemble, and it provides a quality mattress and secure sleep environment. It’s our most comfortable travel crib, with a thick, firm, foam mattress and sturdy structure.
- The Peapod Plus travel bed is our most portable travel bed for multi-stage use. It folds compactly and pops open easily, perfect for naps on the go! It’s great for the park or beach, and it’s comfortable enough to be used for sleepovers, as well. The Peapod Plus is larger than the original Peapod, and can be used up to six years — a great investment for the long run! It’s also great for the park, beach, camping, etc. for both sleep and play.
- For parents who co-sleep with their baby, sleep arrangements couldn’t be easier! Be sure to follow the same precautions that you do at home: no fluffy bedding or blankets and limit alcohol consumption.
- If you use a co-sleeper for your under-6-months-old baby, portable co-sleepers like the Snuggle Nest make sleeping on the road as comfortable and easy as at home, thanks to the sturdy side walls to protect little ones from rolling parents and folds up for travel. As one of our customers noted in their review of the product, “We like to refer to it as our “no frills” alternative to a bassinet in our bedroom – that we could take with us for quick over nights!”
- For kids 2+, the Inflatable Bed Rail can be inserted under the sheet of a bed to keep them from rolling out of the bed.
- Need a small bed for your 2-6 year old? The Tuckaire Original Toddler Travel Bed folds to a compact 17″x8″x8″ when not inflated. Side rails not only allow you to tuck the sheets in, but keep kids from rolling off in the night. An electric pump is included.
Settling Down to Sleep
- If your baby requires white noise or something to drown out noise or unfamiliar sounds, ask your host for a fan or download a White Noise app or audio track for your mobile phone (but be sure to put it on Airplane mode so any calls coming in don’t wake your baby).
- Hotels usually have good black-out curtains but it can go either way with private homes so bring big binder clips and ask for a light blanket to clip to curtains to make a darker shade for where baby will be sleeping.
- If you’ll be sharing a room with your baby, bring a small flashlight or plug in a nightlight like our WallMate so you don’t bump into furniture when you climb into bed yourself. An older child may also appreciate having a nightlight.
If this is your first trip with your child, here are some additional things you might not have considered.
- Don’t forget your baby monitor. Baby monitors are often overlooked when packing, but you’ll be glad you brought one when your baby is sleeping and you’re downstairs enjoying a glass of wine with the family. Our Graco Direct Connect Digital Monitor baby monitor is a travel-friendly size, is less expensive, so it won’t present a crisis if a piece gets lost or broken on the road.
- Pack a travel health kit. Having a sick baby when you’re away from home is no fun, but at least you can come prepared. We like: Safety 1st Deluxe Healthcare and Grooming Kit.
- Be sure to pack some fever-reducing medicine so you’re not stuck looking for an all-night pharmacy!
- Consider wearing a front carrier or sling to transport baby through the airport or anywhere you’re not sure if it will be easy to navigate with a stroller. The BabyBjorn Synergy front carrier keeps your baby close and frees up your hands. This model also provides lumbar support to keep you comfortable all day long, as well as lightweight, breathable mesh fabric that keeps you and your baby cooler.
- Prepare for potties. A portable potty seat that provides a nice, germ-free layer between your child & the rest of the world. Our pick is a travel potty seat that folds up compactly & fits easily in your diaper bag.
- If you have a crawler or toddler, when you arrive at your destination, get down on your hands and knees to look for potential safety dangers. Since hotel rooms and guest bedrooms are seldom baby-proofed, bring your own outlet covers for one less thing to worry about. (Check out our selection of babyproofing supplies.)
- Remember that while baby formula or breastmilk is allowed on the plane in reasonable quantities, the limit doesn’t apply to diaper rash ointments and lotions so include travel-size versions in your carry-on or pack them in your checked luggage.