Tips for travelling with babies and toddlers

tips for travelling with a baby or toddler

Going away on holiday with your baby or child can be daunting to say the least.

Parenting away from the comfort of home, and remembering to bring everything can you need can feel tricky!

You might also be worrying about  how to keep to your  usual sleep routine while you’re aware. You might have a baby who sleeps really well, and you don’t want to affect this, or you might have a baby who doesn’t sleep well at all and you worry it will be worse!

Firstly, lets talk about the first day travelling with a baby or toddler...

The day of travel is often hectic and filled with variables beyond your control.

Accept that keeping to your usual sleep schedule might not be possible. Focus on keeping your little one as comfortable as possible during the journey.

Bring along their favourite toys, books, or comfort items to provide familiarity and distraction.

Allow for flexibility, and don’t stress if naps happen at odd times or are shorter (or longer!) than usual.

How to get into a routine on holiday...

Once you’ve arrived at your destination, try to re-establish a regular routine as soon as possible – this means offering naps when they need one (even if that’s on the move in a buggy, for example).
 
Consistency is key in helping children adjust to a new environment. Stick to your typical bedtime rituals like bath time, story time, and any other pre-sleep activities that signal it’s time to wind down.
 
This doesn’t mean missing out on the fun, it just means bringing some familiarity and predictability from home. 
 

Download Your Holiday Packing Checklist

A checklist to help you pack for holidays with your baby to help you feel prepared for travelling and being away from home.

Download Your Holiday Packing Checklist

A checklist to help you pack for holidays with your baby to help you feel prepared for travelling and being away from home.

Creating the right sleep environment is also helpful.

Travel blackout blinds can be a lifesaver in ensuring your child gets uninterrupted sleep.

Many hotels and holiday homes may not have dark curtains or blinds, which can lead to early wake-ups or disrupted naps.

Portable blackout blinds are easy to pack and can create a dark, sleep-conducive environment no matter where you are.

Preparing to room share with your baby or toddler on holiday...

If you’re sharing a room with your children, creating a partition can help mimic the separate sleep spaces they may be used to at home.

A curtain, room divider, or even a strategically placed piece of furniture can all be used to give the illusion of their own space.

This can help them feel more secure and less distracted by your movements. If you already room share then you don’t need to worry about this! 

Help them feel secure...

Bringing familiar items from home can significantly ease the transition to a new sleep environment. Pack any favourite toys or teddies and, if possible, bring their own bedding. Sheets that smell like home can be incredibly comforting and help your child relax and fall asleep more easily.
 

How to manage evenings with your baby or toddler on holiday...

Managing evenings can be tricky, especially if you want to enjoy some evenings out while you’re on holiday.
 
For babies, consider doing their usual bedtime routine, then placing them in a pram or stroller for an evening walk. This way, they can fall asleep in a familiar way, and you can still enjoy your evening.
 
For older children, you might adapt to a later schedule or incorporate a longer afternoon nap, so they can stay up for dinner.
 
Alternatively, you might be open to finding a trusted local babysitter who can provide a much-needed break and allow you to enjoy some adult time. Some hotels and resorts offer this service.
 
It’s completely normal for little ones to need some extra support at bedtime when they are in a strange place. It is always okay to offer this. Do what you need to do, but do the least you can do. By that I mean reassure them you are there, but don’t start doing things to get them to sleep that you wouldn’t usually do.
 
Traveling with young children requires a bit of extra planning and flexibility, but by bringing familiar comforts, maintaining routines as much as possible, and being adaptable with evening plans, you can ensure a smoother, more enjoyable trip for everyone.
 
The most important thing is having fun and enjoying your time and making memories as a family. If your routine and sleep does go out of the window, just return to your normal routine and boundaries when you get home.
 

Ready For Better Sleep?

Join 45,000+ parents who have helped their baby’s and toddler’s sleep better with our instant access sleep courses. Created by Infant Sleep Consultants so you can have more predictable naps, easier bedtimes and a more settled night’s sleep.

Ready For Better Sleep?

Join 45,000+ parents who have helped their baby’s and toddler’s sleep better with our instant access sleep courses. Created by Infant Sleep Consultants so you can have more predictable naps, easier bedtimes and a more settled night’s sleep.