Travelling with toddlers can turn bedtime into chaos, so what can you do to ensure they get a good night’s rest?
With different sleeping environments, being constantly on the move, and perhaps a hotter climate, travelling can turn your child’s night-time routine into a bit of a nightmare.
So we asked Naturalmat’s resident sleep expert Christabel Majendie for her top five travel tips for babies and toddlers…
1. Maintain the same bedtime routine as you do at home
This means your child knows it is time for sleep. A good routine could include having a bath or shower, a bedtime story and cuddles. This should help them feel like they’re at home, giving them comfort and sending them on their way to a good night’s sleep.
2. Bring home comforts, like teddies and blankets
Take a few familiar things from home to help settle your child in their unfamiliar sleeping environment, such as teddies, blankets or a small pillow. You will also want these if you are travelling long-haul, as the flight can sometimes be the hardest part of travel, and if you’re without toys to entertain, it could cause them to become restless.
3. Consider the time zone
If there’s a change in time zone, think how this will impact your child’s bedtime routine. If you’re only away for a few days, you might want to keep your child on the same time as back home.
For longer periods, adjusting to the time zone shouldn’t take long, but you can prepare in advance for this by altering your child’s bedtime a few days before you leave – try waking them up 15 mins and putting them to bed 15 minutes earlier / later depending on the time zone.
4. Set meal times around the new time zones
To help with the change, arrange for meal times to be set around the new time zones, rather than having irregular eating patterns. This will also help with your child’s digestive system, as having unbalanced eating patterns can cause them to feel sluggish or slightly unwell.
5. Get your child out in the daylight
Encourage your child to go outside for at least an hour in the morning, to help the brain adjust to the new day and night cycle. Remember that it’s normal for your child’s sleep to be unsettled with changes of environment and time zones, so allow them time to adjust.
You can also try adding a comfortable, natural mattress topper to your child’s travel cot with the Naturalmat Travel mat, which is filled with temperature-regulating organic lambswool in a quilted cotton cover.