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5 Sleep Tips for Traveling With a Toddler

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5 Sleep Tips for Traveling With a Toddler

Traveling with your toddler over the holidays? Here are 5 tips from our Parent & Me Program Director, Dr. Jill Campbell, to help make the trip a little easier for both you AND your little munchkin!

1. Try to maintain your toddler’s normal sleep routine. Bring your toddler’s sleep associations from home.  

For example, make sure to pack her lovey, white noise machine, sleep sack, etc. When it’s time for bed stick to the routine your toddler is used to. For example, bath, massage with lullaby music, pajamas, bed.

2. If it is not too much trouble, bring your toddler's sheets from home. 

3. Try to get your toddler to bed at around the same time as her normal bedtime (but in the equivalent time zone).

If it looks like she will be too tired before bedtime, perhaps give her an extra nap earlier in the day. If it looks like she will not be tired enough at bedtime, perhaps skip or shorten her daytime nap.

4. If you are not going to be sleeping in the same room as your toddler, make sure to show her where you will be sleeping and do a practice walk together from one room to the other before bedtime.  

5. If you are staying at a hotel with your toddler, and you normally put her to bed at around 7:30 pm, but you don’t want to go to bed at 7:30 pm yourself, here are some suggestions:

  • If you are traveling east, you can try to keep your toddler on west coast time. Therefore, a 7:30pm PST bedtime will be a 10:30pm EST bedtime. As the days go on your toddler’s natural circadian rhythm will most likely start to adjust to the new time zone, but if you are going to be away for less than a week, it can allow you to stay out later in the evening and then sleep in later in the morning.
  • If possible, get a hotel suite instead of a single room. This way your toddler can be asleep in the bedroom area, while you can be awake in the other room.
  • If you feel comfortable, check with your hotel ahead of time to see if they offer a babysitting service.

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