7 sleep tips for travelling with toddlers

Toddlers sleeping travelling

Worried your toddler won’t sleep on holidays? Taking the family on holiday can wreak havoc with nap and bedtime routines. Plan ahead to ensure your child gets the rest they need without putting the fun on hold while on holiday with these tips from Naturalmat sleep expert Christabel Majendie. 

Toddlers sleeping travelling

Time for bed

Maintaining the same bedtime routine that you have established at home lets your child knows that it is time for sleep. A good routine tends to look something like this: a bath or shower, a bedtime story, and a cuddle before lights out. The familiarity of these comforting rituals will help them feel more at ease in their surroundings. 

Bring some friends

We all know kids have their favourites, so be sure to bring a teddy, blanket or small pillow your child loves to sleep with. This will help comfort them at night in their holiday bedroom, but also if you’re hoping they’ll nod off in transit too. 

No screens at bedtime

Perhaps you’re desperate to get some peace, but using your phone to distract your little one with Peppa Pig will only exacerbate the problem. The light from screens affects kids’ brains just like it does ours so it will take them longer to fall asleep. READ NEXT: At what age should kids get a mobile phone?

Account for time zones

We tend to travel further afield on holidays these days. While most of us can cope with the tiredness jetlag brings, the effect on your toddler can be much more impactful on their mood and alertness. If it’s a short trip and not too much of a time zone difference, consider keeping them on the same time as back home. For longer trips in different time zones, prepare your child before you depart by altering their bedtime by 15 minutes each night. This will help alleviate the initial shock of the new waking hours. 

Plan meal times

Travelling is tough on anyone’s digestion and kids are no exception. If you’re in a new time zone, plan meals around the new time. Irregular eating patterns can cause sluggishness and kids might feel unwell. 

Get some sun

That’s right, you’re on holidays! Getting at least an hour of sunshine in the mornings will help your child’s brain adjust to the new day and night cycle. 

Prepare for the heat

It can be difficult trying to get to sleep during warm nights, and sometimes beds in holiday accommodation may not be as comfortable as what you’d have at home. Add an extra layer of comfort while still keeping little ones cool with a temperature regulating mattress topper that fits inside a travel cot.