Now that summer is in full swing, and traveling is pretty much back to normal, taking a vacation seems more needed than ever!
It’s important to keep in mind that for your baby, almost everything is new and stimulating. And if you think adjusting to a new space and unfamiliar things is a tough transition for you, imagine how these changes affect your baby. And don’t get me started on trying to get your baby to sleep in a new place. Am I right?
Here are some simple tips to help your new baby adjust while you are vacationing.
What should we do first upon arriving at our destination?
How you unpack is almost as important as how you pack! Getting set up right away allows your baby time to adjust to the new environment, and offers some of the familiar comforts of home.
Creating an area for baby changing makes it easier than searching for supplies when needed. This convertible diaper bag backpack is versatile, and allows for a safe space to change your baby in the hotel room, or on the go.
Create a play area with their toys for a familiar feeling of home. When I vacationed with my son at a younger age, we designated one corner of the room to be set up with his favorite toys and blankets. It helped him to acclimate quickly to the new environment.
Let’s be honest though, the biggest and best way we can pre-plan our vacation with a new baby is to book the right space. With so many options available online, renting a multi room space, or even an entire house is easier than ever before. If this isn’t an option where you are heading, look for hotels that offer connected or adjoining rooms so one person can rest if the baby has trouble sleeping in their new surroundings.
What about sleep while on vacation with our new baby?
When our family takes a vacation, we always factor in time for naps. We actually schedule or plan time to stop and relax so our little ones can recharge. We know our children will fizzle out quickly, and all the new stimulation can lead to a fussy baby. Some things that we have done to help our children when they are having trouble sleeping in a new environment include: taking long scenic walks, taking turns nap-sitting in rotation, or going on a quiet drive to see the sights.
Did you know that you can also bring your postpartum doula with you on your vacation?
She can help you with anything needed including nap time, and helping your baby acclimate to her new sleep environment. That extra set of hands when you need them most can make your vacation a total success.
Before you leave for your trip, there are some steps you can take at home to help your baby adjust to sleeping in a new or different environment. If you are planning to bring a travel bed or travel crib, try them out at home first. This allows your baby to get used to her new sleep space.
Using the hotel bed? Make changes to your baby’s bed or room a few weeks before your trip to see how she adjusts.
The most important thing to remember is to keep your normal routine for bedtime the same while on vacation. If you read, bathe, and then snuggle each night before bed at home, doing so on your vacation will help your baby be ready to sleep.
What about meals with your baby?
We recommend packing plenty of food and water to have in your hotel room or rental space. It is much easier on your entire family if you can satisfy your hunger when needed. Having snacks and ready-to-eat meals at your fingertips will keep everybody happy while waiting on your baby to finish her nap. Stock up on things like handheld sandwiches, bagels, nuts. This can also save you from heading to a restaurant for every meal. Having plenty of drinking water, and continuing to breastfeed on demand if you are breastfeeding will keep you and your baby well nourished.
When you do decide to head out to a nice meal with your family, consider going early to avoid the crowds. I brought my son in his stroller so he would be comfortable. Be sure to have a toy or two to keep your little one occupied too. And always bring more diapers than you need, so you don’t have to leave in a hurry if you run out!
Taking just a few small steps can help ensure your family vacation with your new baby is a lot of fun for everyone. With the right planning and preparation, you can eliminate some of the added stress that a family vacation may bring, allowing you and your family to relax and enjoy this time together.
Also, check out Traveling With Your Baby and Taking Your Baby To the Beach for more tips.