Baby Sleep and Holiday Travel

Baby Travel Must-Haves

Nov 23, 2021

The holidays can be such a ball of emotion!  It brings excitement but also some anxiety, especially when it means traveling with a baby and possible disrupted sleep.  One common concern many families I speak to have is how do they maintain good sleep when they aren't at home for bedtime, and how do you prepare?

What is my number one tip for traveling with a baby?

Control what you can control.

If you have read some of my other articles and blogs, this is something that holds true for much of my advice when maintaining sleep.  These can be a any of the following:

  • Mimic what you can from the sleep environment at home with you on travel
  • While naps may need to be on-the-go, try to stick with the waketimes as much as possible, even if it's baby wearing or in stroller. 
  • Keep bedtime as close to time as much as possible.  Don't be scared of transferring from one sleep space to another!

This is what I advocate which I recommend to be in your MUST-HAVE travel list as you prepare!


1) Pack-N-Play

My favorite Pack-N-Play is the Graco Newborn2Toddler Playard.  While it can be a bit of a pain to travel with something that large, it has so many uses and benefits.  I have never ONCE regretted bringing a pack-n-play.  While you have this for sleep, you can also use this as a play yard for your mobile littles as a play space without worrying about hotel floors!  Why this one?  This pack-n-play actually has conversion from infant to a toddler bed which is awesome as your child grows.  

2) Products that help keep your sleep environment the same as home!

Keeping the environment dark during sleep times can be a great way to maintain your nap schedule and environment.  Some of my favorite on the go dark environment products are:

  • Travel Blackout Curtains
    • These are portable and also have easy suction cup installation for any window!  
  • Slumber Pod
    • Need to room share or maybe have a space that's hard to darken?  These are AWESOME tents that go over a crib, and one of the few that are actually deemed sleep safe by AAP standards.  This portable blackout tent goes right over the pack n play for perfect dark sleep!
  • Portable Sound Machine
    • This is my absolute FAVORITE sound machine.  Not only does the volume have such a large range, but it also has the right brown noise I recommend in creating the best sleepy space.  This USB charged device is also great for avoiding those situations where batteries go dead and aren't available!

3) Sleep Sack or Swaddle!

  • It's always great to have an extra pair that you always have on hand.  Not much needs to be said on how handy it is to have this while traveling!


4) Stroller with a large umbrella and lays flat

  • This is tricky to find, but this Evenflo travel stroller is BY FAR, my favorite.  It's not very easy to find a stroller that works for more than a newborn that reclines to a flat.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a child sleeps on their back in order to avoid the risk of asphyxiations or SIDs.  This stroller not only provides a flat recline, but also an extra-large canopy/umbrella that assists in keeping it enclosed.  This is great if you find yourself going out at dinner time after bedtime.  Get your child nice and cozy in their stroller, lay flat, and turn on the sound machine.  You may be surprised how in-tuned to the sleep cycles they actually are!


Traveling can be stressful with children, but it doesn't always have to be.  As much as you can, enjoy the time.  Set expectations with yourself that might be different pre-baby, and go with the flow!  Drinks on the balcony while your little one is asleep in the hotel room, but actually be more enjoyable than a drink at a restaurant you had to have after bedtime.  Do what works for you!


Are you looking for more help in planning your trip?  Did you know you can schedule a 30-minute sleep consultation with me to help you with your packing list, what to do when sleep schedule and trip schedule conflict?  Just book one here!


Sleep is around the corner, 

Rested Mama, Happy Baby Founder

I'm your certified pediatric sleep coach and new parent educator, Mica Deshaw.  I help families on their journey to establish healthy sleep habits and get the whole family sleeping again, working with children ages 0-4 years old.

Looking for more personalized help?

Schedule a free 15-minute consult to learn how I can get you more sleep again.


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