Visiting family can be stressful at the best of times… throw in a sleep thief who’s out of their familiar surroundings and you’ve got the recipe for meltdown central with a baby who refuses to go to sleep. Before you know it, you’re tied to the bed upstairs whilst everyone continues their merriment without you. Not ideal.
Having experienced this first hand with Bells more times than I care to remember, my sheer determination to no longer miss out has taught me that it’s all down to planning in advance and having the right kit with you. Here’s a list of stuff that will help:
- Travel cot - a decent travel cot will help make putting baby to bed a breeze. The key is in choosing a cot that has an adjustable base so that you don’t find yourself leaning too far in and waking baby in the process. #justsaying
- Baby monitor - whilst common sense, I travelled without our monitor quite a few times to begin with and found myself spending the night in silence and/or constantly checking on my little snoozer. Having a monitor with a good range means that you can get to spend time with ACTUAL adults with peace of mind that your mini human’s fine.
- Naps - it can be all too easy with family around to find your mini human being passed around like Pass The Parcel, which is all very good until you realise it’s been a full day with no naps and they’re more wired than if they’d had 5 espressos. Remember that babies sleep better at night the more naps they have during the day, so try and set aside some quiet time to help them get some rest.
- Bedding - taking mini-me’s usual bedding is really important. Whilst it might save a little bit of space in your case to use your relative’s sheets, having their own stuff which smells and feels familiar will guarantee you more zzzzz’s. We’re a fan of sleeping bags as they’re easy, so the Babasac Sleeping Bag goes everywhere with us. We always pack an extra blanket too for that family member who refuses to turn on their heating… rolly eye emoji.
- Nightlight - while there’s nothing you can do about their surroundings, ensuring that they’re not left in the dark and the room has its usual glow will put your little person at ease. The Noodoll Night Light Ricecracker is great as you don’t need access to a power supply!
- White noise - if your baby is used to having noise at home, being able to transport that with you will make the world of difference. For us, The Lulla Doll works every time.
- Bath products - sticking to your usual routine as much as possible with your mini’s every day products will help relax them in time for bed.
- Wind down - with so much attention showered on them, it’s no wonder they get a little excited. Try to spend the last hour before bedtime winding down to help them relax and then switch into sleep mode!
- Comforter - Taking baby’s comforter is a must. If your little one still hasn’t taken to a comforter yet, try carrying it around with you for a few hours under your jumper. Yes you’ll feel weird but baby will find it soothing to have your scent nearby. Just make sure you do it at home.
- Don’t stress - you might be a routine ninja, but try not to get too hung up on times! Babies can sense when you’re stressed and before you know it you’ll be in a downward spiral! Christmas happens once a year and if things don’t go quite to plan for a couple of days, it won’t be the end of the world. If anything, they’ll be pleased to get back to their familiar surroundings when they get home and will sleep like angels. WINNING!
Hopefully with these things in place, your little snoozer will grab more than 40 winks… giving you time to practise your non-baby conversational skills! You can check out the products I’ve recommended below… you’re welcome.
Mel is a #KIDLYparent, here to share the realities of raising her little person Arabella.