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Read some of our great articles on a range of parenting topics from sleeping to teething. We publish new blog posts regularly and feature a number of baby sleep experts and their top tips

Travelling abroad with young children

Travelling abroad with young children

Travelling abroad with a small child can be tricky, but with the right preparation, you can pre-empt any issues.

We invited Lisa Foster, a certified Sleep Nanny to share her top tips to help you get ready for your next adventure:

Before you go:
  • Familiarise yourself with the facilities of your accommodation. If they are supplying a cot or high chair, make sure they are safe when you arrive.
  • Prepare a simple first aid kit - include plasters, bite cream, sterile wipes, pain relief, tweezers - I had to search a whole town to buy a pair, when my daughter had a particle of shell embedded in her foot.
  • Pack all the essentials in your hand luggage such as nappies, wipes, formula, food, dummies, extra clothing (for you as well), snacks, toys, a comforter and any medication. Consider carrying pain medicine in handy one-dose sachets.
When you get there:
  • When negotiating time zones, allow a day to get acclimatised and then swiftly transition to the local time zone. Diving right in will help your child adapt quickly.
  • If the time difference is less than 2 hours, it might be better to leave their routine as it is, especially if the time zone is ahead. So that would mean instead of going to bed at 7pm they would go to bed at 9pm and, in theory, wake up at 9am for your time away.
  • Once you arrive, recreate your child’s sleeping space as much as possible using their blankets and sheets, cuddly toys, portable blackout blind and white noise machine if you use one.
  • Watch out for the temperature of the room, especially if it has air conditioning. 16–18 degrees is ideal.
  • Always risk assess your accommodation. Look out for doors, drawers and cupboards, balconies, plug sockets and especially for furniture not attached to the wall.
Essential travel kit to consider:
  • If you are staying in a house, take a monitor for peace of mind. 
  • Premixed formula is very helpful when you are abroad as you do not have to rely on water and kettles being available, especially if you are by the pool or on the beach.
  • Sterilizing bags are useful for bottles and dummies and take up very little space.
  • Travel detergent for clothes can help minimise overpacking - let's face it, you will have enough to pack.
  • Antibacterial wipes are a must for wiping down highchairs in restaurants, cots and hand sanitizer because little hands touch everything.
  • Swim nappies, a sun hat and suncream are essential if you are going somewhere hot.
  • For non mobile children, a blow up paddling pool can be great entertainment on the beach or by the pool. 
  • Books, tablets, keys, pens and paper can be useful for when you are eating out. I used to have a surprise bag full of inexpensive toys, books and games, which I would be a useful distraction when needed.
Tips for sleeping away from home:
  • If your little one isn't used to sleeping with you, consider separating their sleep space with a sheet, so you do not disturb them. You can pack sticky hooks or pegs to help with this.
  • Your little one will be more likely to nap in the pram while you are away, so consider a pram fan and a SnoozeShade to stop the UV, insects and light.
  • Be flexible, but try to stick to your bedtime routine as much as you can, so your child feels secure. You will soon fall into your holiday rhythm, but allow time for extra naps, so your child can catch up if they need to.

The most important thing to remember is to enjoy this special time, and make sure you pack a sense of humour.
About Lisa Foster
I am Lisa, a child sleep consultant, dedicated to helping struggling families improve their child’s sleep. I consider it a privilege to support and guide tired parents, leading to transformation results. Visit my website to see a range of packages suitable for every budget as well as tips on Instagram, an amazing sleep app and a complementary sleep plan as well as bespoke 1:1 packages. 


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