Living away from family requires travel time. It also requires planning, packing, and patience. So, when we have 2 large dogs and a tiny human in tow, we must make sure everyone is accounted and accommodated for the trip. This will be our 3rd Thanksgiving as a family of 5 (dogs included). By now, we are packing/traveling professionals. There is a system and a schedule we abide by to keep our little one’s naps in the car and at Grandma’s, but sometimes things don’t work out the way we planned.
We do our best to plan long drives during a scheduled nap time, in the hopes of catching some ZZZs. And, even though sleep in motion is junk sleep, it’s still better than a meltdown upon arrival. One off day or weekend won’t break a solid routine, but we must be cautious to avoid staying out of routine for too long. I’ve been asked many times, especially as the holidays draw near, what would be some advice as we take to the skies or open highways?
During the most wonderful time of the year, it’s important to try to keep to our little one’s daily sleep schedule the best we can, especially to compensate for those very special days that come but once a year. We don’t have to skip out on the festivities if we take care to have well-rested babies leading up to our family get-togethers. So, to get through the worry, here are a few questions to assess your own child:
If you don’t think your child could handle an off day of sleep, or you fear the days to follow, maybe consider different holiday plans. It’s ok to show up late and it’s ok to bring a pack N play and set up in the spare room. Be sure to remember the white noise machine.
As an alternative, maybe you offer to host! You could still see your family and munchkin can sleep in the comfort of her own bed. Or bite the bullet, chance the holiday, and know that your child will be cranky for a few days to follow. Do your best to get back on schedule and use your method of choice. Consistency is key.
Here are some tricks and tips to help during those long flights or car rides where a nap will, inevitably, occur: