How can parents develop sleep skills that will last a lifetime

How can parents develop sleep skills that will last a lifetime

As a baby sleep coach, I often get asked for advice from parents as well. Whilst you might assume that once the baby is sleeping so is the parent, unfortunately, this often isn’t the case. Here at the Sleepy Angels Consultancy, parental health and well-being is always a priority for us. In honour of the approaching Mother’s day, we have teamed up with Beatrix at The Sleep Deep Practise to offer some advice aimed at parents, carers and other adults in your little ones life. If you decide to work with Beatrix, please mention my site so that we can look into future collaborations if my readers find it beneficial.
mum that can't sleep and holds her head under the duvets.

So how can parents develop these sleep skills?

Becoming a parent even from the moment you find out that you’re pregnant influences your and your partner’s sleep in so many ways.

The excitement, the nervousness, the morning sickness, your growing belly, the aches and pains through to all the joys and tribulations even after your baby is born is such a big part of your sleep changes. During this equally exciting and often worrisome time especially if you’re becoming a parent for the first time parent’s sleep gets worse and of course it does.

In my practice I see various combinations of sleep problems and even long term insomnia that started before parenthood does.

But it doesn’t have to be a daunting and struggle-some time for many years, while you just ‘get on with’ the sleep deprivation that comes with having a baby and the first months of your time as a parent.

I’m sure you read plenty of articles, headlines and suggestions on how to improve your sleep or even overcome your sleep problems no mater what stage in your life you are at. Countless articles offer often scary headlines telling us how important sleep is and why it’s crucial that we get enough quality and quantity of sleep every night.

But if you even tried to put in place those secrets, hacks, tips and advice after struggling with sleep problems or even insomnia for a while, you know very well that the general tips and advice doesn’t really work and at best deliver inconsistent results.

Firstly there is no such thing as ‘5 tips to perfect sleep’ or ‘secrets to sleeping like a baby’ (first of all which baby, right…?).

Secondly no 5 thing works for everyone with every type of sleep problem.

So in today’s article, let’s talk about sleeping well consistently in a more practical way focusing on specifically on the time of your life when you are about to become a parent.

No matter what your current situation with sleep, there is always room for improvement and an opportunity to develop practical sleep skills that guarantee great quality sleep consistently for many years to come. Even I learn things about my sleep as I go through life, and I overcome my serious insomnia about 12 years ago now.

But first of all let’s be diligent about this: please make sure that you don’t simply self diagnose and jump into conclusions about your sleep problems. A misguided self diagnosis almost always leads to longer struggle. Simply because without having a proper sleep assessment, you’ll likely to miss the true root cause of your problems. Unfortunately, I’ve seen so many of these examples over the last 8 years of working with adults with long term sleep problems and insomnia.

Please note that naturally any medical conditions diagnosed or not yet diagnosed can influence your ability to sleep well, which is why I always encourage people to seek an assessment if their sleep problems have been there for a number of weeks or even months.

woman that cannot sleep is holding pillow looking out the window.

3 Sleep Skills for new parents that help both your little one’s and your sleep

1. Self-awareness is absolute gold

Step one of the 7 step process that I use to help clients develop Sleep Skills for Life is self assessment mostly through self-awareness. I teach people how to understand what’s happening with your sleep in a practical way that’s actually helpful.

The first conversation I always have with clients is about the importance of true and practical self awareness. Knowing what helps and hinders your ability to sleep in a tangible way will always help you to make more informed decisions about choosing the appropriate treatment plan or action plan.

Let’s say you’re a thinker type person. Most likely you end up spending a lot of time either problem solving what may happen when your baby arrives or even worrying about version of scenarios that may or may not unfold in the future. (There are plenty of other versions of thinker types, these are just two examples).

Using superficial sleep tips or advice like lotions, potions and gadgets won’t even begin to influence your sleep in a positive way. Simply because your sleep problems are caused by internal thinking and your mind running away with you, rather than physical things that might be soothed by external things.

The skill of self awareness in this case is about becoming crystal clear on what your mind is thinking about (positive or negative things) that stops you being able to relax and let go. I use this with my clients all the time, and training yourself to differentiate what truly helps and hinders your sleep starts here.

When you become practically self-aware of what influences your sleep, you will always be able to be proactive about each of your life stages including when you baby or babies arrive. You’ll know that you’re likely to perhaps worry about things, or overthink by exploring so many of the pros and cons of a situation.

I’ve seen the power of this over an over again in my work. True, personalised, practical and effective sleep skills gives you the superpower of knowing how to keep your sleep in a great place, no matter what happens.

man sleeping in bed lying on a pillow

2. Falling asleep ‘easily’

The fourth step of the 7 step process I use to help clients develop Sleep Skills for Life is learning to fall asleep easily every night.

So many people I talk to these days either overcomplicate their evening ‘routines’ or have no idea how to prepare their body and their mind physically, emotionally and mentally for going to bed and sleep itself.

As a parent you’ll hear people talk about routines for your baby, ways to soothe, ways to prepare before bedtime, keeping things as consistent as possible so that your baby or toddler can get used to what he or she is supposed to do.

But when we grow up, we seem to either forget about these things or maybe your parents have never really been able to hand these skills down to you when you were growing up.

I’ve worked with people who were always a ‘bad sleeper’ and learnt to sleep well no matter what, and I also worked with people who were always a ‘good sleeper’ and seem to have lost it for some reason.

There is no such thing as a ‘bad’ or ‘good’ sleeper, its more about whether or not you have the practical tools and techniques to teach your body and your mind to create great quality sleep. Yes, it’s more practical than scientific really.

Falling asleep easily and consistently easily comes from knowing how to prepare your body and your mind to rest physically, let go emotionally, and calm your mind so you can truly separate the daytime from the nighttime.

The rule of thumb with this one is: your bed is for intimacy and sleep only.
If you have sleep problems and you start to introduce other activities to the bed, you’re practically confusing your body and your mind about what it’s supposed to do in bed.

You may feel like you want to argue with the above, but the true reality of sleep problems I see is that the more you blur the lines between the daytime and nighttime, the less likely your body and your mind knows what the bed and the bedroom is for.

What I see with parents quite a bit is that after the breastfeeding stage is over, you find it hard to retrain yourself to create a healthy and good separation from your child or children.

You stay in mummy or daddy ‘duties’ and perhaps you forget to look after yourself well. There are many versions of this and because you love being a parent it’s really hard to learn to get back to a healthy balance that really serves you well.

It’s healthy for you to make sure you look after yourself as a human being, and it’s also an important lesson you can hand down to your little ones as they see you practice it over the years.

I know this is not easy, and I know that your first priority is to make sure your child or children are being looked after. But becoming a sleep deprived parent who never rests well doesn’t serve anyone well!

You’ll be a much better parent when you learn to look after yourself as well as teach your little ones the golden rules about these things at an early enough stage.

In return, they grow up looking after themselves too and naturally develop the idea of healthy boundaries from the get go.

mum and baby sleeping together on bed

3. Staying asleep throughout the night

The fifth step of the 7 step process I use to help clients develop Sleep Skills for Life is about helping you to stay asleep and sleep through the night without disturbances.

This is very common sleep problem at the early stages of parenthood but it doesn’t have to last a lifetime.

Of course, it starts with breastfeeding that I mentioned in the previous point. Naturally as you become a parent you end up having take turns or wake up several times a night depending on the dynamic of the family. Some parents share the duties of nighttime bottle feeding others keep to breastfeeding only.

But naturally the latter part of the pregnancy and the first few months of becoming a parent means that your sleep is going to be disturbed for various reasons.

During this time, for mums especially, it’s important to align to your baby’s rhythm and rest when the baby rests rather than push yourself through exhaustion and get busy when your baby or babies are having their daytime naps.

Of course dads often have a different role here but as a couple you can really create a much more supportive environment for both sides.

For example by putting less pressure on having the house ‘perfectly’ in order as well as getting through the sleep deprivation of the first few months. Keep things simple, share the

duties, communicate rather than blame the other for perhaps not helping out more. Remember, that you’re both in this together.

If as a mum or dad you train your body to get on with this part of the sleep deprivation over a period of months, you’re likely to train your body and your mind to not learn to rest again and it can result in longer term sleep problems even once your baby starts to sleep through the night.

When your baby is starting to sleep longer, take the time to retrain your body and your mind to extend your sleep. Yes, it’s a training type process because you need to learn to look after yourself again just like I mentioned in the previous point.

When you become a parent especially the first time, you develop the ‘parent’ part of yourself that is all about ensuring that your little one is going to be looked after and cared for in the coming years.

The responsibility and often the pressure of being a good parent can lead to lack of relaxation which then leads to less good quality sleep or even sleep problems that last months or even years.

Remember to be kind and compassionate to yourself, parenthood brings many joys but equally many pressures. And it’s up to you to learn to treat yourself in a nice way which is also a sleep skill.

Whilst you might think that being kind to yourself has little to do with sleep, but as a sleep coach staying a sleep at night is often directly related to how judgemental or critical you are of yourself when no-one is looking or listening.

Our inner talk has a lot to do with how we end up feeling during the day. You can choose to develop a kind relationship with yourself, or you can choose to develop a critical or even a perfectionist one that will most likely lead to restlessness and disturbed sleep at night.


happy family of four hugging each other

Now that we’ve gone through these 3 areas (3 out of 7 areas) that I work with to help you develop great Sleep Skills for Life, it’s time for the action part.

Take one of these and spend some time looking at how it shows up in your life as a parent or soon to be parent. Take stock of how well you sleep and what could be the first step for you.

Remember that developing great sleep takes time, patience and work. It’s not a magical, overnight quick fix!

Throughout all my work I see the power of all these 3 things we discussed today, one step at a time everyone I worked with who persisted with the actual work overcome their long-term and often serious sleep problems.

Which means that unless there is a medical reason that your body can’t create healthy sleep, it’s completely possible for you to do it too.

As a sleep coach I’ve seen so many examples of what’s possible even when someone almost lost hope that they’ll ever be able to sleep well again.

Sleeping well is a lot more practical than people think. Your body and your mind can be retrained, your behaviour, mindset and therefore the outcomes can be improved.

With that in mind, I wish you all the very best with becoming and being a parent!

Beatrix, Your Sleep Coach

Beatrix is a sleep coach, professional speaker, the author of The Sleep Deep Method® and the creator of the Sleep Skills for Life Programme.

Having struggled with insomnia and burning herself out in her mid-twenties, she spent the last 12 years researching sleep and learning that in order for us to sleep well at night, we need to look much deeper than just how tired we are and the number of hours we sleep.

She believes that sleeping well at night is a set of practical skills that we can all develop which is why she has launched the Sleep Skills For Life Programme to help and support more people to finally overcome their insomnia and sleep problems in the coming years.

Sleep Deep Method® Sleep Assessment tool will help you to asses your sleep. Start your assessment here.

“Remember to mention the Sleepy Angels Consultancy when contact Beatrix so we can continue to bring more collaborations to you in the future!”


Have you downloaded your freebie to help your child sleep yet? Top 10 Baby Sleep Coach Tips To Help Your Baby Sleep Better Guide! If not, then make sure to click here.

For more advice on how to help your baby sleep and find a baby sleep solution that works for you and your family, you can check out our
 1 : 1 consultation services or our new baby sleep guides which come with free access to my Sleepy Village Facebook community for easy access to get your questions answered.

Does mouth breathing affect my child’s sleep?

Does mouth breathing affect my child’s sleep?

If your child has trouble sleeping, or wakes up during the night it could be that you have a mouth breather on your hands. As a baby sleep coach, I see how common mouth breathing is in young children and how this could be the reason your child is not sleeping through the night, so read on to see Mouth Breathing could be affecting your child or baby’s sleep.

mouth breathing baby sleeping

Why might my child breathe through their nose?

For the first few months of their lives, newborn babies breathe pretty much exclusively through their nose unless there’s a reason they can’t such as having a blockage in their nasal passage, usually because your little one has a cold.  In a bid to keep taking in oxygen, they will use their mouth to breathe because their nose is not up to the job.  A more long-term reason for nasal congestion could be allergies that hinder a child’s airway and forces them to use their mouth to breathe.  Because symptoms from allergies are over a longer period of time, this is more likely to encourage new (and bad) habits of resorting to breathing through the mouth even after the airway is cleared.

asian girl sleeping in the bed

Why is it a problem if my child breathes through their mouth?

When it comes to mouth breathing, there are several factors that make it something to avoid.  Both doctors and dentists suggest many side effects of mouth breathing that can cause your child discomfort and even lead to more long-term problems developing.  In young children, breathing solely through the mouth can cause dry mouth and contribute to crooked teeth.  It can lead to physical abnormalities if left to continue over a longer period of time and it can also cause dental problems as well contributing to a disrupted sleeping pattern. 

baby sleeping on the side in their cot

Are there any benefits to breathing through your nose?

Breathing through the nose is a more efficient way of using oxygen, which in turn leads to producing Nitric oxide which aids your immune system in tackling infections.  The mucus and tiny hairs in your nose also help to filter out unwanted small particles such as germs, dust or pollen and stop them from entering your lungs.  Breathing in a more efficient breath full of oxygen also helps improve brain functions and blood flow around our bodies. It helps us breathe into our lungs, air that is full of moisture as well as helping to warm the air before it gets there.  Plus it is usually quieter for the parents listening on the baby monitor!

child sleeping with mouth open mouth breathing or snoring

How do I know if my child is a mouth breather?

Young children may not be able to tell you that they have symptoms like an adult would, as they may not be able to explain what is happening to them.  There are, however, some symptoms you can look for in children which include: slower than normal growth; irritability or crying episodes during the night; dry mouth or lips; trouble concentrating for a length of time and being sleepy throughout the day.

Why is mouth breathing causing my child to have a restless night?

Mouth breathing, rather than nose breathing, can lead to your child experiencing interrupted or reduced breathing. This means their body will react to that by restarting their breathing, potentially with a snort or gasp that will in turn wake your child up.  Less oxygen to the brain also means their brains won’t get enough rest so will be more tired throughout the day.  It also means they may want to nap or go to bed early which again means good sleeping patterns are disrupted. Because of some of these factors, children have in the past been wrongly diagnosed with ADHD (research shows) due to their sharing of symptoms such as restlessness or a lack of concentration when in fact it is a much more simple case of sleep deprivation. 

toddler sleeping with mouth open mouth breathing

How can I help my child breathe through their nose?

If your child is breathing through their mouth because of an obvious problem such as an illness blocking their nose, then you can treat that in the same ways you would normally, such as by using a nasal spray or appropriate medication to ease the congestion.  If the problem is to do with allergies, then things to keep the air clear like a dehumidifier will help alleviate a blocked nose.  

If your child is no longer ill and is still breathing through their mouth, then it might be advisable to get them checked out by your GP just to check if they have enlarged tonsils or adenoids (which are patches of tissue in the throat).
You can actively encourage children who are able to understand to do breathing exercises so they can become more aware of their nose breathing.  This can help instil good breathing habits that will eventually become natural to them so that they can hopefully continue this through the night. 
Lastly creating a calm and relaxing environment free of stress and maybe adding in some yoga and deep breathing into the calming down bedtime routine to also help to reinforce this. 

Cute snorts and adorable sleeping babies aside, nothing is more important than our baby’s health and by treating the little sniffles as soon as possible, it can be so beneficial to their health now and in the future as well as making sure that your child (as well as the parents) get a much coveted good night’s sleep.

If your child is waking up too early in the morning to start their day, there may be other factors at work! Take a look at our Early Rising Sleep Guide to help your little one sleep until a reasonable wake-up time.




Have you downloaded your freebie yet? Top 10 Baby Sleep Coach Tips To Help Your Baby Sleep Better Guide! If not, then make sure to click here.

For more advice on how to help your baby sleep and find a baby sleep solution that works for you and your family, you can check out our
 1 : 1 consultation services or our new baby sleep guides which come with free access to my Sleepy Village Facebook community for easy access to get your questions answered.

How can I help my baby sleep through Fireworks?

How can I help my baby sleep through Fireworks?

A night with fireworks can be a stressful time for anyone with children or pets and as the weather turns colder we know that Bonfire Night and New Year’s Eve are both just around the corner.  You may worry how your baby or toddler will get a good night’s sleep while the noise from the fireworks is going on outside so I have come up with some top tips for helping your baby, and you, get a good night’s sleep using my experience as a baby sleep coach.

mum reading books to her daughter at bedtime before she goes to sleep

1. Time your baby’s sleep just right.  

The deeper the sleep your baby is in, the less likely it is that the bangs and screeches outside will disturb them.  For parents, this might mean moving your child’s routine slightly earlier so that they will be asleep early enough to have fallen into a deep sleep long before the fireworks begin.

2. Let them know what is happening.

If your child is a bit older, you can prepare them by explaining about the loud noises that they may hear if they do happen to wake up in the night. Let them know that it is nothing to worry about and they are fine to go back to sleep.  You may even want to show your child some videos or sounds of the fireworks on quiet to put it into a more simple context for them.

3. Change up your bookshelf

As well as the examples above for aiding your child’s understanding, you could team this with sharing a few books with your child about the dark and fireworks celebrations to help illustrate the point that fireworks are not scary and the noises are nothing to fear.  You can show them pictures of fireworks to show how beautiful they can be and also show illustrations of children enjoying a fireworks display.

family watching fireworks

4. Disguise the noise

What makes a white noise machine so great is that is can hide any ambient noises (especially surprise or sudden and unusual ones as referenced in this study on the effect of noise on sleep) that might otherwise wake your child during the night.  Consider using one if you don’t already and maybe even turn it up so they have the subtle sounds of white noise to fall asleep to, rather than the potentially more scary sounds of loud fireworks going off.   You can read the pros and cons of white noise here.

5. Keep the routine the same

It may be tempting to shorten or skip naps in the hope your baby will go to sleep a little earlier, but it’s the consistency of their routine, as well as making sure they don’t become too over-tired, that will help your child to sleep as they normally would.

6. Plan food for sleep

Did you know that some foods can help your child to have a good nights sleep? Make your bonfire night tea and snacks up of foods that contain melatonin, vitamin B6 and vitamin C to help aid sleep.  For more information, read our earlier blog on foods that will help your baby sleep better.

father reassuring his child lying in the cot stroking his baby's head

7. Be prepared for bed

If you are wanting to enjoy some firework festivities, then go fully prepared with things your child needs for bedtime.  Get them changed into their pyjamas and complete any other of your usual night time activities before you leave the celebrations, and you might be lucky enough that they fall asleep on the way home and then be able to transfer them straight to bed.  For children who wake up when you transfer them, do a shortened version of your usual night time routine with them to send them back soundly to sleep. You could try playing an audiobook on the car drive home to replace their bedtime story, for instance. Hopefully combined with the previous tips, your child will find that even though it is bonfire night that sleep comes as easily to them as any other night.

8. Stay calm and control your emotions

Probably the most important tip is to think about how you react yourself.  Your child will sense your anxieties or frustrations, so let them wash over your head so your child can feel calm, relaxed and positive, just like you.  Just remember, fireworks do not last forever and normal sleep will resume before you know it.  Also don’t fuss or assume your child will be frightened as this will actually encourage this to be true.


Hopefully you will find that these tips will ease your fireworks night worries but if you need any extra information about getting your child to sleep on any other night of the year why not check out my sleep guides or you can check out our  1 : 1 consultation services 

Have you downloaded your freebie yet? Top 10 Baby Sleep Coach Tips To Help Your Baby Sleep Better Guide! If not, then make sure to click here.


  1. Lee et al, ‘Effect of Noise on Sleep and Autonomic Activity in Children according to Source’ (National library of Medicine, 09 August 2021) <> accessed 31 October 2022.

F Jiang, ‘Sleep and Early Brain Development’ (Karger, June 2020) <> accessed 31 October 2022

Why is My Child Waking Early?

Why is My Child Waking Early?

As a baby sleep coach and parent, I know that some of the scariest questions you can hear when raising a child are “Is your baby a good sleeper?” and “Does your child sleep through the night?”.  It becomes the standard by which we judge our parenting – whether we get a good night’s sleep, or whether the bags under our eyes tell a very different tale. You begin to wonder how others seem to manage it while you feel doomed to restless nights and early mornings and even though you have to remember that every child is different, there are a few things that you can do to try and make supporting your child to sleep through the night easier for your family.

stressed mum wit child jumping on the sofa

So Why Does My Child Wake up Early?

Your child may be waking up for many different reasons.  Some of these are easily solvable but here are some of the most common. 

1. Do you really know much your child needs to sleep?

Too much sleep during the day when it comes to nap time may be the reason your child doesn’t need as much as you were hoping they would at night.

 2. Is their bedtime the right time?

If as above they only need a set number of hours sleep, then if there bedtime is not right they could already be getting all the sleep they need and that is why they are waking up early.

3. Old habits are hard to crack.

If your child had adjusted their body clocks to waking up at a certain time then it may have become natural to them.  With a little patience though, these habits can be broken.

4. Check your child’s environment.

Check if there is something else that happens at the same time as your child wakes up.  Maybe the heating comes on at that time and the radiator makes a noise or maybe it’s the time light comes streaming in.   Checking for things in your child’s environment means you can rule another possible cause out.

5. Is your child still comfortable?  

A full nappy or hunger pangs  maybe what is waking them up if they have had too much to drink or too little to eat before bed. 

6. Did your child have a good day?

Your child may wake up unsettled by something that happened during the day that may have upset them or frustrated them

7. Are genetics the problem?

If your child is a morning person then they may have got it from their parents. It may just be something that runs in the family

8. Is it possible that my child is just an early riser?

Early rising could definitely just be a part of who they are.  For some children it is natural for them to wake up and be ready to start the day bright and early. Their biological clock might just be set earlier than other children and unfortunately after everything else has been ruled out it may just be something you will have to work out a new life routine around.  Just remember though, it won’t last forever.   Children’s sleep patterns change all the time but until then, a few changes to your own routine to help you cope with the early mornings will probably be the best way forward.

However before you resign your life to seeing more sunrises than you’d like, bellow are some of the things you can do you to help with early rising.

little boy ready in bed for his bedtime routine

So What Can I Do To Stop my Child Waking Early?


1. Is your child up when the sun is up?

With a little investigation at the right times, you can check how much light is coming into your child’s room and where it is landing.  Light equals day time which to a child equals playtime so keep it out of your room until you are ready and consider a blackout blind if needed.

2. Did you check for environmental noises that might be creating an early alarm clock?

It may take you getting up a little bit before your child’s usual wake up time to spot it but it will be worth it to hear those noisy radiators that come alive when the heating comes on.  By doing this it may be obvious exactly what it waking your child up and you have a problem to be fixed. A white noise machine might help disguise any environmental noises and prevent them from becoming an alarm clock for your child.

3. Are you keeping the mornings calm and steady?

If as soon as your child wakes up they have a full on morning of their favourite things, then there is no wonder your child wants to jump right out of bed and start their day.  Having a calm morning routine, making sure they get dressed and ready for the day and then doing relaxing and none strenuous activities like colouring, reading or simple puzzles are less likely to encourage your child to rush out of bed unlike ‘rewarding’ them with watching TV at 5am.

4. Is your child is waking up because of hunger?

Then later or more fuller evening meals may help.  This may mean you have to decrease snacks to try and encourage them to eat more substantial food in the evening. Here are some sleepy foods you should introduce in their evening meals.

5. Have you assessed your child’s sleep routines?

Too early to bed may mean that they have already had all the sleep they need by the time they get up at silly o’clock in the morning.  Adding an extra hour to their bedtime might get you that extra hour you crave in the morning. You can check your child’s sleep needs here. Maybe it’s the opposite and your child is too late to bed. Being overtired means your child is not getting a good nights sleep and it is more likely to be restless rather than fall into the deep sleep they really need.

Creating a relaxing environment for your child to chill and get in the right frame of mind ready for bed is going to promote a much less stressful situation.  Activities like colouring or reading are perfect because they avoid screens and don’t over-excite your child into having an additional burst of energy just before you want them to drift off to sleep.

7. While we are on the subject of sleep patterns, does your child really still need a nap for that long?

Or even a nap at all for that matter.  If your child only needs 10 hours sleep and they are already having 2 during the day then maybe they only need 8 at night time and that’s why they are waking up earlier than you would like.  This may take a bit of trial and error but hopefully as you attempt new sleep patterns it shouldn’t take long to see a difference one way or another and for you to know that this could be the problem.  Don’t get into a bad cycle of needing early naps because they have risen early and then needing an early bedtime because that is going to create bad habits and suck you into a terrible cycle.

tired baby yawning

How To Stop Your Child from Waking Early?

This blog is just the tip of the iceberg for how to analyse your baby, toddler or child’s sleep behaviours to identify the cause of their early rising and support them to sleep until a more reasonable hour. To find out more information on how to recognise the best method and solutions to use to stop your child from waking up early based on their individual behaviours and sleep patterns, I have recently released my Early Rising Sleep Guide which is an affordable way to get expert sleep coach advice tailored to your child. Find the guide in the baby sleep coach shop here. 

introductory offer – use coupon Early20


Have you downloaded your freebie yet? Top 10 Baby Sleep Coach Tips To Help Your Baby Sleep Better Guide! If not, then make sure to click here.

For more advice on how to help your baby sleep and find a baby sleep solution that works for you and your family, you can check out our
 1 : 1 consultation services or our new baby sleep guides which come with free access to my Sleepy Village Facebook community for easy access to get your questions answered.

Surviving Baby & Toddler Jet Lag

Surviving Baby & Toddler Jet Lag

Pre-kids, avoiding jet lag usually meant that you would force yourself to stay awake until your new destinations ‘night-time’ and book yourself an extra day’s rest on your return to recover. However, when you have a baby or toddler staying awake is a whole different story. Here are some of our Baby Sleep Coach top tips for surviving baby and toddler jet lag.

Pre-kids, avoiding jet lag usually meant that you would force yourself to stay awake until your new destinations ‘night-time’ and book yourself an extra day’s rest on your return to recover. However, when you have a baby or toddler staying awake is a whole different story. Here are some of our Baby Sleep Coach top tips for surviving baby and toddler jet lag.

landing aeroplane in the blue skies

When is the best flight time with a Baby or Toddler?

When booking your holiday in addition to considering the cost of your flights, you might want to consider the flight timings and how this will affect your little one. Every baby or toddler has their own sleep patterns, so there are a few factors to consider:

  • Booking a flight that lands close to bedtime:

This will mean that on arrival you can start your bedtime routine (bath, milk, story etc) and they will be able to recognise the signs that bedtime is approaching. Try to keep them awake on the last few hours of the flight – ideally the similar number of hours they would normally have between the last nap and bed.

  • Booking a flight that lands in the morning:

If your baby or toddler usually sleeps well whilst travelling, this might be ideal for you. If you can get your little one to have a decent length of sleep on the plane and create some darkness, this will help them to adjust on waking to the ‘new’ morning.

baby sleeping in hotel room

How to help your Baby or Toddler Sleep on Holiday

The first night’s sleep on holiday is always the hardest! Accept that your little one may be disturbed during the night and don’t stay up too late yourself in case there are regular wakings – you want to enjoy your first full day too!

Try to replicate your usual bedtime routine as much as possible, keeping the room dark or dimly lit will help if they wake early and are struggling to get back to sleep. Whilst it’s tempting to bring them into your bed and let them watch a phone or tablet whilst you snooze, do your utmost to avoid blue light as this can disturb their sleep patterns further. 

Ideally, you don’t want to ‘get up’ before your usual morning time, as this will help give the impression that we are back on schedule. If that includes some sleepy cuddles in bed or some quiet activities such as reading a story, this is okay too.

This Baby Sleep Coach article on How To Get Baby To Sleep Whilst Travelling is filled with expert advice on helping your little one sleep whilst on holiday.

baby sleeping in the pram

How do I manage naps for my baby or toddler on Holiday?

If you have had a rough first night away, it’s okay to let your baby or toddler sleep in a little although try not to go more than 2 hours over the usual wake-up time to avoid disturbing nap patterns. 

When you wake on the first day, make sure you spend it outside! The sunshine’s dose of Vitamin D is vital in helping reset the body clock, so whilst there might be some great indoor facilities or you might want to head near the kids club to have a relaxing day for the grown-ups – don’t be tempted! 

Try to keep naptimes as close to your at-home routine as possible, you’ll know yourself whether your child is willing to sleep in a pram on the move or would be more settled in a cot. Do whichever you think will work best for them whilst they settle into this new environment.

family with a child eating at the restaurant

Should I change food timings on Holiday for my Baby or Toddler?

The most important answer to this question is that you keep your little one hydrated, especially if you have flown to somewhere much hotter. When we’re on holiday, many hotels or similar offer food options over a set period of time, usually your little one’s feeding slot will fall into these quite nicely. However, if you find that your mealtime needs to be slightly later (if they are used to eating at nursery at 4 pm, for instance) then try to give them a light snack around the usual mealtime to keep them satisfied until you get your meal.

If your baby is on breastmilk or formula then, try to stick to your usual pattern but accept they will need more hydration and prepare yourself to feed them more often.

If your weaned baby or toddler seems to be struggling with new times, give them a light snack before bed – preferably non-sugary although this can be harder to avoid when not at home. Find some sleepy foods here that might spark inspiration for a bedtime snack.

African baby sleeping on his side

How do I avoid ruining my baby or toddler’s sleep routine when I return home?

Consider your return flights the same way you consider your outbound flights and try to accommodate the last day of naps and sleep around what (if any) sleep you might prefer them to have on the plane.

When away, it’s common to juggle schedules to get time for a little evening entertainment or a longer sleep in the morning when you don’t have work to get up for. On your return, you’re best advised to immediately ‘return to normal’. This will set the tone that ‘we are home now, back to business as usual’ with your little one. Like us, they will likely be happy to be back in the familiarity of their own bed and back in their regular routine in no time.

For more advice relating to this blog, why not check out my Top Ten Tips for Travelling with a Baby or Toddler?



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