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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.

HOLISTIC BABY SLEEP COACH

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.

References:

  1. Lee et al, ‘Effect of Noise on Sleep and Autonomic Activity in Children according to Source’ (National library of Medicine, 09 August 2021) <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8476937/> accessed 31 October 2022.

F Jiang, ‘Sleep and Early Brain Development’ (Karger, June 2020) <https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/508055> 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

HOLISTIC BABY SLEEP COACH

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?

HOLISTIC BABY SLEEP COACH

 

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 To Get Baby To Sleep When Travelling?

How To Get Baby To Sleep When Travelling?

As travel begins to slowly reappear you might suddenly be faced with stress around how to travel with your baby, how to help your baby sleep on vacation and of course where your baby can sleep when travelling.
Fear not, combining years of baby and child experience your Baby Sleep Coach has come up with the answers to new parents five most asked questions about baby sleep whilst on holiday:

Will Travel Ruin Baby’s Sleep Routine?

This is likely the most asked question relating to travel and holidays that I get asked. The answer is no, a week or two of a slightly altered routine won’t put your efforts to waste and, if they do throw your baby off their usual sleep schedule, it shouldn’t be too hard to get them back on track. When you return from your holiday ensure you begin your ‘pre-holiday’ sleep routine the first night back, this helps to show that when you are at home it’s business as usual. The best way to help baby sleep when travelling is to create a ‘home from home’ environment wherever you are staying.

family traveling with a baby

Here Are A Few Top Tips:

  • Use your own travel cot where possible and practise beforehand – if you can’t take your own travel cot (such as if you’re taking your baby on a plane) then check with the hotel the size of the travel cot they will be providing and take your own sheets. If you can use sheets that have already been in the baby’s cot then they will smell of home and be more comforting. If their cot mattress is a different size to yours it’s definitely worth purchasing new sheets that will fit to be able to provide your baby with this home comfort.

  • Don’t forget the favourite features of their bedtime routine! Whether your baby has a favourite soft toy, baby comforter, bedtime story, their top baby bath toy, a white noise machine or even a favourite pair of pyjama’s make sure to pack it! If you wear their pyjama under your top for few days, your baby will find your scent very calming, relaxing and soothing.

  • Travel black-out blinds – these can be a lifesaver when staying somewhere other than home. If your baby is accustomed to a dark room then you will want to purchase one of these before staying away.

  • An Air BnB is a great way to create that ‘home from home’ environment as they tend to have more home comforts and features than a hotel room.

Where Does Baby Nap When On Holiday?

Every baby is different, especially when it comes to their sleeping habits. By now you will know if your baby is likely to sleep on the move or whether they absolutely need their beds. If you want to be out and about during your travels then practise with on-the-move naps prior to your trip.

Our Suggestions For On The Move Napping For Active Parents Include:

  • Pram or Buggy – if you’re going somewhere warm ensure you have a form of shade available either from a parasol or an extended pram hood. Avoid hanging a muslin or blanket over the front of the pram in order to create shade, it can get very hot very quickly under there.

  • A baby carrier – There are baby carriers available for a wider range of baby sizes on the current market. If you’re going to try a baby carrier for the first time, ensure you do a trial run to check the settings are comfortable – you definitely don’t want to injure your back halfway through a hike and still have a baby to carry around!

  • In a car seat whilst travelling – the gentle vibrations of a moving car are often ideal sleep promoters for babies and if you are transporting yourselves by car it might be a good idea to do so at nap time so they don’t get restless. Please remember to never leave your baby in a hot car as the temperature can rise very quickly once the air conditioning is turned off. Make sure to take frequent breaks and get your baby out of the car seat, if you doing long journeys

  • In the hotel/room – don’t be afraid to sacrifice some of your usual exploration time for a nap in the hotel room. Some babies will only sleep in a cot but if you are travelling in a warm environment the break from the heat might do you both good.

baby in travel cot

How Can I Help Baby Sleep in Travel Cot?

  • Travel cots aren’t the most luxurious of items, you can buy additional mattresses for most but if you are travelling abroad taking a mattress, even a fold-up one, is likely not an option. In the absence of an extra mattress – and don’t be afraid to ask the hotel for one – we recommended padding the bottom of the cot with a couple of flat bath towels and putting the sheet over the top. This should help baby to sleep better, don’t be tempted to use soft duvets or thick blankets as baby’s sleep surface should be flat and firm – but the towel should just ensure the base of the bottom of the cot isn’t poking into babies back.

  • If your little one is a toddler then consider whether a mattress on the floor would be more comfortable for them as the travel cots can be quite flimsy and a determined toddler could knock one over. If your toddler isn’t used to sleeping without the sides of a cot then ensure you line the floor next to them with a duvet or towels as hotel floors tend to be much firmer than bedroom carpets!

Do You Keep To Baby’s Bed-Time Routine When Away From Home?

  • Where possible, try to keep the night-time routine similar such as bath, book and bed. If you do need to adjust bedtimes to make the most of your time away then don’t panic too much – it shouldn’t harm your usual routine when you return! Just make sure that on your return home you go straight back to the usual bedtime or baby sleep schedule. This will help differentiate between ‘holiday bedtime’ and ‘home bedtime’. I have fond memories of the excitement of staying up past bedtime when on holiday as a child.
  • It is also common to find that holiday excitement, activities and sunshine tire your children out quicker. After all, Vitamin D can help your baby sleep so as you’re more likely to be outside, they are more likely to tire out – we’ll let you decide whether that is a help or hindrance to your time away!
  • You know your child and how they will cope best however, we would recommend if you are staying up later to try and be near to your hotel. That way should the signs of over-tiredness begin to creep up you can quickly get them to bed, don’t forget that they can start the night sleeping in the pram whilst you’re out and when you get them back to your room you can just transfer them in their bed. There’s nothing wrong with letting baby snooze in the buggy whilst the adults enjoy a nice meal on their holiday.
mum cuddling baby to sleep

What Should My Baby Wear To Bed On Holiday?

  • What to dress your baby in for bed can be a minefield of questions for any new parent as the weather changes, so what to dress baby in for bed when travelling can be a really stressful packing question!
  • To practise baby safe sleeping guidelines, I always recommend that once they are big enough (check your sleeping bag manufacturer but most are from 8lbs) they sleep in a baby sleeping bag or baby gro bag. You can get lower tog sleeping bags up to even 0.5 tog, which is very thin. Alternatively, you can let baby just sleep in a vest or nappy if they will, my baby would never go to sleep without some covering so we would get the lowest tog possible and keep baby in nappy underneath if it was still warm.
  • If you’re worried about it being warm, taking a room thermometer is a good idea. You can take small ones that are just a piece of card that will give you a good enough estimate to make a decision. You can use a fan in the baby’s room but make sure it’s not pointed at them and, as usual, keep them away from heat sources and direct sunlight. The Lullaby Trust has a some great advice on keeping baby safe during the summer.

Let us know if this has helped you or if you have any further questions about getting your baby to sleep when travelling, in the comments section below.

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.

Top 10 Tips For Travelling With A Baby Or Toddler

Top 10 Tips For Travelling With A Baby Or Toddler

We had a great response to our first blog on How To Get Your Baby To Sleep Whilst Travelling, along with many other questions! We all know the secret to a great family-friendly holiday is to keep your kids happy and busy, so to keep baby entertained whilst travelling whether in a car, on a plane or on a day trip be sure to read our top 10 tips for parents:

family traveling with a toddler

1. What Are Good Travel Games For Kids?

If your child can talk, every parent fears the dreaded words ‘Are we there yet?’ and with good reason, as it usually comes before we have even left our home town. Try beginning the journey with some game instructions rather than desperately scrambling once you’re already in transit. You might suggest they look for a yellow car (more popular now than when we used to play as children!) or older children might keep a tally chart with points for each colour, which I used to play with my children when we travelled to Europe in the summer.
You could create a scavenger hunt game in advance for spotting landmarks or silly items/features throughout the journey. If you have multiple children then you could also add a touch of competitiveness such as ‘first to see the sea…’ wins a simple choice prize which might be picking their room first when you arrive or selecting where you eat out for tea.

Other suggestions include:

  • I spy with my little eye

  • Spelling games – Say a word based on a theme that starts with the last word’s last letter. E.g, Sandwich, Ham, Mango, Orange etc.

  • Memory games – Such as ‘My Gran went on holiday and in her suitcase, she packed…’ and then you list all the items that came before yours. Name that Tune – Hum or tap a song and the rest of the group tries to guess what it is. If you think your children would struggle with songs you could use the theme ‘Disney movies’

  • Heads Up – Take a pack of post-it notes and write characters or famous people on them. The player sticks it on their forehead and asks yes or no questions to guess who it is – we suggest limiting it to 15 questions! There is also an app that does this using your phone.

  • Audio Stories are great for helping excited toddlers calm down and maybe even have a quick snooze for the remaining journey.

Whilst we have spoken before about how blue light can affect our little ones, it’s all about balance – so don’t be ashamed to pull out the tablet or phone to let your little ones enjoy some screen-time.

2. What Is The Best Way To Stick To A Sleep Routine On Vacation?

You probably have a pretty good idea of whether your little one is likely to fall asleep whilst travelling by now. If they do fall asleep whilst travelling then try to plan journeys at naptime or night-time wherever possible. Don’t forget a blanket to stay cosy but be sure to follow safe sleep guidelines and only use a blanket on the baby that isn’t going to end up covering their face! If the baby is the only child travelling in a car and there are two adults, we recommend an adult sitting in the back to keep an eye on the baby’s wants and needs.

If your baby or child doesn’t nap during journeys, firstly we send our sympathies! Try to arrange journey times for when they have just woken up and try to avoid night-time travelling where at all possible. The last thing you want on your first day of the holiday is a child who has been awake all night on a plane!

Try not to worry about nap times too much if it is making your journey more difficult though. Your little one will sleep eventually and it might be useful to have a lazy first day to catch up on sleep and come to grips with where you’re staying.

We have a full blog on how to help baby sleep whilst travelling right here!

child sleeping in the car seat

3. How Do You Fly With A Baby (Or Young Child)?

There are countless online articles about helping your young child on a plane, but I think a lot of them just add unnecessary stress to the run-up to your holiday. Follow the above guidelines in terms of keeping them entertained, don’t feel ashamed to use screen-time or audiobooks to try and keep them distracted. Some plane companies offer cots for babies so don’t forget to look into what’s available and ask in advance.

When the plane sets off, give your baby either a milk feed or a dummy (if they use one – have questions about using a dummy? Check out this blog) as the sucking motion helps to soothe the ear pressure and popping. If your child is older either give them a drink or a sweet to suck on (if they can be trusted not to swallow it whole!).

Often ‘under 3’s go free’ on a plane, but consider whether your journey would be easier and more enjoyable for everyone if you paid for their own seat. At 2, my children would not have been happy to sit on my lap for over an hour and I can’t say I would have enjoyed the experience myself either.

Don’t feel embarrassed about the way your children behave on a plane, especially if it is your first time travelling as a family. Take them up and down the aisle if it’s a long flight to stretch their legs, you’ll probably brighten a few peoples journey if your little one is chatty and wants to make lots of new friends! As long as you are trying to control the situation through distraction and calming methods then you have nothing to be ashamed of, it is very common for children to be upset or more frustrated whilst travelling – us adults are too.

4. What Should You Pack In Your Carry On Luggage For Your Child?

If you’re packing a carry on bag for a child, it’s important to get the essentials in first:

  • Take plenty of snacks and make sure they aren’t going to be super messy and end up needing to change their clothes during a flight

  • Drinks – whether they are on milk (which you can take on with you, if it’s pre-made they might make you sample some) or water make sure you have plenty!

  • Medication – A lot of the main medication companies, such as Calpol, offer travel size sachets. If your child takes unwell during the flight you’ll be grateful you had some with you. It can also help a younger child feel a placebo effect if their ears have popped due to pressure.

  • Spare Clothes

  • Sleeping Bag or Blanket (for older children) if you’re wanting them to sleep during the flight

  • Changing bag

  • Lots of baby wipes

  • If they weaning then be sure to pack their favourite foods.

  • Entertainment – favourite books, toys, drawing etc.

For long-haul flights, try to travel at night time so that the whole family can try to have a sleep and help adjust their body clocks – remember this for the journey home as well!

    child playing airoplane

    5. How Should I Plan Mealtimes On Holiday With A Baby Or Toddler?

    As adults, we usually indulge on holiday so don’t feel too bad if your little one does as well. Just ensure you don’t introduce new allergens whilst away as you don’t want them needing medical attention if you’re in a different country. Foods such as seafood, which are more popular by the sea, are a common allergen that a lot of children may not have tried before – just because your child is fine with fish does not mean they can eat prawns or other seafood without a reaction.

    Other suggestions include taking flasks to use on the move, especially if you’re using formula powder. Look up and trial ways using a flask before you go – you can always ask a cafe for a flask of boiling water whilst you have a coffee! Alternatively, you can buy pre-made formula, these are more expensive than a tub of formula but for the ease of not carrying a large flask, it could be worth it. Be sure to bring enough formula for the whole of your holiday as if you are in another country it could be difficult to source your brand – and some babies won’t drink other brands!

    If you’re eating out, a lot of restaurants will blend foods for a baby or, if the kids’ menu doesn’t appeal, try to request one of the adult meals on a smaller scale. You would be surprised how accommodating they will be.

    With non-weaned babies, you might consider trying to eat around their nap-time so they can sleep in the pram, or past their bedtime, if you’re out for the evening, whereas with toddlers or older children try to stick to the usual food times when possible.

      mum and her toddler eating in the restaurant

      6. How Can We Enjoy The Sun With Our Baby Or Toddler?

      Your young child or baby needs regular applications of sunblock whenever they are in the sunshine in any country (even in the UK!). Ensure you trial the sunblock before you go away to check for allergies or irritations and apply it every couple of hours.

      A lot of young baby’s and children refuse to wear sunhats, mine will whip it off automatically within a few moments so due to this we required a parasol for the pram when we went away as the hood just didn’t cut it! This is another item to trial before you depart as you need to be prepared.

      Don’t forget that your baby will eat sand if on the beach! Our tip is to take a travel cot to the beach if you’re wanting to have a little quiet, beach time. That way they can be safely contained, shaded by parasols or similar and playing without the fear of sand or beach rubbish being picked up.

      If you have a small paddling pool with a cover, this can be handy for a little one – just because you are by the sea doesn’t mean you have to be in it! Throw in some toys, buckets and spades along with some sand and you’ve got a great messy play area.

      If you are close to the hotel, going back for a nap in a cooler room would probably help your baby to sleep. However, it’s perfectly fine for them to nap in the buggy or the travel cot (if you took it to the beach) just make sure it is well shaded, and keep checking the sun hasn’t moved onto them, don’t cover with towels or muslins as this can create a dangerously high level of heat. Check out the summer guidance from the Lullaby Trust.

      7. Choosing The Hotel And Activities. Where Should You Stay?

      Before baby was born you might have selected the hotel based on the price and its proximity to the local nightlife, but now is the time to accept that holiday prices rise with children even if where you’re staying is not as luxurious. If you don’t have school-age children then definitely select term-time dates to keep those prices lower! It also means that the majority of children at your resort will be of a similar age and you can worry less about ‘big kids’ interrupting activities or play.

      Whilst you may cringe at the concept of ‘kids entertainment’ at your hotel, you will likely find this a life-saver if your children are old enough to engage. If you plan to leave your little one in kids clubs for any period of time, we recommend checking the hotel’s reviews and credentials – and always ensure the staff know you are leaving! We recommend staying by the pool if they are joining in those activities or, even better, join in yourself as it’s a great bonding exercise.
      When it comes to beds, a mattress on the floor is safer than a bed for toddlers and babies – even if the toddler has had the walls of their crib removed! Chances are this bed is a lot higher and in warm countries, the floors are often firm tiles as opposed to carpeting. If your little one is small enough still, don’t forget to request a travel cot, even if you can’t see the option when booking this doesn’t mean they aren’t available.

      8. Other Things To Consider Booking/Are Included With Your Room Are:

      • Fridge for food/snacks/drinks/milk

      • Air conditioning

      • Pram Accessible (or at least a lift so you don’t have to carry the pram up flights of stairs).

      • Stairgate (if it is a multi-level apartment)

      • Safety doors/latches if there is a balcony or similar.

      • If Camping, being in the tent might be a bit tricky with babies but lots of fun for toddlers and older children who will find it exciting.

      toddlers sitting in the sun while traveling

      9. Who Should I Bring With Me On Holiday? 

      The idea of child-care whilst away, from a trusted friend or relative, is highly appealing. The chances are that the grandparents would be chomping at the bit to join you but take into consideration what this means and set boundaries and guidelines beforehand. It’s worth setting out if you’re wanting some ‘just you’ time with your family when away, whether you’d prefer them to be staying in a room at the opposite side of the hotel and if you’re expecting all meal-times to be together. To you, they might be coming along as babysitters for the evening so you and your partner can enjoy some time together alone, but if they are seeing it as a non-stop family-fun festival they are participating in, toes can easily be trodden on.
      You may also want to consider that if one set of grandparents comes away, the others might try to book a holiday with yourselves as well which may or may not be a good thing. If you have a nanny, consider bringing them with you or if you don’t want to bring a relative but still need the help, there are travel nannies available for short term contracts.

      10. Should I Stick To My Night-Time Routine On Holiday?

      Where possible, try to keep the night-time routine similar such as bath, book and bed. If you do need to adjust bedtimes to make the most of your time away then don’t panic too much – it shouldn’t harm your usual routine when you return! Just make sure that on your return home you go straight back to the usual bedtime. This will help differentiate between ‘holiday bedtime’ and ‘home bedtime’. I have fond memories of the excitement of staying up past bedtime when on holiday as an older child! It is common to find that holiday excitement, activities and sunshine tire your children out quicker.

      You know your child and how they will cope best however, we would recommend if you are staying up later to try and be near to your hotel room. That way should the signs of over-tiredness begin to creep up you can quickly get them to bed.

      As mentioned before they can start the night sleep in the pram and when you get them home just transfer them in their bed

      If you have a toddler, consider whether they would be best placed sleeping on the mattress on the floor, especially as some hotel rooms abroad can be on harder surfaces than your nursery carpet. Hotels tend to provide travel cots but they can be quite uncomfortable so consider putting flattened towels underneath the mattress to soften it slightly – just remember that baby needs a flat surface. If you have a white noise machine at home, don’t forget to bring it with you.

      Enjoy Yourself!

      You probably need this holiday more than the little ones do, especially after 2020! Take the time to enjoy yourselves as a family, make sure you’re in the photos as well (does anyone else seem to find that they have few photos of them and baby?) If you’re feeling particularly stressed, maybe consider going for a short break with a friend or partner whilst a relative looks after baby for one or two nights. Parents can’t run on empty and self-care is very important!

      So there we have our top ten FAQ’s answered! If you have any suggestions of your own please suggest them in the comments, don’t forget to check out our blog on how to help your baby sleep whilst travelling.

      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 To Help Baby Sleep In The Heat?

      How To Help Baby Sleep In The Heat?

      As summer arrives, your baby may have trouble sleeping in the heat – which is perfectly normal! Many parents worry about the temperature of their baby or toddler on a hot day and, whilst it is definitely something to pay attention to, it doesn’t mean all past baby sleep solutions need to be disregarded.

      To help parents help their baby sleep when it’s hot, our baby sleep coach has gathered some of our best summer sleep solutions for your baby or toddler!

      toddler sleeping in the nappy in the heat

      How To Dress Baby For Sleep In The Heat?

      Dressing your Baby for bed when it’s hot is not as complicated as it may feel. We have a simple Pinterest pin you can save to reference in the future or you can check out our breakdown below:

      Under 16 Degrees Celcius  – Vest (long sleeve if possible), Sleepsuit, 2.5 tog or higher sleeping bag and socks

      17 – 19 Degrees Celcius – Vest (short), sleepsuit, 2.5 tog sleeping bag.

      20 – 22 Degrees Celcius – Vest (short or long) and 1 or 1.5 tog sleeping bag

      23 – 25 Degrees Celcius – Nappy and a 1 tog sleeping bag

      25 Degrees Celcius or higher – Just a Nappy if your baby will or the lightest sleeping bag you can find. Tommee Tippee do 0.2 tog sleeping bags or 0.5 togs are widely available online.

      fan keeping childrens room cool at in the heat

      How To Keep Baby’s Room Cool In Hot Weather?

      It can be a real struggle for parents to keep their baby’s room at the ideal temperature during the summer months. There are many factors at play – how can you keep your baby cool at night in summer without having them wake up cold if the temperature drops?

      Luckily we have gathered top tips to help you out:

      • Buy a Room Thermometer – if there is one essential item for a baby’s nursery after a cot, let it be your room thermometer. Being able to monitor your baby or toddler’s room temperature will enable you to make informed decisions about how to dress the baby for sleep in all weathers. Bonus Tip: A lot of modern baby monitors have thermometers included, ensure you check this with an alternative thermometer before relying on it as these tend to be at a higher temperature. Remember, heat rises so you want the thermometer as close to level with where baby is sleeping as possible.

      • Keep the blinds and curtains closed and the door open for the babies room during the day. Whilst you may feel like to help baby sleep better in the heat you should have the curtains wide open to let in as much air as possible, sunlight coming into the room will make it warmer. Keep the windows open but the curtains closed to avoid this sunny side-effect, as recommended by the lullaby trust site.

      • Use a fan to circulate air around the room but ensure it is not pointing at the baby. A lot of babies actually enjoy the white noise that a fan emits so you may find that it helps soothe the baby to sleep. Great tip – use a bowl of ice or freeze a large bottle of water and place it in front of the fan, this will make the air circulating cold.

      • Use air conditioning if available, there are many portable air conditioning units you can buy. If using an air conditioning unit, cool the room before you put your baby to sleep. Use it for the duration of their sleep, set the temperature for 16 – 18 degrees and make sure the unit is in a suitable position so it’s not blowing cold air directly at the baby. If the room is cooled to lower temperatures, remember to dress your baby accordingly.

      • Some babies won’t settle in the cot with distractions going on, so if you need to close the door of the baby’s room to get to sleep, wait 5 or 10 minutes after they have dropped off and open it up to let air from the rest of the house flow through.

      • If you are having doors and windows open whilst your baby is asleep, don’t forget to use a doorstop or heavy item so that a wind-induced door slam doesn’t wake up your baby!

      • You can also hang a wet towel over the chair, the evaporating water will cool the air

      • Fill a hot water bottle with ice and place it in their cot if they are over 1 year old.

      How To Check If A Baby Is Too Hot Whilst Sleeping?

      • The best way to check your baby isn’t overheating when it’s hot at night is to go in and gently place a hand on their chest and their back. A lot of babies’ backs of their heads will get warm – this is completely normal and common in both children and adults alike! So if you focus on the chest you should get an idea of how hot they are.

      What To Do If Baby Is Hot Whilst Sleeping?

      • If you do find that your child is too hot at night, whilst you will want to avoid waking them up if you have finally settled baby to sleep, it’s worth working to make the room cooler. If you want to introduce a fan that is particularly noisy, we would recommend starting the fan off in a different room a bit further away but pointing in the direction of the baby’s room and then after 5 minutes bringing it closer whilst ensuring it isn’t pointing at the baby. This will gradually introduce the fan-noise to them without starting them. If you place a frozen water bottle or bowl of ice in front of the fan it will keep the circulating air cooler.

      • Try to keep them on their back, whilst this is a normal safety issue a lot of parents find that when older their baby likes to sleep on their stomach. This is still okay to do but ensure that their cot sheet is tight-fitting and will not go over their face. Similarly, try to avoid using blankets that may end up covering their face. If your child requires a blanket and won’t use a gro bag or sleep without covering, then ensure it is a cellular blanket as these have breathable holes in them.

      • Whilst you will be keeping your baby’s blinds closed (but window open in the heat) you may feel this doesn’t allow for much of a draft. Try propping open the doors in multiple rooms with the windows open in order to create a cooler house overall and a gentle draft of fresh air.

      How To Settle Baby To Sleep In Heat?

      You will likely find that the heat will either wipe your baby out so they sleep easier, or make them hot and bothered so they take longer to fall asleep. Check out these 3 tips:

      • Return to baby every 20 minutes if they are struggling to sleep in order to offer them a drink of cold water if they are weaned. Try not to engage in conversation during this time for the risk of waking them. If your baby isn’t weaned then try to have a bottle (or breast) handy to top them up with fluid every half an hour.

      • Give baby a cooler bath close to bedtime, this will help to lower their body temperature before bed.

      • Try not to have a baby in an overly cold room for their bedtime routine. If they have been downstairs in a room with a cooling fan, in just a nappy then when they go to bed they are going to feel warmer instantly! 

      • Whilst it may feel uncomfortable and warm for you, try not to be sleeveless if holding them for a feed before bed. Having the skin on skin on the back of the neck when it is hot outside is just going to contribute to them feeling sweaty and clammy. 

      • Try to be patient! It can be frustrating when your baby won’t go to sleep, but it is natural for it to be a more difficult sleep process when the weather is warmer. 

      child wearing a sunhat in the hot summer day

      What Else Can I Do To Help My Baby In The Summer?

      Aside from sleep, the day to day challenges of having a baby or toddler in the summer months can be quite daunting. If you want to read about the best ways to help baby when travelling check out our blog for helping baby to sleep whilst travelling here.

      Otherwise, remember these important tips:

      • Don’t leave your little one anywhere it can get hot fast. This includes; the car, covered in a pram, or just sat out in the sun. Covering prams with a muslin will heat them up like a greenhouse. Cover them with safety checked cooling pram covers made for purpose if you have to. Use pram parasols.

      • Sunhats are your baby’s best friend! What can you do if your baby or toddler won’t wear a hat? Keep them in the shade! It’s an unfortunate consequence when we want to enjoy the sun ourselves, but keeping their heads out of the sun is very important. There are several reasonably priced parasols available on the market if your toddler refuses to wear a sunhat.

      • Keep them hydrated! If you are breastfeeding, your milk will naturally adjust to the hot temperature and provide more hydrating milk for your little one, so there is no need to top them up with water if they are under 6 months. Just make sure to offer breast more often. If your baby is on formula, you can offer them sips of cooled boiled water (under 6 months). If your little one is older and isn’t drinking enough water, whilst you may be resistant to offering them a flavoured substitute, very lightly diluted cordial or fresh juice watered down a lot may be necessary if they aren’t drinking. Alternatively, you can make a smoothie using fresh or frozen fruit and even turn that smoothie into ice lollies by freezing it in a suitable container.

      • Paddling pools (in the shade or with hats) are a great way to have fun whilst maintaining a good temperature.

      Let us know if this has helped you or if you have any further questions about getting your baby to sleep when in the heat, in the comments section below.

      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.