This episode is an interview on how to get your baby to sleep while traveling with Dr Sarah Mitchell. Enjoy!
Who is Dr. Sarah Mitchell?
Dr. Sarah Mitchell is a chiropractor by training but found her true calling as a sleep consultant when her first child just would not sleep.
Since 2013 she’s empowered thousands of parents to teach their little ones to sleep and enjoy their parenting journey to the fullest.
She’s the owner of Helping Babies Sleep where she offers high touch 1:1 sleep coaching consultations. She also runs Helping Babies Sleep School online, a monthly membership subscription for tired parents.
Dr. Sarah is a proud member of the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine. She is currently contributing to research at San Jose State University on the efficacy of her sleep teaching coaching and the effect of sleep teaching on maternal anxiety. Originally from Ottawa, Ontario Canada, Sarah resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, son and daughter.
You can be loving, attached and well-rested.Dr. Sarah Mitchell, on what she tells parents
4:00 professional background 5:00 why it’s important to get your baby to sleep while traveling 6:00 stick to existing bed/nap schedule and follow your routine as closely as possible 8:00 pack items from home (sleep sack, blankie, travel crib sheet, monitor, white noise machine) 10:00 items to travel with 12:00 expectations for travel sleep (babies, kids) including time zone considerations for east to west travel
Stick to the routine
You’ll do the same bedtime routine you would at home to get your baby to sleep while traveling, but prepare more time to explore and get used to the new environment before bedtime.
Maybe you’ll do 4 books instead of 2- give all parties some extra time in the new environment.
Duplicate home sleep cues
If you have a consistent bedtime routine and sleep space at home, you can bring those “cues” when you are traveling, whether it’s to a Bach house, hotel room, or family’s home.
Does your child have a sleep sack, blankie, travel crib sheet, or white noise machine? Bring it! These things can help cue him/her that it’s sleep time. Hotel or rental cribs or a pack and plays will be fine if you have some of those other things.
It’s actually easier to travel with babies as they are confined to their cribs.
If your toddler isn’t used to sleeping in your bed, it’s gonna be a world of hurt to let her in your bed at night in the new hotel room.
Here’s what Dr Sarah recommends: the Lotus Travel Crib because it’s a little longer than a pack and play, and you can zip it from the side. Bonus: your kids won’t be in the bed with you- that’s a tough habit to break!
Make it dark
Darkness allows melatonin to be released which signals her body that it is time for sleep.
Most hotel rooms will have good black out curtains but if not, or if you’re at a rental or your inlaws, you’ll want to get travel black out curtains. Dr. Sarah recommends the Gro Anywhere Blind, which have suction cups that you can stick onto the windows!
Set Up a Boundary
If your baby or toddler can see you in the same room, odds are they’ll get hype and you won’t get much shut eye.
For a baby, a dividing room or a well ventilated bathroom (bonus: it’s dark in there!) will be great. For toddlers, grab some pool noodles, a simple way to create your toddlers’ own space.
Put them under the sheets at the edge of the bed, and in between the two of you. He/she won’t fall out of the bed, either. Winning!
Connect with Dr. Sarah
If you are looking for more travel tips you can check out Dr. Sarah’s blog post 8 Ways to help your Baby Sleep When Traveling.
Connect with her on Instagram or check out her website Helping Babies Sleep, where she offers high touch 1:1 sleep coaching consultations. She also runs Helping Babies Sleep School, which is a monthly subscription site for on demand sleep teaching.
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