FOMO, Sleep and Traveling With Kids: Tips from Jessica Veeder of The Mama Coach
I have fear of missing out and that did not change when I had children. I have four kiddos ranging from ages of 7, 6, 3 and 11 months, so you could say I have had a lot of practice traveling with little ones. I can’t even count the number of solo car and plane trips that I have done! I’ll never forget my first solo trip with two kids under the age of two. In short, it was a nightmare! I had a seventeen-month-old and a six-week-old. I can still remember the man’s face next to me as I tried to breastfeed a baby with a cover over and a toddler kept trying to pull it off to see the baby! Through trial and error, I have learned a lot about traveling with children over the years. The biggest factor? Sleep. Read on to learn more about how sleep can help make traveling with little ones easier.
We all know that every outing is more stressful when a child gets upset.
Layover delayed but baby happily playing – okay.
Hot lines at Disney land but toddler happily eating an ice cream cone – okay.
Waiting for a table at a packed restaurant and a child is happily playing eye spy – okay.
Add a cranky baby, toddler, or child into any of those scenarios and not only are the kids starting to cry but I feel like it too!
From one mama with FOMO to another, or perhaps someone who just loves to hit the road, here is what I’ve learned about managing sleep while traveling with children:
An overtired child can quickly become a screaming one no matter what distraction you try to use. I like to think ahead and schedule out rest and naps. If I have dinner activity planned that is a great day to do an afternoon nap or rest in the hotel. If I have a full day at Disney land, then pizza at the pool for dinner instead of at a restaurant.
No Nap Jail
When you go somewhere, the last thing you want is to be left in a dark hotel room all day. I try to nap on the go for a least one nap during the day. My advice is 10 – 30 minutes before scheduled nap time plan on a transition. This is a great time to hop in the car to drive somewhere new, do a stroller ride with a blanket blocking the view, pop in the carrier and take a brisk walk.
It can be so hard to do bedtime with kids in a new spot. Try to recreate a home like feeling for bedtime. Noise makers and blanket or crib sheet from home can all help. It is helpful to create a separate space for the pack ‘n’ play so that baby can’t see you. I have used the bathroom, closet, or kitchen area as a spot for my pack ‘n’ play. Also, if you can have a porch at your hotel or AirBnB use it! A porch is a wonderful spot to unwind and talk after the kids go to bed.
I find that people have the hardest time with this one! If you trying to get your child to nap or bedtime and they are not having it, it is okay to give up!!! Give up and try again after 30minutes or 1 hour of fresh air or activity.
You know your child best. Some travel best in the morning, naptime, or nighttime. Pay the little extra and get the best time that will work for you. Also, if you can avoid a layover, Do IT!
I am here to say that creating memories with kids does not have to wait until they’re older, easier to manage or when they will remember. If you are up for it, go now and you will have memories and pictures to share with them as they get older! I have had less sleep and more stress from traveling with kids, but it has always been worth it. Don’t let the fear of traveling with children hold you back!
By Jessica Veeder