How do I manage my child’s sleep on holiday?

Holiday and sleep. It’s something so many parents worry about when they should be excited for their time away. I’m going to give you some tips for making sure your little ones sleep as well on holiday as they do at home. You need to free up worrying to give you time to pack everything but the kitchen sink! When you have kids, long gone are the days when you can throw together a suitcase the night before. So here are my tips to help with your child’s sleep whilst on holiday.

Bedtime Routine

The first recommendation is one not to get too hung up on if it isn’t possible, but try to keep their bedtime routine as close to their normal one at home. It can be simple things such as the same bubble bath, bath toys, reading familiar stories etc. And even if they are going to bed later, if you can carry out the same routine steps do so rather than rush it through. Even if their bedtime is different, the familiar steps will let them know that they are expected to sleep now. 

Home from home

Kids love consistency and familiarity so try and keep as much from home as you can. It will be tempting to take a nice clean sleeping bag or cot sheet with you, but it’s best to take one that has been used before. They will smell familiar which can provide comfort in new surroundings. 

Blackout room

Light is the biggest disrupter of sleep for adults and little ones. Whenever I work with clients I always recommend blackout blinds for all rooms tots sleep in. Travel blackout blinds are reasonably cost efficient and can be all you need to keep little ones asleep until morning. 

Naps on the go

If your baby or toddler is used to having their day naps in their cot in a dark room they may struggle to get as much day sleep as they are used to with all of the light and stimulation outside. One great product for extending naps on the go is Snoozeshade – it’s indispensable for us on holiday. It’s an air-permeable pram cover that protects against UV rays and reduces light and noise. Use DADDY10 for a 10% discount. 

Back to basics if needed

If you are on holiday for a week or more and struggling with day sleep, it might be worth considering taking a few hours out one day to get some sleep in the hotel/apartment. Sometimes a refreshed day can be all your little one needs to get them back on track and everyone feeling more refreshed and energised. 

Treats and sugar

Holiday are all about treats! And your little ones should enjoy them too but try to keep sugar to a minimum towards the late afternoon. Some children react more to sugar than others but I know from my own toddler, too much sugar before bed leads to one hyper little boy. 

Most importantly though, remember to enjoy yourself! All sleep routines can be re-implemented when home. Follow me on Instagram for more infant sleep tips. 

I’m a baby and toddler sleep consultant specialising in designing gentle sleep training programmes for babies and toddlers. I work with clients on a one to one basis and I also have a series of age-specific online courses for you to implement at your own pace. 



How can we help?