Part 3: Our First Trip After Sleep Training
As you might have read in part 2, we’ve implanted our personalized sleep plan for Baby B. I’m super excited to say that he is still on the same four month old schedule (even though he’s now over 6 months) and his sleeping has continued to be great.
We just started introducing solids so we have also begun eliminating one night feed. On the very first night, he was a champ! We had a little crying when he woke to what would normally be a feed but within 10 minutes he went back to sleep. Last night, he didn’t even bother to wake twice. He went to bed at 7pm, woke at 1am for a night feed, and woke for the morning at 6am.
We recently went on our first trip to visit Oma and Opa after our progress with sleep training. This meant Baby B wasn’t going to be sleeping in his crib and have the home routine that he’s become accustomed to. We went and bought him a travel bed that we plan to use during all our upcoming travels. The idea is that he has his crib at home and his travel bed while we are away.
How did Baby B do?
He didn’t sleep as well as at home, but he did well. We knew it would take him a little time to adjust to this new bed. By the fifth night, he still wasn’t sleeping and napping as long as he does at home. The most notable change was he woke more at night and had troubles getting comfy to go back to sleep. If we were using a portable play pen as his bed, I think the transition would go more smoothly. But because we can’t be lugging around a huge play pen during our travels, he just has to get used to the travel bed we purchased.
3 Tips we used to help Baby B transition to his new bed while traveling:
Tip 1) Trial run – Once we bought Baby B his new bed, we set it in the living room and let him get used to it. We played in it and once he seemed comfortable, we put it in his room and had him nap in it. Moving forward, we try to put him in it once a week for a nap so he continues to get used to it as his ‘other’ bed.
Tip 2) Environment – Try to re-enact the same environment as home. Baby B is used to white noise while he sleeps. We normally use a fan. For our trip, we downloaded white noise on to our ipod and used a speaker system to drown out all the background noise.
Baby B’s room is very dark. So while traveling, we hung sheets on the window to try to get the room as dark as possible.
We brought everything that would be familiar to him. That included his sleeping stuffed animal which he only gets when he sleeps, his sleep sac, nap and night book, and the plastic seat which we use in the bath.
Tip 3) Keep the same schedule – We didn’t have a time change for this trip so keeping the same schedule was fairly easy. Although, this meant early dinner for everyone!
Since Baby B now knows his bed routine, it was essential to be as consistent as possible. So even though we weren’t at home, he knew the routine to sleep. He normally gives us cues so we know it’s time to sleep, like rubbing eyes or getting fussy. Once I see the cues, I start the process of getting him ready. He’s pretty good about keeping the same time every day, so I also have an idea of when he might be getting tired. But it can vary by an hour some days.
Our nap routine: Lay on bed, put in sleep sac, read short book (we use the same book every time), breast feed, put in crib with stuffed doggie, lights out.
Our nighttime routine: Bath, cuddle time with daddy, lay on bed, put in sleep sac, read short book, breast feed, put in crib with stuffed doggie, lights out.
Need more tips? Check out 11 holiday baby sleep tips from The Baby Sleep Site.
This trip was the perfect trial trip. It was in the same time zone and we had control over almost all activities. Our next trip to Maui is going to be a little more difficult. It’s a 3 hour time difference and we have a number of activities planned. It’s also a 6 hour flight which is the longest Baby B has flown. We are excited to see how he does!
Note: We have partnered with The Baby Sleep Site but the opinions expressed are entirely our own. I’ve done my best to share our experience but as always, results may vary for every family.