5 Things: To know about kids & sleep while traveling


Kids thrive under routine, and traveling certainly shakes them out of theirs. This is troubling for many parents – myself included – but doesn’t have to be traumatic. My family frequently travels between time zones, but even if you won’t need to change your clocks, here are a few helpful things I’ve learned along the way:

  1. Plan travel to coincide with sleep whenever possible. This means flying or driving during naptime, or even overnight.
  2. Don’t change your bedtime routine no matter where you are. For us it’s usually a bath + story + a song. Also, bring your travel bed if space allows, we like the consistency it offers: the room may change over the course of the trip, but the bed stays the same.
  3. Bring soothers. Ev loves his thumb, an easy thing to pack, but B loves his grubby white bear so it comes with us everywhere he will be getting some shut-eye.
  4. Consider renting an apartment rather than an expensive hotel suite to have separate quarters for you and the kids. We generally book 1 (or 2) bedroom places so that even if we are all sharing a room, we have a place to hang out after the kids’  bedtime.
  5. Sleep aids don’t always work, for adults or kids, and in fact can cause the opposite reaction in some, but a good run around the park or swim in the pool can be just as effective.


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