Today we will be discussing a few pitfalls to avoid while traveling in the car with your kiddos. We are always helping our awesome clients with on the go sleep, so we wanted to share some common mistakes made while traveling in the car.
1. The first pitfall we see is planning a long drive during a time of day your child has never slept in the car before. For example, if you have never gone for a drive at bedtime and had your child fall asleep in the car, don’t plan an overnight drive to your destination. We have seen this far too often. Say you decide that driving all night to get to your destination seems like a great idea, but your child hasn’t ever napped longer than 45 minutes in the car. This could have the potential to be a recipe for disaster. Go for a test run after a late dinner before deciding that you’ll commit to an overnight drive. Put your child in their PJ’s after dinner (at their normal bedtime) and drive home. Take the long way and see if they will fall asleep and stay asleep in the car. This will be a good test to see if they can do it!
2. The second pitfall for car traveling to avoid is forgetting the necessary sleep aids! Make sure to have your travel white noise, blanket to cover the seat for black out (make sure it’s breathable), and pacifier/lovey if you use one. Having all of these cues/comforts from their bed at home will really help set the stage for a great car nap or bedtime if needed while traveling.
3. The final pitfall we want to help you avoid is making sure you plan the air travel around your baby’s naps/night sleep. Make sure to check flight arrival times and allow time to check out the rental car (if necessary). See how long you will need to be driving and try your best to keep baby’s naps on the same routine as when you’re at home. Once you know all the necessary details, have all of your sleep aids ready and in an accessible bag. Make sure baby is changed and get him/her into the car seat and set up for a nap if it’s nap time with white noise/cover over seat, etc. If it’s not nap time, make sure that you’ll have enough time to get to the destination before nap. If not, you can pull over, turn on the white noise, give lovey/pacifier and close the black out for nap time!