18 answers

Naps and Sleeping During Travel for a Toddler

We are going on vacation next week with our 15-month-old daughter. She is a very routine-oriented baby and still needs her two naps a day. I haven't had her take a nap in her Pack n Play she was like 6 months. But she will be sleeping in it on the trip. I have a terrible feeling our first family vacation is going to be a nightmare.
Anyone have any advice on what to do? My only idea is try to force her to take naps in the pack and play this week and maybe by Saturday she will be used to it and not throw a fit when we are on vacation. A friend also suggested that I give her a little dose of Children's benadryl so she will be really tired when I put her down the first time or two.
Anyone been through this??
Thanks for the help!

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Featured Answers

Hi, my daughter had a hard time sleeping in her pnp until I bought a mattress for it (I think it was about $20.00) and put the pnp sheets on top. When we didn't take the xtra mattress we used a pnp mattress pad and 2 sets of pnp sheets which made a big difference because they were softer and she slept much better.

1 mom found this helpful

Vacations are times for a change in routine, relaxing and having fun. I'd just go with the flow and drop the routine. She'll probably do fine. On vacations, I often ended up lying down with the kids for quiet time, reading books together and then resting/sometimes sleeping with them. They usually got back into whatever they were used to doing when we got home. She's very old for 2 naps a day. Some kids her age don't even take a nap at all. I'd say you've been very lucky and it may change after this, but she's growing up. No getting around that! Have fun!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Hi, my daughter had a hard time sleeping in her pnp until I bought a mattress for it (I think it was about $20.00) and put the pnp sheets on top. When we didn't take the xtra mattress we used a pnp mattress pad and 2 sets of pnp sheets which made a big difference because they were softer and she slept much better.

1 mom found this helpful

Some of the things that helped us during travel was to bring along familiar sights, sounds and smells. So we brought several stuffed animals or blankies that our girls slept with (even though they took up room), we brought the sound machine that we ALWAYS used at home, we brought a travel mobile that we used several days prior to the trip, and once at our destination we had our children help us set up the space (so they would see the pack-n-play and help put all of their bedtime things inside). We also brought a travel swing that folded up, and often had them fall asleep in the swing and then transferred them to their bed. Since our daughters didn't fall asleep well with us in the room, we would bring am monitor and then watch a movie on our laptop in the hotel hallway until we knew they were asleep.

1 mom found this helpful

We did the same rthing when my son was 18 months. He had no issue with the pack-n-play, just more the new environment. It only took, say 10 minutes longer to get him to go to sleep on his own. Also, the biggest reason for my response, I have know people to try the Benadryl thing for a plane ride...only to have it completely backfire! It make their son very hyper! So I would risk it and don't use anything. Just bring everything for the normal routine, books, blankets etc. And pretend nothing is different! Good luck, it will be fine!

1 mom found this helpful

Like some other posters have said, your child could have a little adjustment to the new environment but should be OK. I think it's a great idea to try having her sleep in the pack n play right now to get her used to it. But the thing I've found that is most important is that you need to act like it's no big deal. It's amazing how babies can read our anxieties and they feed off of them. If your daughter can sense that you're super anxious about putting her to bed in the pack n play, she may give you a harder time. Other than that, you can establish a nice, new routine while on vacation and your daughter shoudl be OK. We did our first week-long vacation when my daughter was also 15 months. She did great in the pack n play. We stuck to her 2 a day naps and tried to keep bed time close to the same as at home (following routine, including putting her down at a good time - not too late).

Enjoy your trip!

1 mom found this helpful

I've travelled a lot with my children & the biggest mistake I made one time with my youngest was putting her down in a new surrounding for the first time at BEDTIME. It was a disaster. But I am confident that if I put her down for her nap, when it was bright & she could get familiar with her new surroundings, we would have been much better off.
But stay firm - the first couple of times going down may be tough, but don't give in (i.e. don't take her into your bed), unless you're willing to do that for the duration of your trip.
And a final note on the benadryl - my children are ones to get hyper, not sleepy - so I'm living proof of the suggestions some other moms made! Steer clear!
Good luck & have fun!

1 mom found this helpful

Vacations are times for a change in routine, relaxing and having fun. I'd just go with the flow and drop the routine. She'll probably do fine. On vacations, I often ended up lying down with the kids for quiet time, reading books together and then resting/sometimes sleeping with them. They usually got back into whatever they were used to doing when we got home. She's very old for 2 naps a day. Some kids her age don't even take a nap at all. I'd say you've been very lucky and it may change after this, but she's growing up. No getting around that! Have fun!

1 mom found this helpful

start putting her down in the pack and play...
when you get to where you are staying try to find a corner to put the pack and play in. In hotels I try to put the pack and play in a corner wehre the tv and bathroom light will not be so bothersome.
Use the same blankets in the pack and play as you use in her crib...
She will tire out because of the change of pace... Or just let her stay up a bit later than normal.

All of my kids were self routine oriented... So much so that at about 1 yr old I didn't need to put them in a pack and play but just had to lay them down and tell them " go to sleep". AND THEY WOULD... lol
If the pack and play doesn't work, you could always take a few minutes, get a good book and lay down with her. Keep her laying down (or if she's in the pack and play tell her to lay back down)Turn away from her and read your book quietly then sneak out once she falls asleep...
Maybe you and hubby could take turns.
My hubby always got the munchkins to conk out faster than I could... I always teased him about knowing where the off switches were.

Good luck and I can tell you from experience... We always THINK things are going to be alot worse than they actually turn out to be...

Have FUN!!!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.
I would drive to MN from MI about twice a year to visit with family. I used a sling to carry my daughter when we were out and about. And to comfort her when she would get over tired. It worked great for us, helped me hold her without my arms breaking off, and she relax and fall asleep nicely. I try to just go with the flow and watch her for ques for what she needed. I liked the advice before mine about how she might surprise you, my daughter just turned 6 and it's true. Oh the big thing is if your stressed about how her naps will go, she's going to pick up on that and they won't go as smoothly. And my big tip is rescue remedy and remedy sleep www.rescueremedy.com/products/ There all natural, I use them on our whole family even the cat.
Good luck & have fun. A. H

1 mom found this helpful

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