Traveling Internationally with an Infant, How Do You Handle Naps?

Updated on February 10, 2011
J.P. asks from Tempe, AZ
5 answers

I'll be traveling with my 4 month old baby to France and England in the spring. She's a relatively easy baby, no health issues, colic, etc. and typically sleeps 10+ hours at night, however, she really needs her morning and afternoon nap or she has crying spells in the late afternoon early evening because she's over tired.

I'm wondering what other people have done, specifically with small babies who don't walk or crawl yet, regarding naps when you are touring?

Did you just let them nap in the stroller or baby bjorn or did you go back to the room for designated nap times? I think it would crush the day to go back to the room for her first nap at 9am considering we likely will have just left the room at 8am.

For whatever reason my daughter passes out within a couple minutes of being in the baby bjorn (ours is a Beco but I just said baby bjorn because most people call the front pack carriers by that name) facing the chest, must be super snuggly or something because it works every time. My thought was that if she wasn't asleep in the stroller to pop her in the carrier during her designated nap time, 9am and 1pm and let her sleep an hour or two in there. I know sleep while in motion is not as beneficial as sleeping in a crib, but it's just 2 weeks. Our travel stroller lays completely flat for sleeping.

Any thoughts??? Advice???

What was your experience???

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So What Happened?

We ended up ditching the stroller and she napped in the baby carrier. I didn't take her back to the room because she napped just fine in the carrier, even better I'd say! With bed time she just adjusted immediately, within one day she was back to a 7pm bed time with 7am wake time!

More Answers



answers from Washington DC on

Yep, let the baby sleep whenever, wherever. Going back to a hotel room for designated nap times would indeed crush the adults' day out and would be useless too -- going back may well wake her up too much and when you arrive at the hotel she may not be willing to go down! You might need to pull the stroller over to a quiet area when she seems to be getting sleepy, to help her fall asleep, but you still will be seeing the sights or eating your croissant so you're still enjoying the trip!

Sleep while in motion isn't as beneficial as in a crib? I never heard that (and my daughter had plenty of "car naps"), but as you say, it's just for two weeks. The benefit of traveling with very young infants is that they are not mobile and can't run around -- and she's so young she's mostly about eating, sleeping and soaking up things around her. Her schedule will be off so let her sleep when needed and be prepared for some early mornings for you. Have fun. We've traveled overseas with our daughter every year since she was born and it does get easier and easier. Infancy and from about 4 onward are better than toddlerhood where they need naps but resist (and don't just fall asleep like babies will)!

By the way-- Enjoy England. We go annually to see the relatives. Britain has far more "family restrooms" and nursing rooms in places like highway rest stops, department stores, etc., than we do here, and remember that almost every department store and every tourist site (castle, palace, historic site) has a cafe so you always have a place to chill for a while if she's sleeping or you need a bite. Also, if you need a doctor, they are free and so are prescriptions! The down side on England with a stroller -- everything is in buildings that were built long before anything like "accessibility" so you will be bumping the stroller up and down strange steps indoors at times. But you'll have fun!



answers from New York on

We let him crash in the stroller when we were out-and-about and just made ourselves aware of our environment (loud noises, etc)

Be prepared, though, for her schedule to be 100% off during the trip. Between time changes, different routines, different bed, etc... she'll be on a different schedule. Just go with it... we used to try to "force" a nap on vacation and it never ended well. Now, if he's tired we put him down- if he's not, we head out.



answers from Pittsburgh on

DS would sleep anywhere - stroller, car, on a floor - didn't matter if he was still or moving. We never set aside time for naps until he was much older (and yes that became inconvenient when travelling).



answers from Tucson on

My hubby's English and I lived there for 4 yrs after our daughter was born. I agree with the other poster, England in general is NOT easy to do with a stroller. We did the front carrier all the time. It was just so much easier than trying to get on and off busses with a stroller or trying to shop down narrow isles.


answers from Birmingham on

I traveled two and from New Zealand with my son and you can't always be in the room. Let your little one sleep in the strollers as much as possible. the Beco is good but you might find when you get back all she wants to do is sleep on you. I had a front pack carrier and sometimes it was all that worked so my guy would get some sleep time. You know your little one the best, if sleeping on the go isn't working then you might have to shift one or two afternoons to make it back to the hotel..... GOOD LUCK.

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