If you live in the US, you probably have plans for Thanksgiving. You may be driving a few hours to see Aunt Liz (her cranberry sauce is just about the best thing on Earth); you may be flying someplace warm with Jim, Diane and the kids; or you're playing host to Mom, Dad, brother Sam and his new girlfriend, the twins and their kids, and Grandpa Billy.
Whichever way you're going, you've got this. Take a few deep breaths, and remember that your little one is still just about the most important thing around. Keep her well rested by following these tips.
1. Conquer the flight.
If you've done it before, then you know you've got the goods. If your first time is on the horizon this week, know that it's easier than it seems. The lead-up is the worst part. If she's old enough, wrap her toys and give them to her one-by-one on the flight. You may find it easier to relax any strict snacking or feeding rules to keep her quiet and calm. And give yourself plenty of time at the airport before departure.
2. Keep the routines.
A book (or 5). Tubby. Bedtime. Bottles, breast-feedings, meals. As much as you can keep things the same as her life back home, she'll love you for it, and she'll sleep best. Routines are a baby's best friend (besides you and the dog, of course).
3. Use her own sheets on the travel crib.
If you're on the road and using a travel crib - or even Cousin Debbie's crib from when she was a tyke - take the two minutes to put your little one's sheets from home on it. It'll smell like home, like her, and like you. And she'll likely sleep better because of it.
4. Naps may get a little wonky.
With all the travel, family and friends, and potential timezone shift(s) in your immediate future, naps may take a backseat on the priority list. That's ok! But don't feel guilty for telling your loved ones your babe needs a break - and by extension, so do you. Everyone will understand.
5. Bring the lovey.
You may not use one, but if you do, bring it along. Maybe even bring its twin just in case lovey no. 1 finds its way into the dirty sheets pile and goes swimming in the hotel's washing machine. Just like her sheets, it'll keep her grounded when she's jumping over the moon with the cow.
6. She's still allowed to cry.
We know, it's hard, especially with a lot of other people in the house. They love you and your little one, so if you normally don't go into her room if she's crying, try your hardest not to break the routine when you're at Aunt Liz's house either. She's a baby, she's allowed to cry!
7. Sam and his new girlfriend make great babysitters.
Take some time for yourself. With so many people around, a rested you is an awesome you, so ask one of your most capable and trusted fam to stick around the house while you go out for a run, or a beer, or a quick jaunt to the movies (we've heard Thor: Ragnorak is pretty kickin').
8. Bring a suite of pj's.
Depending on where you're going, of course. But we all know that Aunt Liz likes to keep the heat jacked up, or the A/C in the hotel room may be on auto. Bring some footies, some onesies, and a couple of different weights of swaddles and sleep sacks.
9. Nod works no matter where you are.
As long as you have cell service, remember to keep tracking your little one's sleep and feeding activity in Nod. If you're in the midst of a sleep training program, keep that up too, unless it's just really hard to maintain the same routines while you're on the road. If so, Nod will pick up on it and recommend we resume when you're back home (and vacation / travel features are coming soon).
If you follow this quick cheat sheet, you'll be sure to give your little one, and all of her adorers, a most restful holiday. Which means you'll get your much-needed, and very much-deserved, rest as well.
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Have a wonderful holiday!