This week I want to help you set up the room to help your little ones transition to sleeping in their new space as easily as possible.
This is always a nerve-wracking time for me. First, the fear of your usually happy baby screaming the house down (especially if it’s someone else’s house. Worse still if they have their own sleeping children) but here are just a few pointers that might help you.
What To Pack
I found being over-prepared helped – my checklist includes:
- Travel cot
- Sleeping Bag and Comforters
- Baby monitor and arm
- Blackout blind
- Night light
- Bedtime books
These may seem simple but let me tell you, when you’re rushing to load the car with all but the kitchen sink, some of these things might go amiss.
- Travel Cot – I know some people like to get their little ones sleeping in the travel cot at home before they go away. It’s not a bad idea but I wouldn’t say it is an essential.
If you haven’t bought a travel cot and need one, I love our Cuggl Deluxe Superlight. The mattress is thicker than others I’ve seen, and it’s light and reasonably compact.
- Sleeping Bag and Comforters – I prefer to take a bed sheet, sleeping bag and comforter that’s NOT freshly washed! Just as an example; If I am going away on Friday I will change the cot sheet and sleeping bag on Wednesday (and hope for no nappy leaks) so everything smells like home. It’s familiar and will be calming for them.
- Pram – This might just be a lifesaver for any little people resisting their nap. Wrap up warm and go for a stroll. This isn’t something I would recommend for all naps but over such a busy time that we all want to enjoy, it’s better to not have any overtired little one.
I can recommend the Snooze Shade Plus Deluxe. A lifesaver for me for naps on the go.
- Baby monitor and arm – Whether you’re sharing a room or not, it’s nice to be able to see what’s going on when you’re enjoying your evening.
When my boy was tiny, the monitor arm was recommended, and I still use it now. It is a godsend!
- Blackout blind – Once our babies are 4 months+ we start to realise that a dark room is usually required. So if you are staying with family who aren’t as light-sensitive as your small one, you will likely need a travel blackout blind.
I have the Gro Blind, which I bought off Facebook marketplace for £5, but I believe the Easy Night Blind is just as good, and some might even say better.
- Night light – Again, not everyone is set up for dimming bedroom lights, so go prepared! I love this little night light. It has had pride of place since my early feeding days and now is our reading lamp before bed and nap time plus it is small and easily transferable.
- Bedtime books – If this is a part of your routine at home, don’t forget them! We have a 2 book rule at bedtime but if we’re going away for more than one night, I take 4 so we can rotate them.
What If You’re Sharing a Room?
If you’re staying with family, you will probably be sharing a room with your little ones unless you’re fortunate enough to have a self-contained flat or the west wing – This is my goal in life to invite my guests to the west wing (I think I’ve been watching too many episodes of The Crown!).
Sharing a room with a baby or toddler who usually sleeps on their own can be tricky, but I like to be inventive, a solution provider, I joke with my husband!
I have set up the travel cot in the ensuite (it was a disabled access hotel room, and the bathroom was bigger than the room itself). I’ve used a walk-in wardrobe too (more like a large cupboard).
On these occasions, we were lucky to have the space, but if you have the usual amount of space in a bedroom, you can:
- use a large bed sheet and drape over the cot (this works for smaller babies who aren’t standing yet)
- Attach a sheet to the curtain rail down to a chair to create a tent effect
- A free standing clothes rail can create a great room divider with a sheet thrown over
- A fitted sheet can be useful to grip on to furniture already in the room like wardrobe doors or bed ends.
These are just ideas to help you prepare, relax and enjoy the time with your loved ones. I find staying away from home equally as stressful as enjoyable since having my boy, and these are things I have picked up along the way, so I hope you find them helpful.
Keep safe and well, and Merry Christmas!
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Alexis Halley Reade is a Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant® based in Cheshire, England. She’s a mum to one, with one on the way!
Read more about Alexis and book a FREE call with her HERE.