With Kristen Jacob, Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant, a Certified Lactation Consultant, and a Newborn Care Specialist
Kristen Jacob, a Larken Lineup member and the founder of Snooze Clues, is back with her on-the-go sleep tips! As a Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant, a Certified Lactation Consultant, and a Newborn Care Specialist, Kristen works with children and families around the world to help them get the sleep they deserve. As a mom to a two-year-old daughter herself, Kristen believes “baby and toddler sleep is one giant, evolving puzzle to solve” and that sleep training is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Kristen understands the importance of developing unique sleep solutions for each child based on nutrition, activity level, sleep environment, and lifestyle. She uses her extensive research to find the best possible sleep solution for each family.
With the holiday season in full-swing, which often involves travel or upended schedules, we spoke with Kristen about her on-the-go sleep tips and tricks. If you missed her on-the-go travel breastfeeding tips, see them here.
How to keep a consistent sleep & feeding schedule when traveling with a baby
Traveling, especially with time-zone changes, can lead to major disruptions in a feeding schedule.
- If you are traveling to a different time zone and only there for a few days, keep to your normal schedule in the new time zone.
- If you are traveling to a different time zone and will be there for an extended period of time, move your “normal” schedule to the new time zone.
- I recommend adjusting your schedule 30 minutes per day until you are on the new time. When you get home, you can transition back in 30-minute intervals, or just jump back to your regular schedule cold turkey. You can expect a 2-3 day adjustment period either way.
- You can use this guide to determine which schedule is best for protecting your sleep when traveling between time zones.
Tips for traveling with baby during the holidays
Traveling with a young child can be an overwhelming task, so let’s break it down into three parts — traveling in a car, traveling on a plane, and sleeping at your final destination.
Baby Sleep Tips for Car Travel
- Traveling in a car is the best form of transportation when it comes to salvaging sleep. When you are traveling in a car, you have the opportunity to control most of the variables.
- Always leave shortly before your child’s typical nap time. That way, according to their body clock, they are tired when you get into the car. Typically, this will get you at least one nap (it might be short) right off the bat.
- For younger babies, you can cover their car seat with a car seat cover to make it a little darker. Remember, it is only your job to offer the nap, it is your child’s job to take it.
Baby Sleep Tips for Plane Travel
- There is very little that you are able to control when you are traveling by plane. Truly, don’t even waste your time or money paying more or flying on different days just because the flight times are better for your child’s sleep schedule. The day is going to be off and the earlier you accept the fact, the smoother your travel will be.
- My advice for traveling by plane is pretty simple: do the best you can. Offer your child naps when you can – on the plane or try throwing a blanket over the stroller in the airport, but chances are they will be busy taking in everything going on around them and will have no interest in sleeping. That’s ok - embrace their wide-eyed wonder. Airports are a cool place, and this will make the travel experience even more enriching for them!
- If you had a day with minimal sleep, move bedtime up by as much as 1 hour if you need to. This will help them make up for some of the lost sleep. Start the next day at your normal time.
Sleeping at Your Destination
- Just because you have a baby in tow, doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice your whole trip to revolve around your child’s sleep. It would be a disservice both to you and your child to do so.
- If your child is younger than six months, you can do your normal bedtime routine. If your child is older than six months, this trick probably isn’t going to work. They are too interested in everything going on around them. So, if you fall into this category – live your life. Keep your child up past their bedtime. It will be ok! If you don’t have a separate room for your child or something like the SlumberPod, then put their travel crib as far away from your bed as possible and keep the lights dim (FYI – you can request a travel crib for your room from most hotels so you don’t have to pay to check it as a bag if you’re traveling).
- Bring your white noise machine from home. I know it’s a slight inconvenience, but the smaller travel sound machines won’t be loud enough to block out all of the noise that comes from 3+ people sharing a room. Position the white noise machine 4-8 feet away from your child’s head.
- Keep in mind that traveling, for any reason, doesn’t have to derail your entire life. Be flexible when it makes sense and stick to your schedule when you can. Enjoy yourself!
What products would you recommend for sleep on-the-go?
- SlumberPod (Use code SNOOZECLUES$20 to get $20 off)
- Larken X Bra (For any middle of the night pumping + nursing sessions!)
- Sleepout Portable Blackout Curtain
- Larken CloudLuxe Classic Pajama Set (Because you should sleep cozily too!)
You can learn more about Kristen Jacob by keeping up with our Larken Lineup series where experts share useful resources for parents and families.
Please keep in mind that our content is not medical advice and does not serve as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your doctor and health team for medical advice.