It’s that time of year where we really want to start planning our holidays! Whether it’s your first proper trip with your little one, or you want to squeeze in a European holiday before you’re tied to school holidays, you’ll want to take a read of our top tips for managing sleep when you’re travelling abroad!


If you can, try and book flights around nap/bedtime so your little one is sleeping on the plane. If you can’t do this, have a little think about whether it’s worth getting a nap in on the way to the airport, which may mean arriving earlier!

Make sure you have some snacks in your carryon luggage, just in case the queues to check in are long. If you can check in online at home that should save you a little bit of time and you should be able to head straight to back drop off. and where possible try and check in at home online.

Most airlines allow you to take two items of baby equipment with you – such as a pushchair, travel cot or car seat. Work out which is most important to you. And factor in time to drop them off at the oversized baggage desk!

Have everything prepared and easily accessible for the flight. Some things to consider (change of clothes for everyone, snacks/food/milk, entertainment for little ones according to their age (stickers, books, magnets, colouring, downloaded programmes etc), something to suck/drink for landing and take-off for breastfed little ones you can feed them. Top tip: lots of nappies – some little one’s tummies might be affected by the flying.

On the plane:

Try and remain calm and relaxed, and just let go of some of the usual ‘rules’ – what happens on the plane stays on the plane! Your main aim is to keep your little one as calm (and maybe even asleep) as much possible during the flight so do whatever you need to do achieve this. Once you reach your destination everything can go back to ‘normal’.

During the day whilst away:

As exciting as it is to be in a new place, try not to overschedule your days – this can lead to tired and emotional little ones.

Try and have the odd nap in the cot where possible, but naps on the go are fine too. Using something like a snoozeshade can be helpful for the daytime naps so the surroundings are less stimulating for little ones.

If jetlag is a concern, make sure you get out in the daylight as soon as possible, as this is the best way to regulate body clocks.


Try and make your little one’s sleeping environment as close to home as you can, so don’t forget your white noise machine, portable black out blind, pjs, comforter/soft toy.

If little ones are struggling in the new environment, do exactly what you would do at home and offer a little extra reassurance/comfort and they will soon be back to settling well.

Where possible try and have separate (adjoining rooms) or a villa so little ones have their own space, if this is not possible try and create some space between yourself and little ones so if they do wake up they aren’t too excited by seeing you.

If children are sharing there may be extra shenanigans the first couple of nights, stay consistent and maybe think of some rewards/consequences and they will be back to settling well in no time!

Back home:

If some of the ‘rules’ were relaxed during the holiday, once you are back home just make sure you go back to your same routine and stay consistent for a few days so little ones know nothing has changed at home.

Most important tip of all is to enjoy your holiday with your little ones and make lots of amazing memories – there’s nothing that can’t be sorted once you are back home!

If, for any reason, you need a helping hand with your little one’s sleep once you are back home, book in a free 15-minute no obligation call with us to see what we can do. We have packages for little ones in a cot from 4 months onwards all the way up to 10 year olds.

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