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5 Tips for Recreating Your Child's Sleep Environment When You're Not at Home

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

The summers are short and sweet in Wisconsin, and for many people that means traveling “Up North” - our family is not excluded from this tradition!

Regardless of where you live though, traveling can be a thrill!

Unless, of course, you have a child who doesn’t sleep.

If that’s the case, I’d recommend solidifying some independence with their sleep skills before going on your trip, so you can actually enjoy it.

Besides making sure your child is a good sleeper to begin with, my next best advice is to recreate their optimal sleep environment in the new place, whether it’s the hotel room you’ll be sharing, the cabin on the lake, or the tent in the woods.

Read on for my five tips.

Bring a blackout solution.

Unless you want your child to rise with the sun on your trip, you’re going to want to make sure you provide a blackout solution.

We love that the Sleepout curtain is portable - if you know the room your child will be sleeping in only has 1-2 windows, bring a couple of these. The best part is, you can use them in their room at home and take them with you anywhere as they are portable and easy to set up and takedown. Use the code LAKECOUNTRYSLEEP for 10% off your order.

Another relatively easy, and cheap option, is to bring along a scissors, some painters’ tape, and a roll of foil. Cut the foil to size and tape it over the windows. Boom. Done.

Another travel favorite is the SlumberPod - this canopy fits over your child’s play yard or a toddler-size air mattress and is suitable for children older than 4-months. It provides darkness AND privacy, so it is a great option if you need to share a hotel room with your baby. There’s a pocket for the monitor and a fan if you get their bundle option. Use the code LCSLEEP$20 for $20 off your order.

Pro-tip: If you don’t use it often, familiarize your child with the SlumberPod before expecting them to sleep in it - let them play in it and practice a nap or two with it before you try to have them sleep in it on a trip.

If you’re Lake Country local, inquire about our SlumberPod rental program! Try it before you buy it, or reserve it for your family vacation this summer.

Don’t forget the sound machine…

Having white noise is something you should be doing on the regular, but having it if you’re room sharing on vacation is a must.

It will help drown out any noise you make while your child is sleeping peacefully in their SlumberPod!

You can still Netflix and chill even if you’re room-sharing. Take that comment however you want.

Or the lovey!

Oh. My. Goodness.

We’ve never forgotten it before because it would be the end of the world.

But my then 2-year-old did throw his blankie in the lake when he was overtired from our boat day on the lake. RIP to the OG blankie at the bottom of Island Lake on the Manitowish Chain.

Needless to say, I scrambled to all the little gift and quilt shops I could find within a 50-mile radius from our cabin in Wisconsin’s Northwoods.

I found one that I thought *might* compare (it didn’t) and a $65 plush elephant - it was made from the same material as his blankie - that my husband jokingly named “Sixty-five” who now sleeps with my son every night. You better believe I make sure of it!

If you want some extra humor today, DM me on Instagram and ask my son about his elephant.

Lesson learned - have a backup blankie. And don’t forget to bring one in the first place.

Possibly bring crib sheets from home.

If you’re renting a crib or the hotel you’re staying in has a crib, make sure you bring sheets from home.

A familiar smell and feel will help your baby sleep better in an otherwise unfamiliar environment.

And if a crib is a no-go, don’t forget their play yard!

Bring swaddles or a sleep sack too.

Swaddling (babies 0-12 weeks) or using a sleep sack can be a strong sleep association…one you won’t want to be without when traveling.

Just as you zip up the sleep sack and your child coincidently (or is it??) yawns, you should experience the same reaction when you zip them up in it on your vacation.

It’s a cue to their body that soon they’ll be in la-la land.

I hope you experience success with your travels, especially when it comes to your child’s sleep. If you want to tie up loose ends before you go to ensure that you have a good trip, reach out to us today - we’d love to work with you! You can set up a free 15-minute discovery call here.

If you’re a Wisconsin girl, you’ll soon be sitting around the campfire, listening to the loons on the lake and the hum of the boats returning home after their booze-cruises…baby monitor and Old Fashioned (or a glass of Malbec??) in hand, enjoying your evening with the adults. Cheers to you and your sleeping baby!

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