Disruptions to Baby’s Schedule
- Those using a strict parent-led schedule might have a harder time adjusting to the changes associated with vacations and traveling.
- If you’re taking a trip within the same time zone, the only real adjustment your baby will have to make is with his or her sleep surroundings.
- Try and keep your baby’s nap, feeding and bedtime schedules as consistent as possible.
- This is where a bedtime routine (which might include reading the same books and/or singing the same songs) can help to create a familiar sleep environment.
- If your trip inherently involves a lot of stroller napping, late bedtimes and sporadic restaurant meals, it might take a good week to get back on a regular schedule.
- If taking a long road trip, try and plan it during a baby’s normal sleep time, whether it’s naptime or bedtime. You don’t want your baby to zonk out in the car seat during playtime hours and then be up and ready to go at bedtime. However, if your baby doesn’t sleep well in his or her car seat, plan to drive during your baby’s play time.
- Things can be a bit more complicated when traveling into a different time zone:
- About a week before your trip, try putting your baby to bed about 15 minutes earlier or later, depending on where you’re traveling. This might help to slowly ease your baby into a new schedule.
- Then do the same when you return, only in reverse.
- Remember to stay patient as your little one adjusts, as it can take some time.
- Also, try and plan lots of outdoor activities during the daytime, and then wind down at night in a darker, cozier environment to encourage sleepiness.
- For more information on traveling with babies, toddlers and big kids, read our extensive Travel Safety Guide.
- Certain babies will have a harder time following a parent-led schedule, such as:
- Premature babies;
- Babies with reflux and other digestive problems;
- Babies and children with other chronic problems like sinus or tonsil issues; and
- Low birth-weight babies
- If your baby is still having trouble sleeping past the four- and five-month mark, talk to your pediatrician to rule out any developmental or medical issues.
- You’ll also notice that bumps along the developmental road might throw a baby off schedule:
- Teething can cause a baby to wake up multiple times in the middle of the night, which should always be addressed. Your baby needs comfort more than a schedule during this time.
- You also might notice that your baby has a harder time sleeping as he or she hits certain milestones like sitting up, rolling over, crawling and walking. Many experts attribute this to your baby’s excitement with practicing his or her new tricks.
- And, of course, sicknesses like colds, stomach viruses and ear infections will most certainly cause a disruption in sleeping and feeding schedules, and they should always be your first priority. You can always resume your baby’s schedule once you’ve comforted him or her through the rough patch.