The New York Times Sunday edition (Nov 24, 2019) featured a wonderful section on preserving family harmony over the holidays, with a helpful article by Jancee Dunn full of tips for managing those pesky disruptions to your routine that often come with the holiday season. You can read the whole article here, but for now, here are a few of my favorite tips she gathered from parenting and wellness experts:
- If you plan to use a travel crib, swipe the crib sheet off your baby's real crib on the morning you leave. The smell will comfort her and make her feel more at home.
- If possible, select flight times that align with nap times--either during nap times or NOT during nap times (you know your child and his propensity to nod off in unusual locations). I have found that young babies often doze off on flights (especially if you nurse or bottle feed upon takeoff), but toddlers are too distracted by all of the fun sights inside a plane to sleep for at least the first hour. Plan accordingly.
- Ask your hotel if they have any special supplies for kids. They may be able to put you in a room with a tub rather than a shower, for example, or even to lend a white noise machine.
- Remember that a sleep routine that is botched up over the holidays CAN be salvaged when you are back home. You haven't done lasting damage.
- If your child is mobile, bring a balloon to blow up once you're in the airport terminal. Knocking it around and chasing it will provide a welcome distraction for your child (and other children) as you wait to board.
- Make sure that you find chances to get fresh air and exercise, which help everyone sleep well and feel better.