Managing your baby's sleep when travelling abroad

Guest blog written by Jenna Wilson, Sleep Consultant at Little Dreams Consulting Ltd.

It is the time of year where lots of us start planning trips abroad, but it can be super worrying when thinking about managing sleep and a holiday. With that being said, we have put together some top tips throughout all the sleep stages of a journey of going on holiday, until returning home, from pre travel to what happens on the plane – so you can rest assured your managing your little ones sleep stages in the best ways possible.


Firstly, it is not always possible to book flights around nap/bedtime but if you can, try and arrange it around this, so your little one can sleep on the plane. If this is not possible, try to have the nap on the way to the airport (which might mean arriving earlier).

When you are at the airport ensure you have some snacks handy, just in case the queues to check in are long and, where possible, try and check in at home online. The last thing you want at the airport is a little one who needs food when you are in a queue!

Have everything prepared and easily accessible for the flight. Your changing bag can be really helpful to organise and keep everything you need in easy reach! Ensure you have a change of clothes for everyone (you never know what can happen on a plane), 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 and, for breastfed little ones, you can feed them.

‘What happens on the plane…’

Our general rule is ‘what happens on the plane, stays on the plane.’ Try and remain calm and relaxed but be prepared to let go of some of the ‘rules’ around sleep. Your main aim is to keep your little one as calm (and maybe even asleep if it is nap or nighttime) as much possible during the flight so do whatever you need to do achieve this. Once you reach your destination you can get back on track with sleep.

During the day

When you are somewhere new, it can be really tempting to schedule lots, but try not to overschedule, especially in the first few days. If you do, this can lead to tired, and emotional little ones.

Naps on the go are totally fine, try and have the odd nap in the cot where possible as well. Remember to take everything you need with you for an on-the-go nap, a stroller bag or organiser can be really useful for ensuring you have everything you need, and a Snoozeshade can be helpful for the daytime naps too.

If you are going further afield and are worried about jetlag, get out in the daylight as soon as possible as this is the best way to regulate body clocks (yours and your little ones).


Try and make their sleep environment as close to home as you can, for example don’t forget your little one’s sleeping bag, sleep suit, soft toy and (if you use it) white noise machine.

Your little one may find the initial few nights tricky, but just 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) room or a villa so that your little one can have their own sleep space as at home.

Back home

If you found that some of your ‘rules’ were relaxed during the holiday, once you are back home, go back to your usual routine and stay consistent for a few days so little ones know nothing has changed at home. This will ensure they are not confused, and also that you can all get back to having fabulous restorative sleep to enjoy that post-holiday glow a little longer!

Our 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 you 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 how we can help!
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Author Bio:

Jenna, a mum of 3, set up Little Dreams Consulting 8 years ago, following 12 years working as a solicitor. She has trained with Sleep Sense™ and The Sleep Charity (UK) and has attended a multitude of courses with the NSPCC and The Lullaby Trust.

The demand for sleep has grown so much that the Little Dreams Consulting family is growing and is looking for franchisees across the UK to join their successful team of sleep experts. To find out more, pop them an email at for a (no obligation) chat.