Updated: Jan 4, 2019
I have to say, I have always been adamant when it comes to taking time for a vacation and why should that change now that I'm a parent?
When you have kids just the thought of leaving your daily routine can be enough for you to cancel all plans that get you out of that everyday system you have “perfected” even if it means turning out the opportunity for a fun get away!
There are two major reasons most new parents shy away from taking their first family vacation. For starters, no one wants to be that family on the plane who's child will not stop crying and secondly, what if your kid won't sleep?!?
Even if you plan for every outcome, unfortunately, planes and babies just don’t mix well. To give yourself a mental break, I suggest (and this is a travel tool only) that you do whatever gets you through the flight with a minimum amount of fuss. Hand out snacks, let them play with your phone, have an iPad ready and keep yourself from sweating through the whole flight because passengers are starting to stare.
The bottom line is, if it's not a part of their plan to sleep on the plane, they’re not going to, so don’t try to force it. It will just result in tears from both of you.
“The bottom line is, if it's not a part of their plan to sleep on the plane, they’re not going to, so don’t try to force it.”
You made it! Hopefully you didn't have to hide in the restroom the whole flight, but, if you did, I'm not judging. Now comes the hard part. But, with some strategic planning and some serious consistency, you can keep that carefully orchestrated routine running just the way you did at home.
What happens if you ditch the plan and go off book? Well, you will be looking at an almost immediate backslide right back into day one. Baby misses a nap, gets all fired up because of all the activity, then overtiredness kicks in, cortisol production goes up, and the next nap is ruined, which results in more overtiredness which derails nighttime sleep, and before you know it, you’re headed home and it seems like baby did nothing but cry the entire trip...YIKES!
p.s. I’m not even slightly exaggerating. It happens so quickly.
Now, it's time for bed...
This is where you look at your significant other and say "oh shit." Because you forgot you only have one room and what the hell are you going to do with this little firecracker that will surely never go to sleep.
Well, here's my suggestion. Make it into two rooms.
Crazy thought right? It's as easy as hanging a blanket, setting up a dressing screen, or, yes, I’m going to go ahead and say it, put baby in the closet. It’s dark, it’s quiet, and they won’t be distracted by being able to see you!
Side note: You might be tempted to slip them a pacifier or rock them to sleep if they're disturbing the other hotel guests, but they will latch on to that really, really quickly, and chances are you’ll be waking up every hour or two, rocking them back to sleep or putting the pacifier back in, which is going to end up disturbing everyone a lot worse than a half hour of crying at 7:00 at night.
And I want you to give ZERO f*&@!s whether they are disturbing the other hotel guests. Your baby, your family, and their health and well-being is MOST IMPORTANT.