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Sleeping Away from Home

Whether you’re heading away for a night, weekend or a week or more there are things you can do to ensure you have a great time AND keep your little one’s sleep on track.

Whether you plan every day you’re away or go with the flow, we all know your little one’s sleep can be unpredictable when you’re away from home.

New environments and out of regular routine can be enough for some babies and toddlers to lose their sleep rhythm. We all know that babies and children thrive on routine and consistency, but this doesn’t mean you have to miss out on having a great time!

Top Tips for Sleeping Away From Home

  1. Portable white noise machine - great to buffer the external noises and reinforce their sounds of the usual sleep environment. The SleepyTot one is great, it is also a light.

  2. Sleeping bag - don’t forget to check the weather and pack the right TOG rating. Ergopouch are fantastics!

  3. Port-a-cot - if your little one usually sleeps in their on bassinet or cot, continue to keep a separate safe sleep space.

  4. Regular cot sheet - whether you’re taking your own port-a-cot or using a safe sleep space provided, take a cot sheet your little one is used to. Either take the one directly off their bed or you sleep with a clean one the night or 2 before you leave to transfer your familiar, comforting scent.

  5. Pram - great for naps out and about. Sleeping bags can be safely used with a 5-point harness if they have legs or a seatbelt hole. Be mindful to use a lighter tog rating as your little one is in a smaller space and may heat up quickly.

  6. Comforter - If your little one has a comforter they use at home, make sure it comes along. My favourites are Riff Raff Sleep Toys, they also have white noise inbuilt - winner!

  7. Dummy - if your little one already has one.

  8. Portable Black Out Blinds or Garbage bags - window coverings when you’re away from home can be hit and miss! Being away from their usual sleep environment may be enough of a distraction for your little one, adding a brightly lit room just equals a nap disaster! If you don’t have portable black out blinds (I love the Sleepy Sundays or Tommee Tippee ones), using black garbage bags and masking tape works just as well!

  9. Room Sharing - if you need to share a room with your little one while you’re away I recommend SnoozeShade port-a-cot covers. These covers are breathable and black out, meaning you can put your little one to bed, pop their white noise on and still have the lights on in the room and do what you need to do without worrying about waking them up.

My Other Favourite Tips

Plan one nap at your accommodation

If your little one is on two or more naps a day, try and have one nap in their port-a-cot. You can change which nap this is each day depending on your plans. Having one nap in their port-a-cot gives your baby the opportunity to have a longer and more restful sleep each day. This will also help to balance their sleep hormones, regulate adrenaline and cortisol levels further helping with more restful overnight sleep.

Wind down routines

When and where possible (especially for bedtime) still allow wind down time before sleep. 5-10 minutes before naps and 20-30 minutes before bedtime. Give your little one a chance to relax, calm and regulate from their day and prepare for sleep.


If it’s been a big day, perhaps naps were shorter than usual, don’t be afraid to bring bedtime forward. A good rule is to half what your little one lost; so if they lost 1 hour total sleep - bring bedtime 30 minutes earlier.

For babies under 6 months, add an additional catnap in the afternoon.

Extra Support

Always try and give your little one the time and space to settle, like you would at home, but don’t be afraid to step in and provide some additional support that they may not normally need at home. Remember, it’s all new and exciting, it’s ok to give them some more help to calm, unwind and prepare for sleep.


It’s important to be flexible and have fun! Try not to skip naps or exceed your little one’s regular awake windows, just be prepared that it may take them a little longer to fall asleep or naps might be a bit shorter than normal.

Getting back on track

As soon as you get home, back into usual routine and settling. Don’t give your little one the opportunity to think that what happened on holidays is going to continue at home. Be prepared that depending on how long you’ve been away, it can take a few days for your little one to get back to usual programming. Be consistent, persistent and patient.

My Sleep Guides provide you with all the information you need to get your little one back on track, including awake times, nap routines, settling methods, feed timings and more. You can download your copy here.

Are sleepless nights the norm in your home? Does your baby or toddler have you up all night and you’re unsure how to navigate through it. Or maybe you’ve resigned yourself to the fact that you’ll never sleep again. You and your baby CAN start getting more of the quality and consolidated sleep you need right away. Let’s arrange a time to talk about how I can help you help your baby with sleep.

You got this!

Sam x

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