This is the golden question I get asked regularly: how can you maintain a baby’s routine whilst travelling? Is it even possible? I often think this can be the biggest fear for parents wanting to travel. The fear of breaking an established routine and never being able to claw it back.
We have never been the sort of parents to force a sleep pattern, meal time or bed time. We just go with what Esmé wants to do within reason and she has kind of made her own routine. So in essence, I would never suggest for a minute that we had it nailed. However what I can tell you is what we did do, as well as keep up with Esmé’s self-regulated routine!
Maintaining a baby’s routine
Be flexible with places for naps
We tried not to always do naps in the same way. Even when we were static I always tried to have Esmé in her baby carrier or she would sleep in her pop-up travel cot for day time naps.
Prepare by eating in different places
Get baby used to eating meals in different places. It won’t be such a culture shock when everything changes.
Keep similar nap times as home, where possible
Try to keep to similar times as home for meals and naps. Hopefully the only different factor for baby is the environment if you have tried to mix it up before travelling.
Write off evenings
We tried to make the most of the days and not push the boundaries too much in the evenings. Unless of course someone was still in an incredibly good mood at 6pm!
Go self catering
This is something we didn’t do in a bid to keep within budget. However I think night time sleeps would have been a lot easier if she had her own room. Equally we wouldn’t have had to go to bed at 7pm !!!!
Take it easy on travel days
On days we were flying it always messed things up a little so we just accepted it and had low key days hanging by the pool.
Take a little longer than normal
We factored in lots of down time and tried to not to rush travel activities too much, that way we could enjoy them without encroaching on Esmés’ pattern.
If you want to maintain a baby’s routine whilst travelling, try to prepare yourself before you go by getting baby used to sleeping and eating in different places so that you can try to stick to the same sleep times as at home. But don’t forget that you will have to plan your trip to be less busy as if you were travelling solo.