There's No Place Like Home For the Holidays- Sleep Safety Tips for Traveling with Baby

The busy holiday travel season has officially begun. Visiting with friends and family can bring much cheer, but it can also disrupt your baby’s sleeping pattern that you’ve been working so hard to establish. These gatherings are too precious to skip so here are a few tips to help keep your baby sleeping safe and sound while traveling this time of year. 

  1.  If your baby has an early bedtime, let your hosts know beforehand and they can plan festivities accordingly.
  2.  Family members love visiting with your little ones and will want to spend as much time with them as possible, but that shouldn’t mean sacrificing your babies sleep and well-being. Let family members take part in putting baby to bed, so they can get that extra time with them.
  3. Bring as much as your baby’s bedroom as you can. Creating a normal sleep environment with your favorite sheets, swaddles, pacifiers and books will help baby feel more comfortable when away from home.
  4. Pack the play yard. Play yards provide for a safe sleeping environment when away from home. Choose a play yard or non-full-size crib with the correct recommended height and weight of the child.

Tips for choosing a play yard

  • Look for play yard with mattress width of 1 inch. Always use the mattress that is provided by the manufacturer.
  • When purchasing sheets buy proper size to fit the manufacturer’s mattress.
  • Look for the JPMA Certification Seal.

Tips for use

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • The play yard, including side rails, should be fully erected prior to use.
  •  Make sure all latching features of the play yard are in place and secure.
  • Always provide the supervision necessary for the continued safety of your child. When used for playing, never leave child unattended.
  • Do not add objects to the play yard during sleep.
  • Infants can suffocate in gaps between a mattress that is too small or too thick and the sides of a play yard. Only use the mattress provided by the manufacturer.
  • NEVER leave a baby in a mesh play yard if one of the rails is in the down position. The baby could climb out or strangle on the dropped rail.
  • NEVER place the crib near windows, draperies, blinds, or wall-mounted decorative accessories with long cords.
  • Check vinyl or fabric-covered rails frequently for holes and tears. Check for loose or missing fasteners, loose joints or broken parts and contact the manufacturer for replacement parts.
  • Don’t tie items across the top of the play yard as they can entangle a baby and cause strangulation.

When used properly, a play yard can be great for your baby to sleep in, while away from home this holiday season. Remember to enjoy time with friends and family. If your baby’s sleep schedule gets a little out of whack, you can always re-establish normal patterns when you return home.