Getting your baby to sleep when you are out
Getting your baby to sleep can be hard enough, but what happens when you need to be out and about?
Life goes on when you have a baby, and there will always be times your baby needs to sleep in the car or when you get where you're going.
There are a number of things you can do to help your baby sleep when she's not at home, sleeping sweetly in her cot.
Having a good routine is very useful for planning when to go out with your baby. It tells you when she will need to be asleep, and you can plan to either have a sleep on the way, or put her down for a sleep when you get where you're going.
Routines mean your baby knows what you expect and when you expect it, so she is more likely to settle easily in a strange place or in her pushchair, if she knows it's her usual sleep time.
A routine will also tell you the times baby is likely to lose the plot, so you can plan to be at home by then or have a meal with you.
If you don't have a routine, travel out and about can be hit and miss. You may find yourself staying at home, as it feels like your baby is unpredictable and you never know what will happen when you are out. This becomes increasingly important as your baby gets older, as she's less likely to sleep in the car and is now out of a capsule. Start with The Sleep Store Sleep Plan to help build your routine.
Travel friendly sleep environment:
For babies no longer swaddled, a sleeping bag with a travel slot is fantastic for using in the pushchair. Many sleeping bags are equipped with slot to feed through a 5-point harness buckle, see each sleeping bag description for details.
White Noise is a very simple and effective sleep associations that you can take with you - not only does the sound remind babyit is sleep time, it creates a relaxing environment and effectively blocks out the distracting noises that can make settling more difficult.
We stock a range of portable white noise machine, such as the excellent Marpac Hushh, which has a rechargeable battery.
Pushchairs and SnoozeShades
It's a great idea to take a pushchair with you so that your baby always has somewhere to sleep when you are out. Then you can keep to your routine where ever you are and your baby won't get over-tired.
If your baby doesn't usually sleep well in her pushchair, try to work on this before going away or see below about using a baby carrier.
Remember the effectiveness of a gravel path or road for helping baby sleep! Put your baby into her swaddle or sleeping bag with her blankie, then a walk over a bumpy track - magic!
SnoozeShades are also incredibly useful for out and about sleeps with the pushchair. The breathable mesh cover, that comes in a range of designs to fit most pushchairs, helps to reduce visual distractions, darken the pram and block out 97% of UV rays.
Used regularly they form a great sleep association so that baby know when the SnoozeShade is up then it’s time to sleep.
Baby Carrying - using a carrier or sling:
Carrying baby in a sling, soft structured carrier or woven wrap has advantages over using a pushchair.. The movement and closeness to mum or dad is a potent recipe for helping baby to sleep, and its easy to jiggle and pat baby to get them to settle.
Carriers can go places where it’s inconvenient or impossible to take a buggy. Carriers & slings can also be used around the home so baby can catch some sleep while you get on with other things.
It's a good idea to build up your time wearing a carrier gradually, so you don't strain your muscles trying to give baby an hours long nap out of the blue.
Having a hood for your carrier can help too, so sun protection and some darkness.
Positive sleep associations that show your baby when it's sleep time are a really helpful tool for sleeping ou and about. One of our favourites is a comforter, so your baby can cuddle this and settle down to sleep anywhere.
If you are taking a favourite comforter out, we recommend you always have a spare at home...you may loose it when you're out, and bedtime might be pretty awful that night if you don't have a spare.
If your baby is prone to throwing his favourite comforter out of the buggy or dropping it from your carrier, you could invest in a little dummy clip to attach it.